A Strategic Plan for Your Fertility
By Dr. Ryan Funk, Dr.TCM, FABORM on Wed, Jun 12 2013
If you are one of the thousands of couples having trouble conceiving, there are some simple things you can do to increase your chances of both natural and assisted pregnancies. I wanted to pass along some simple strategies that will help optimize your chances of a healthy pregnancy each month.
By going over a quick plan of your fertility, you will find some areas that you are strong in and others that you may have overlooked. Talking with your partner and going over these basics of fertility will help identify any possible problems that may be interfering with conception.
Fertility Plan Part 1 - When to Try To Conceive
Although this sounds simple, I often have couples who have been trying to conceive at the wrong time in their cycle. I recently had a patient who has undergone an IVF and is planning for her second IVF but realized she hasn't been trying naturally anywhere close to her fertile window. The most fertile time during a womans cycle is just prior to ovulation. Trying to track and identify this fertile window can be key to identifying the optimal time to have intercourse. This is especially true if there is a male factor involved, such as low sperm count.
Fertility Plan Part 2 - Healthy Soil, Healthy Pregnancy
Make sure both male and female are healthy before trying to get pregnant. As it takes two to have a healthy pregnancy, we want to optimize the health of both parents. I recently had a male client come in who had low sperm count and very poor motility. After several months of acupuncture, diet adjustments, and supplements, his count has almost tripled and his motility surpassed normal levels. This increases his chances of naturally conceiving with his wife. He is also now passing along healthier sperm to create a child with greater vitality.
Fertility Plan Part 3 - Know When to Ask for Help
This is an interesting step as it can be made at any time during your fertility journey. I have had single young women looking to preserve their fertility come in for consultations and treatment. These women are very pro active even though they are not actively trying to conceive. When the time comes for them to try to conceive, their body will be in a better state to achieve their fertility goal. It's never to early or to late to ask for help or more information regarding your fertility. Anytime a woman has been trying to conceive for six months to a year it may be time to be more proactive in this process. This could mean going to see their Western doctor for blood work or going for a more natural approach through Chinese Medicine.
Fertility Plan Part 4 - Are All the Pieces in Place for Conception?
This somewhat follows what was discussed above but in slightly more detail. Look at the four basic things that need to be in place to conceive. If one of these four steps is not happening then a pregnancy will not happen.
- A - Is there an egg (are you ovulating)?
- B - Is there sperm?
- C - Did sperm and egg meet? Was it proper timing or did anything physically block them?
- D - Implantation. Can a healthy embryo implant into the uterine lining?
Each of the above four steps can be broken down into multiple, more complex items but they are the main things that need to happen for a pregnancy to occur. When going through any fertility strategic plan, looking into these four steps is extrememly important.
If you have been trying to conceive without success or are concerned about your fertility, talking with a specialist to help put together a plan will offer great benefit. Applying a few simple strategies towards a greater level of health that optimizes your fertility can make this journey much more successful.
Doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine
Fellow of the American Board of Oriental and Reproductive Medicine