6 Steps to Becoming a Healthy Mother: Attain Fertility Offers Advice in Honor of Mother's Day
(Purchase, NY) As mothers everywhere prepare to be celebrated on May 13 for Mother’s Day, thousands of women who hope to become mothers will be coping with issues of infertility, a disease that affects = about 12% of the reproductive-age population in the U.S.1 Attain Fertility®, which includes the nation’s largest network of fertility clinics as well as fertility education and support, understands how difficult Mother’s Day can be for those women struggling with infertility, and offers 6 key points for them to consider on their journeys to achieving successful pregnancies.
Contrary to the Rolling Stones song, time is not on a woman’s side when it comes to having a baby. That’s why it’s important for women who have been unsuccessful in becoming pregnant to see a fertility specialist early on. A woman’s biological clock is very real. Women are born with all of the eggs they will ever have, and by age 30 they will have lost 90% of those eggs,2 and fertility significantly declines ten years or more before menopause which typically occurs between ages 45-55.
With many women choosing to start a family later in life or holding off during these uncertain economic times, this is not necessarily good news as their chances for becoming pregnant rapidly begin to decrease along with their supply of fertile eggs. “Most women don’t understand that even though they feel young and fit, what’s going on internally is very different,” comments Dr. Susan Willman, a reproductive endocrinologist at Reproductive Science Center of the San Francisco Bay Area, a part of the Attain Fertility Network.
- Know the Facts
It’s important for women to work with a fertility specialist to understand their unique fertility issues and options that can range from surgery and drug treatment to assisted reproductive technology, like intrauterine insemination (IUI) and in vitro fertilization (IVF). “With all the choices available today, we work carefully with our patients to find one that will allow them to conceive and have a baby,” explains Dr. Willman.
- Tip the Scales
Being overweight or underweight are both linked with infertility. Women should know their body mass index (BMI) and what their ideal weight should be. “Another factor many women tend to overlook is their weight, and not just being overweight. Being over- or underweight are both linked to fertility issues, making it harder for women to get pregnant,” explains Dr. Willman. A healthy diet and consistent exercise routine are key to not only becoming pregnant, but for maintaining a healthy pregnancy.
- Kick the Habit
Smoking is a serious infertility risk factor causing damage to fallopian tubes and the cervix, making conception more difficult. Smoking is also known to cause a decrease in a woman’s egg supply, age a woman’s ovaries at a faster rate than normal, and may bring about early menopause.
- Stress Less
Dealing with fertility issues can be an emotional roller coaster. Dr. Willman and other fertility experts agree that the best thing women trying to conceive can do for themselves during this exciting and unpredictable time, is to find ways to alleviate stress. Meditation, specially-designed yoga classes, and acupuncture, are ways to reduce stress and support a healthy physical and mental body. Personal psychological counseling, support groups, and learning to just walk away and enjoy something fun and different can also help women maintain a strong, positive outlook throughout their journey to motherhood.
- Dollars and Sense
It’s no secret that the cost of fertility treatment is high. However, it’s often difficult to understand just how much it will cost. Unfortunately, many people facing fertility treatments as their only option to becoming pregnant give up without learning about all of the financing options that are available to make treatments affordable. Attain® IVF, for example, is a financial product available to patients at clinics within the Attain Fertility Network that helps manage the cost of IVF treatment.
“I encourage people to schedule an initial consultation and learn what their treatment options are,” says Sharon Brooks, Attain IVF’s Customer Care Supervisor. “Taking that first step really gives people peace of mind. After that the next step is to learn about all of the different financing options that are available. From insurance benefits to finding a financing plan that suits their needs, there are many, many options available to people who want to start a family.”