You want a baby one day, just not now. But are you taking steps to protect your fertility today?
Maybe you are finishing school. Maybe you’re establishing yourself in your career. Or perhaps you don’t have a partner with whom you want to start a family. There could be medical issues that force you to put pregnancy off.
Those are all good reasons to wait. But some day, you might want to have a child. Even if it is a long way down the road, you can plan now. It takes action on your part to protect your fertility.
Take Responsibility For Your Fertility
For any woman who ever desires to become a mother, it helps to always take care of your fertility. Now you might ask, “I don’t want to be a mom today. There is time for all that later. But should I be doing something, or rather not be doing certain things, if I want to increase chances of a successful conception sometime in the future?”
The Answer – Yes. You need to take responsibility of your fertility right from today. And there are steps and lifestyle choices that you can make now that may help to maintain or improve fertility.
5 Steps To Protect Your Fertility
It doesn’t matter that you aren’t ready to start a family…not just yet. But by taking a few steps to ensure that your baby making machinery stays in top shape, you aren’t setting yourself up for disappointment in the long run. Infertility is no laughing matter; it costs a lot of money, not to mention is causes a lot of mental and emotional stress. So is it really worth taking a risk only because you are reckless in your ‘younger’ days? Certainly not! Follow these 5 simple steps to protect your fertility….starting today.
- Avoid behavior that risks a woman’s fertility
We all know of things that can ‘make it harder to get pregnant’, don’t we? So why not avoid them? These include excess alcohol, drug use, STDs and smoking.
- Reach or maintain a healthy weight
Twelve percent of infertility cases are related to a woman’s weight — either too much or too little. Either one can affect the ovulation cycle, the pattern of the egg’s release from the ovaries each month. It helps to know what your ideal weight should be (based on your height, age, built) and then work towards achieving your goal weight.
The best way for an adult to keep fit is to get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity each week and muscle-strengthening activities two or more days a week. Excessive exercise can be an issue too, so don’t foolishly over-work your body at the gym. Be sure to check with your doctor about the right amount of exercise for you.
If you are normal weight or overweight, you can keep your weight in check by eating foods with vital nutrients like vegetables, fruits, whole grains, fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products, seafood, lean meats and poultry, eggs, beans and peas, nuts and seeds, to name only a few.
Limit foods high in sodium, solid fats, added sugars and refined grains. These include sugar-sweetened drinks, high-sugar desserts and fatty foods.
- Practice safe sex
Sexually transmitted diseases can cause infertility. Chlamydia is the most common in the United States. Both Chlamydia and gonorrhea can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease, which may cause scarring of the fallopian tubes. The scarring may trap eggs before they reach the uterus.
You can keep from getting infected by taking these precautions:
– Use condoms every time you have vaginal, oral or anal sex.
– Don’t depend on other forms of birth control to protect you. Birth control pills, shots and implants provide no protection. A diaphragm will not keep you from getting a disease, either.
– If you are in a monogamous relationship with an uninfected partner, talk to your partner about any sexually transmitted diseases they may have or had. Being faithful to each other will limit your risk of getting a new infection from someone else — or from your partner.
– If you are not in a mutually monogamous relationship, follow the practices for safe sex. Also try to limit the number of sexual partners you have.Be sure each partner is tested for STDs and treated, if necessary, before having sexual contact with them. Following these practices may reduce your risk for contracting STDs.
– Get immunized. Immunizations may help prevent infection from Hepatitis B and human papillomavirus.
– See your doctor regularly. He or she will assess whether your regular checkups include tests for STDs. Many STDs come with few or no symptoms. You should be tested for chlamydia once a year if you are:
- Having any symptoms of chlamydia
- Have a new sex partner
- Have more than one sex partner
- Have sex with someone who has other sex partners
- Have had chlamydia or another sexually transmitted infection in the past
- Have traded sex for money or drugs
- Do not use condoms during sex within a relationship that is not mutually monogamous, meaning you or your partner has sex with other people
Regular pelvic exams and Pap tests can detect cervical and other types of cancer. Your doctor can also give you advice about birth control and make sure that your general health is good. Experts recommend that most women age 21 to 65 should have a Pap test every 3 years.
- Quit Smoking
If you smoke, quit. It may surprise you to learn that smoking can have a considerable effect on your ability to get pregnant. The more and longer you smoke, the more harm is done. Smoking can damage your ovaries. Chemicals in cigarettes, including nicotine, can get in the way of estrogen production. They can also increase the risk of genetic abnormalities. But stopping earlier rather than later prevents greater damage.
- Watch your biological clock
Whether you’ve completed your family or not, your body will eventually decide that your childbearing years are over. It’s more and more common today for women to wait until their 30s and 40s to have children. And about one-fifth of all women have their first baby after the age of 35. But one-third of couples in which the woman is over 35 have fertility problems.
The reasons include these:
– Fewer eggs left in the ovaries
– Eggs that are not as healthy
– Decreased ability of the ovaries to release eggs
– A greater likelihood of miscarriage
As a woman who sees herself playing the role of a mother someday, you need to step up and stop sabotaging your fertility. You really have no good excuse, lady…..if you know something could be bad for your fertility, why take the risk? Taking these steps will help ensure that when you’re ready, your reproductive system will be ready, too.
And if you think your reproductive system is trying to send you a signal, read this article on Should You Really Be Listening To Your Ticking Biological Clock?