preconception counseling, fertility testing, fertility diet, preserving fertilityEven if you’re not ready to have a baby right now, you may want to consider beginning the planning process now. Although age is one of the biggest factors determining whether you will be able to conceive a child, there are a number of things that you can do now to preserve your fertility.

If you have questions about preserving fertility or planning for pregnancy, consider making an appointment with our experienced fertility doctors in Raleigh. A fertility doctor can help you determine the best way to improve your chances of conceiving either now or down the road.

Aging and Fertility 

Both men and women experience natural changes that affect their fertility as they age. Although men can father children in their sixties or seventies, sperm quality does decline with age. Women have a much steeper age-related decline in fertility as both the number and the quality of their eggs declines over time.  There is increasing research interest into whether we may slow down the aging process of both sperm and eggs.

Delays in Childbearing

People seldom anticipate having a fertility problem as there are often no early warning signs.  Once you are certain you want to be a parent, consider having your children sooner than later.  There is rarely a perfect time in life to have children. If you have or know someone who has cancer and other medical problems, it is good to know that some of these conditions can pose a threat to fertility that can be alleviated by freezing sperm, eggs or embryos and storing them for later use.

Healthy Lifestyle 

Grandma was right.  Maintaining a healthy lifestyle can improve your chances of living longer and having children so consider making a New Year’s resolution to get regular exercise and start eating more nutritious foods. If you have questions about a chronic illness, recent injury, etc. talk to your primary care provider about how much exercise is safe for you. There are ways to exercise even when certain activities are limited.

Your dietary needs will depend on your age and overall health, but there are some basic principles that most professionals agree on such as decreasing the intake of processed foods, simple sugars and saturated fat and increasing the intake of fiber, essential vitamins, minerals, and healthy unsaturated fats. If you have questions, you can talk to one of our doctors about the latest research related to diet and fertility.  This is an evolving area of medicine.

Mental Health 

Taking care of your mental health is as important as preserving your physical health. Adding fertility problems to other relational or work-related stressors may be a factor in reducing your chance of success.  It is important to find time to do things that you enjoy and some consider complimentary methods of reducing stress, such as acupuncture, massage, meditation, yoga, etc.  Distracting your mind from problems by reading books or doing puzzles can reduce stress, improve your physical and mental well-being and maybe even enrich your relationships.

Preconception Screening

If natural aging or other concerns are a threat to preserving your fertility, consider visiting a fertility specialist in Raleigh for preconception counseling. The fertility specialist will conduct a risk assessment to determine if you have an increased risk of pregnancy complications. You will also get information about what you can do to improve your chances of conceiving and delivering a healthy baby.