How to Prepare Your Mind & Body to Significantly Enhance Your Fertility
By: Marc Sklar, DA, LAc, MSTOM
As the Baby Boomers edge into seniority, much of the subsequent generation has placed a greater focus on developing careers than creating a family. Many have decided to delay families while getting their careers in order, only to discover that when it was finally "convenient" to have children, it was no longer easy or feasible for their bodies. Infertility is now rampant amongst our generation- (30-45 year olds) affecting about 25% of reproductive aged couples, leaving many with heartache and guilt.
The distress, depression and anxiety which accompany infertility negatively impact our bodies' physiological reproductive processes and can result in multiple blockages, including premature aging and infertility. Concurrently, being infertile further leads to more stress and more blockages - and so the vicious cycle continues. Preparing ones mind and body for conception and pregnancy is critical to a successful course of treatment. The following steps are highly recommended to those who want to significantly enhance their chances of a successful pregnancy:
1. Know your optimum fertility signs and times
This sounds straight forward, but knowing exactly when you’re ovulating, and recognizing the physical signs indicating when you’re at the peak time to conceive are sometimes easily confused or missed. For example, as long as your periods are regular, you can calculate that about 14 days after your period starts is the time when you are ovulating. Secondly, and usually around the same time, your cervical mucus becomes very thin, clearer and more stretchy; almost like egg white in quality. (Note antihistamines dry up mucus everywhere, not only in the head and chest) Just paying attention to these two bodily developments will incrementally improve your chances.
2. Participate in a strong social support system
The ability to share and express the many emotional peaks and valleys that you experiences during your fertility treatments can provide valuable peace of mind and a greater sense of control. Stress and depression disrupt the natural harmony of the body and reduce your chances for a successful pregnancy. A supportive group of like minded people will help reduce the stress which is important to creating a healthy environment for conception.
3. Get a full medical reproductive evaluation
The benefits of having a comprehensive female and male reproductive evaluation, including any lab work, imaging and diagnostics will greatly enhance your chances by giving your reproductive healthcare team the most complete and necessary information to deliver the best possible combinations of treatments. Developing a relationship with a reproductive healthcare provider that you trust and feel good with is extremely important. This will reduce your stress level and improve your chances for a successful pregnancy.
4. Explore complimentary therapies with licensed practitioners that have been proven effective for fertility enhancement, such as: Acupuncture, Botanical Medicines, Yoga, Qi-Gong, Deep Tissue Uterine Massage therapies
Many research studies have shown the fertility enhancing value of complimentary therapies. One clinical Acupuncture study recently demonstrated the ability to optimize endometrial receptivity, resulting in almost double the pregnancy rate than that of IVF or ICSI alone. Complementary therapies can significantly enhance your chance of delivering a healthy baby. Additional benefits can also be achieved with the combined use of other complimentary practices that have demonstrated benefits on conditions ranging from fallopian tube obstruction, fibroids, endometriosis, and menstrual irregularities.
5. Developing a daily relaxation discipline can greatly improve emotional well being
The benefits of being able to access a consistent and calm personal emotional space, has been demonstrated by the Harvard Medical School Mind Body Institute to measurably improve take home baby rates.
6. Developing a nutritional plan to improve your fertility odds takes a little time however this is one of the more important changes you can make
As food and air are the primary means of sustaining life, it is essential that in wanting to create new life that a specific and appropriate nutritional plan be created that include the many essential ingredients that help lay the foundation for optimum maternal and embryonic health. Consulting with a trained professional with experience in the treatment of fertility can be extremely rewarding.
7. Join a facilitated group that explores cognitive behavioral techniques, enhanced communication skills and emotional expression.
Over 20 years of studies and practice by the Harvard Medical School Mind Body Institute have shown that by participating in facilitated Mind–Body therapy can result in significant and measurably improved take home baby rates in excess of 50%.
8. Take the time to reconnect with your spiritual practice
What ever your personal beliefs, set aside time to reconnect with the practice that provides you with a deeper sense of control and belonging. One of the biggest complaints expressed by women suffering with infertility is that they feel “out of control.” Reconnecting with yourself and your spiritual practice can help you regain control of your fertility journey. Having the tools and knowledge to control and understand your journey can help reduce the stress and anxiety experienced.
9. Having a balanced exercise program assures that your body is functioning at top capacity
It is very important that a correct and balanced personal exercise regime be practiced, in most cases this means a consistent light to moderate routine, but in others it may actually mean less exercise. Consulting with a trained professional can help balance your exercise program.
10. Receiving proper pregnancy support
Having a healthy child does not stop at conception. Receiving the proper support during pregnancy can help to minimize recurrent miscarriages as well as other complications. Preparing for the time when you become pregnant and having the right physical and emotional treatment and support structure will further promote your full term healthy pregnancy. Research shows that the use of pre-birth acupuncture can help reduce labor by almost two hours. It also demonstrates a reduced rate of medical intervention.
About the Author
Dr. Marc Sklar is one of the founders and clinical director of Reproductive Wellness™, a clinic devoted to providing treatment and training programs and retreats for infertility and pregnancy support.
Even though infertility is affecting more and more couples, in reality very few women are actually clinically infertile - most women and their partners are simply not physically and emotionally in full reproductive balance. Some have difficulty just conceiving, others suffering from recurrent miscarriage. To address this growing problem Dr. Marc Sklar co-founded Reproductive Wellness™. Dr. Sklar has developed a very effective all-natural infertility treatment program for helping women and their partners conceive, sustain a full term pregnancy, and deliver a health child.