Positives in delays to fertility treatments I hear you shout at me in frustration! How? Where? Don’t be ridiculous Victoria.
Of course, having a treatment plan cancelled or delayed is absolutely devastating. This scenario has had many articles written about it and has been the subject of many social media discussions.
Our intention with this article is not to play down how emotionally traumatic this situation is. I quite agree and many of my clinics clients have found themselves caught up in the mass shutting down of all IVF protocols.
The intention of this article is to help couples and individuals use the time to work towards achieving positive outcomes as soon as service recommences.
You have no control over what has happened. But you do have control over how to use the time forced upon you to prepare for when you are able to access your treatments.
I have read many Twitter feeds and other various comments on social media platforms where couples have just put everything on hold. They don’t know what to do in the interim and feel so dejected and traumatised that it’s better to ignore the problem until they are faced with communication from their fertility clinic down the line. I want to be as inclusive as possible with this article and make it informative and accessible.
So I must first of all touch on the fact that many of the couples and individuals waiting for IVF are doing so because it will be their only way to achieve pregnancy. For them this is extremely frightening and I would like to reassure each and everyone that what I am about to discuss will be equally as helpful in terms of preparation as it would be to someone who is going to try naturally while this situation with Covid-19 hangs over our heads.
Setting a solid lifestyle routine is essential to our fertility and hydration is top of the list. What we eat and when we eat also should get a massive focus.
So follow this quick water guide 7 days a week.
Drink a large glass of water as soon as you wake. Drink a glass with breakfast. Drink a glass mid-morning with a snack and a glass before lunch. Another glass mid-afternoon and one with dinner. Another glass to finish the evening about an hour before bed is a very basic way of getting a sensible level of hydration daily. Take more if you exercise or feel thirsty.
Coffee and tea are fine, two cups or less and not before 11am and not after 4pm. Why?
Water is key to good digestion and it opens up our digestive tract, which in turns opens up our bodies ability to create the enzymes linked to hormone production.
The same applies to how and what we eat.
Breakfast is essential for good balanced hormone production and should be eaten within approximately 30-45 minutes of waking and consuming water. There are some great ideas for meals and recipes on our social media, but aim to consume fish 3 times a week, red meat no more than once or twice at a push, and plenty of white meat. A diet that consists of homemade food with plenty of vegetables and fruit will always be healthier than ready meals and pre-prepared food.
In reality, it’s all about balance and making sensible choices.
I frequently discuss alcohol with my clients who want to know how much is too much. The brutal truth about alcohol is that it will never be conducive to good health and you should drink minimal amounts, and better still none at all while preparing for pregnancy, but I do appreciate that’s a huge undertaking.
By making these great changes to how you eat and drink you are already looking at one of the most positive changes you can make to support your fertility.
Let’s talk about exercise next.
Exercise is SO good for promoting healthy fertility changes that I set every single one of my clients exercise goals with their treatment plans. Exercise promotes an improved circulatory system. Simply put, better blood flow to transport those new diet improved hormones to the right places at the right times!
Things you can do right now while we are locked down:
Walk for one hour every day. That is ample exercise if it is every day.
Gardening is pretty efficient at raising your heart rate. Put music on and dance like a fool for 30 minutes. Start some online exercise classes like yoga. I had a pillow fight with my children yesterday and that proved great exercise as I was aching this morning!!
And let’s not forget sex. Sex is a fantastic form of exercise and promotes “happy hormones” as well as being essential for couples who are able to try naturally while they wait. There are also some other wonderful things that intimacy bring. It is so good for our emotional wellbeing and I would say at this time with so much uncertainty and worry nothing could possibly make you feel better than sharing intimacy with someone you are trying to have a child with. We also have rather a lot of time on our hands being locked down and this is a fabulous way to pass some time each day.
Much as these things won’t entirely remove your worries around what has happened with your fertility treatments they will allow you to take control over the preparation.
This preparation is essential no matter which route you are currently travelling down towards trying to get pregnant. This period of time has been forced on us all and there is nothing we can do other than follow the guidelines and make the most of the time and use it to work in your favour. It is also really important to remember all of the above points will also help to promote lower stress levels and better mental health, something I feel we are all conscious of at this time.
One final point I would like to make is that this information is directed at ANY person trying to have a child. The journey is both a male and female one and all of the information and advice above relates to both sexes.
I do hope this has put a more positive spin on your journey and should you have any questions please use the contact form