You married a good man. A gentle soul. A provider. Maybe it took you a little longer to find him, but you don’t regret holding out for The One. Now you want to be parents, but it’s proving difficult. Before you panic and run off to the women’s health center, ask yourself the following lifestyle questions. Some infertility solutions are simple fixes involving how we live every day:
1.How old are you? Thanks to patriarchal ideas about female bodies, many women feel “on the shelf” if they try to conceive past the age of 30. However, it is perfectly possible to conceive a healthy child after this age; it just might take a little longer. Women under the age of 35 should try to conceive on their own for at least one year before contacting a physician, so don’t panic if it’s been a few months with no results.
2. Do you or your partner smoke? Smoking has long been suspected as one of the causes of infertility in women and men–even if you’re only a half pack a day smoker. If you’ve been putting off quitting, try using the desire to conceive as a prime motivator.
3. Are you frequently tired, sad, or stressed? Women who have experienced long bouts of depression and economic strain are far more likely to experience the first stages of menopause earlier in life. We understand that sometimes your situation is simply your situation, and not everyone has the luxury of quitting their tiring job or seeing a therapist. But if you could just carve out a little time each day for yourself and dedicate that to mindful breathing, a cup of herbal tea, or trying to get better sleep, these wellness strategies might do wonders for your reproductive health.
4. Is your husband older or struggling with his weight? As men age, it’s natural for their metabolisms to slow down. “Dad Bod” has been all the rage in the news, but the flabby, dough-like physique we have come to associate with this term might actually be counterproductive to conception. Obesity and aging can both contribute to a decrease in testosterone, or low t. Having low t can effect a man’s sperm count, and when you’re trying to get pregnant, the higher the sperm count the better.
Some common signs of low t to watch for include a low sex drive, constant fatigue, erectile dysfunction, and decreased sensation in the genital area. If you or your husband suspect low t, it may finally be time to invest in that gym membership. Bringing down one’s weight and getting in shape can greatly increase energy and contribute to testosterone production.
We understand you’re worried. But the more you worry, the more hostile an environment your body is to conception. So take a deep breath, and try a few of these lifestyle changes for three to six months. It may be you just need to fine tune your body, and have no need for assisted reproductive technology. If these tips don’t cut it though, take comfort in the fact that science will probably find a way.