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Resolutions to Enhance Fertility


a blog by Traci Shahan, RN, WHNP-BC, Doctor of Nursing, Albrecht Women’s Care: A Center for Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility December 20, 2010

Despite staggering advances in fertility treatments, there is much that we still have to learn about human reproduction. While we are still learning about the nuances and interdependence of hormones and physiology, there are some areas in which we are certain that simple lifestyle modifications can enhance your fertility and the odds of conceiving and bearing a healthy child.

Take a look at the following checklist and note which life enhancers you can choose as part of your New Year’s Resolutions.

  • Weight and fertility. We now know that nature tends to favor women with a body mass index between 18.5 and 25. Being too heavy or too thin can cause hormonal havoc, which can lead to infertility or miscarriage/pregnancy loss. Consult a registered dietitian in your area or access online resources to assist you in optimizing your weight and health.
  • Stress and fertility. We suspect that mental health issues may contribute to stressors during infertility therapy. If you feel “not yourself” — depressed, anxious, moody — consider daily walks or other aerobic exercise, meeting with and talking with friends and family. Obtain counseling if your symptoms are severe or last longer than two weeks.
  • Mind-body connection. Consider a contemplative time during each day. Examples include yoga, meditation, prayer, journaling, painting, drawing, writing. Carve a little time for yourself each day. Listen to your “inner knower,” the place inside of you where deep wisdom resides.
  • Say no. Do not take on too much! I have a rule for myself: If I feel particularly stressed one day, I will cut in half my to-do list. The word “no” is underused and avoided. A simple, “I’m sorry, my plate is full,” will do when you receive an invitation that impedes on your time.
  • Eat healthfully. Most of our bodies function well when we consume moderate lean protein, few simple carbohydrates, and lots of fruits and veggies along with “good fats.” Keep a log of what you consume daily and then input it into an online nutrition calculator to see how your actual intake stacks up against what you ideally should eat for good health.

May 2011 grant to you all of your dreams!

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