National Infertility Awareness Week: Tips for family planning

National Infertility Awareness Week is this month (May 12th – 20th), and Dr. David Greenberg, Family Physician at St. Joseph Hospital, has some tips to help start your family planning.

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Don’t “try”!

For couples “trying” to conceive, every month can be filled with anxiety and worry. Heightened stress can actually cause more challenges. Therefore, it’s important to live in the moment and just enjoy your partner.

It’s not your fault

There are many reasons why conceiving a baby may be difficult, but it’s not anyone’s fault. Blaming yourself or your partner won’t fix anything and may lead to more problems, including tension in your relationship.

Live healthy

Don’t wait until you find out you’re expecting to start making changes to your diet or exercise routine. Once you decide to start trying to conceive, start behaving like you’re already pregnant by eating right, taking prenatal vitamins, avoiding alcohol, stop smoking  and exercising sensibly.

Know yourself

Improve your odds of conceiving by having sex on the days when conception is likeliest to happen. Every woman’s body is unique and, when trying to become pregnant, your individual cycle should be taken into consideration. The First Response™ Digital Ovulation Test detects and tracks your personal daily baseline levels of luteinizing hormone (LH) to detect your personal LH surge, unlike other ovulation tests that use a preset “average” level to determine an LH surge.

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Know when to see an expert

Most couples who are trying to conceive will become pregnant within a year. For others it can take longer. If it’s taking longer than you expected to conceive, it’s always a good idea to speak to your doctor about what you should be doing to improve your chances of conceiving.

For those who know someone trying to conceive, the most important thing is to be supportive and understanding. Please remember that every woman is different. It’s important to consult your doctor to find the best steps for you.

Before our oldest daughter was born, I had a prior miscarriage at nine weeks. It wasn’t something that I saw coming. I hadn’t even considered it and it crushed me. I remember asking my husband ‘What if this is it?’. I felt broken.

After he miscarriage, I was sent to an expert because there was an indication that I might have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) and among many things, miscarriages and infertility can be a symptom.

I was terrified.

To top it off, an ultrasound showed that I only had one functioning ovary. I did have two at one time, but the conclusion of the professionals was that PCOS left untreated over the years caused too many cysts in one of my ovaries and it created a devastating outcome.

If you read this site often, you know our story has a happy ending. We have two healthy girls, and our struggle to grow our family is now a small footnote on one page of an otherwise happy journal, but this isn’t the case for many families.

I’m sharing this because it is something to consider as you begin to plan your family. I wish you an amazing journey, but if you are caught off guard like we were, I want you to know that you are not alone and it is more common than you think.

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Disclosure: I am a Church & Dwight ambassador. Opinions are mine.

Sheri Landry
Sheri publishes, and writes at This Bird’s Day where she shares all of the thoughts in her head without the voices. Sticking mainly with content for Canadians, Sheri shares family stories, product information and anything that fits into her (and her family’s) daily activities.
Found in Health & Wellness