I was mildly amused when my baby sister told me a friend of hers, Tosin, who has been married for only five months was thinking of doing IVF and wondered if I knew any good IVF clinic around her end of town. I’m not trying to make light of her situation, because 5 months of TTC can feel like forever. However, I felt she is young and so is her husband, so she should give herself some more time, before pulling out the big guns.
Obviously, waiting was not something Tosin wanted to hear about, because baby Sis told me to tell her with my own mouth, as she didn’t want her friend to accuse her of being unhelpful later on, so I found myself talking to a lady I hadn’t talked to since they were in secondary school. How times flies! Hmmm!
So it turns out she knows a lot about IVF and absolutely believes it will help her get that baby here faster. Unfortunately, she thinks its fail proof. She also knows about Clomid but not how to use it. Outside of that, she doesn’t fully understand how her own body works and has never been to a gynaecologist. Scratch that, not even to a family doctor. So, she has no idea why she isn’t conceiving but is convinced IVF will help her.
I mentally threw up my arms in frustration before settling down to give a lecture on seeking a doctor’s opinion, when it comes to medical issues. How you need to understand your cycle and plan sexual intercourse appropriately and finally, sorry to burst your bubble, but IVF doesn’t come with a success or a money back guarantee.
I further sent her links, both Nicole’s IVF journals did a good job of making her smell the coffee and also pumping up her enthusiasm for IVF; which is good, if she eventually needs it and if not, she’s still good.
After all was said and done, the question was, “So what do I do?”
The answers to that question are in this article.
Get a prenatal supplement with Myo-Inositol
Myo-Inositol is a naturally occurring substance belonging to the B complex family of vitamins. It is good for ladies with a diagnosis of PCOS or just a TTC mom that’s not ovulating regularly. Several studies have found taking Myo-Inositol may help regulate your cycles and get you pregnant faster.
One way of boosting intake is through supplements, which contain at least 2000mcg of myo-inositol. Or, you can add foods high in myo-inositol, including grapefruit to your diet.
And if you want to go exotic, then acupuncture it is. For a TTC mom, acupuncture can be a good way to relieve stress as well as increase blood flow to the uterus and ovaries, stimulating the parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous systems.
Acupuncture can help regulate the hormones in the body which may be one of the factors preventing pregnancy.
A 2003 study out of Cornell confirmed acupuncture’s fertility-boosting benefits. Here are some benefits listed by the study:
- Increased blood flow to the uterus and therefore uterine wall thickness, an important marker for fertility
- Increased endorphin production, which, in turn, has been shown to effect the release of a gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH), a decapeptide involved in regulating reproduction
- Lower stress hormones responsible for infertility
- Impact on plasma levels of the fertility hormones: follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinizing hormone (LH), estradiol (E2), and Progesterone (P)
- Normalization of the hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian axis, a key process in fertility
- A positive effect for women with polycystic ovarian syndrome, a hormonal imbalance present in three percent of adolescents and adults.
So, you might really want to give it a try.
Tracking your cycle with a BBT & using an OPK
Considering that Tosin is a newbie to TTC, I think it’s extremely important she uses more accurate ways like OPKs and charts to calculate her cycle, rather than relying on the old method of EWCM or just expecting to ovulate on the 14th day of her cycle. Who knows, she might have a long or shorter cycle.
Basal body temperature (BBT) tracking can give you an inside look at what your body is doing by determining when you’re ovulating and your most fertile days.
Using an ovulation predictor kit (OPK) can also be beneficial. When you use the kit on day 10 of your cycle, it might tell you when you’re having a positive [hormonal] surge, indicating when you might be ready to ovulate.
It’s a somewhat better predictor than a body temperature chart, because it will tell you before you’re going to ovulate, rather than after.
Extra Vitamin B6 and zinc
Vitamins and minerals play a significant role in overall health and fertility.
Vitamin B6 helps regulate the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle; that time from ovulation to menstruation or in TTC parlance, the two week wait.
Most doctors also advise women to get enough zinc; the recommended dose is at least 8mg per day, whether through diet or supplements.
Zinc is considered one of the most important minerals for conception and pregnancy and it’s essential for both men and women.
Taking both B6 and zinc together helps the body absorb and utilize both.
Before you think, you have to go seeking these supplements; your prenatal vitamins most likely contain these nutrients.
Getting to the right BMI
There is no denying that there is a connection between weight and fertility. Several studies have proved that fact over and over.
Being overweight or underweight can affect fertility.
Well, my sister’s friend is on the slim side; still it will be nice for her to check her BMI, lest she swings either ways.
Looking at your Diet
It is often said that you are what you eat. And that is so true, when you’re TTC, what you eat can play a significant role is how soon you get pregnant or not. In fact, it’s one of the elementary places to look when fertility challenge rears its head.
Chronic dieting, low body weight/fat, insulin resistance, irregular periods, and PCOS are some of the common conditions that can decrease fertility
There are plenty fertility-friendly foods around us, our Takeover partner on Healthy Eating talks about that a lot in her blogposts and if you’re still not having any luck, consider speaking to a nutrition expert.
These steps should get you somewhere; before it becomes glaring that you need to see fertility doctor or you just need to see a gynaecologist.
Most importantly, just because almost everyone raves about IVF or clomid doesn’t mean, it’s meant for everyone.
What important is knowing your body and working with your doctor to make the best decision for you.
Godspeed and hopefully, you don’t need a fertility specialist…but hey, if you do, count it all joy.
Join the conversation with any of our TTC and Pregnancy Groups here