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Assess and Maximize Reproductive Wellness
If you’re like most women, you probably don’t realize just how hard it is to get pregnant. A healthy 30-year-old woman has a 20 percent chance of getting pregnant naturally each month, but there are a whole host of issues that can lessen those odds. That’s why Dr. Emmett Branigan, a Bellingham, WA, fertility doctor believes that any woman thinking about getting pregnant in the near future would benefit from getting an assessment of your reproductive system to learn what you can do to increase the odds.
Branigan suggests a preliminary health history, physical exam and a look into the following:
- Weight or endocrine problems: diabetes or thyroid issues.
- Vitamin deficiencies, including vitamin D.
- Medical issues: lupus, ulcerative colitis, hypertension. If they exist, how are they being controlled?
- Nutritional issues: Is diet causing diabetes or contributing to health problems?
- Mental health issues: medications, general stress.
- Lifestyle habits: smoking, alcohol, drug use.
- Alternative health treatments: acupuncture, herbs, homeopathic medicine.
- Undiagnosed gynecological problems.
- Exercise: under or over exercising.
Women in their mid-to-late 30s would also benefit from an AMH test to assess ovarian reserve.
Once he has a full picture of overall health, Branigan works with his patients to develop a program to maximize reproductive potential. That might include implementing changes to diet and exercise, and working with a nutritionist or other health professionals under his supervision.
Branigan says patients who have had the greatest success in his Reproductive Wellness program at Bellingham IVF have turned out not to have fertility problems. Once they were able to correct and optimize the identified issues, they were able to get pregnant naturally. Keep in mind the timeline varies depending on your particular situation, and not all issues will be correctable. For those, fertility treatment is a solution.
His hope is that women will start talking about and thinking about their fertility sooner. It doesn’t mean you have to get pregnant now, but it’s never too soon to optimize your reproductive health.