December 2013 eNews
Plan Now if Your Resolution is to Have a Baby by the End of 2014
If your goal is to have a baby by the end of 2014, now is the time to be proactive about your fertility plan. A few simple steps can put you on your way!
- Mother yourself. Eat well, sleep well and get a little bit of exercise every day. Visit your OB/Gyn, your primary care physician and your dentist for a check-up. A clean bill of health in the months before you conceive is a wise first step on the path towards a healthy pregnancy. If your doctors discover any problems, now is the time to address them.
- Begin taking a daily prenatal vitamin that contains at least 1mg (1000mcg) of folic acid. This easy and inexpensive step can drastically decrease the odds of having a baby with a specific type of birth defect. Research indicates that folic acid taken in the months prior to conception is just as important as it is during pregnancy.
- Consult a fertility specialist if you have been trying to get pregnant without success for over one year. If you are over age 35, the recommendation is to consult a specialist after just six months of trying. Genetics & IVF Institute is offering free fertility consults through the end of January. Call today to schedule your appointment.
- Take your fertility evaluation one step at a time but start as soon as possible. Diagnostic testing is completed by both partners, but the woman’s testing is the most time-sensitive because her testing must be done at specific points during her 28-day menstrual cycle. Blood tests are performed on the woman during the early part (day 2 or 3) of the menstrual cycle in order to evaluate ovarian reserve (egg quality). A special type of test that can evaluate the uterus and fallopian tubes should be completed between days 5 – 11 of the menstrual cycle. Of course a sperm test can be scheduled at any time for the male partner. The most common delay relating to the semen analysis is procrastination! Men frequently put this off as long as possible. However once they see that the clinic staff is very discreet and professional, the idea of a semen analysis becomes less stressful. The necessity for specific timing of the woman’s testing is the biggest reason that delays can happen. If a test is unable to be performed the next window won’t roll around for another month. For this reason, we advise couples to begin evaluation as soon as possible. Test results don’t expire for a year, so there is no obligation to begin treatment right away if you’re not ready for any reason. However, if the testing is delayed due to work or vacation plans, or if any of the testing produces a diagnosis that requires intervention prior to treatment, months can be lost.
- After meeting with your physician to review the results, together you will finalize the treatment plan. If the plan includes intrauterine insemination (IUI) or in vitro fertilization (IVF) your primary nurse will guide you step-by-step into your treatment.
- One little-known fact is that it is very common to be prescribed a short course (roughly 3 weeks) of birth control pills prior to an IVF cycle. This is done in order to increase the effectiveness of the IVF medication and to help plan the cycle more precisely but because the birth control pill must be started in the first week of a woman’s menstrual cycle - this presents another possible opportunity for a delay if the window is missed. A good rule of thumb is to always advise your nurse when your period starts; she will inform you of any testing or medication instructions.
In order to reach a due date on or before December 2014, it is best to complete the diagnostic testing in January or February so that a treatment cycle can begin by the first half of March. Time flies on the road to pregnancy, and speed bumps are often encountered along the way so it’s best to prepare in advance. Whether you’re trying for your first baby or considering adding to your family in 2014, now is the time to take action!
Watch a video featuring Lauren Haring, Director of Nursing, to learn what patients can expect upon starting treatment at GIVF.
ELECTIVE OOCYTE PRESERVATION
GIVF Provides the Best Option for Fertility Preservation
GIVF, the first clinic to offer elective egg freezing for fertility preservation in the Washington, DC area, also offers the best, most affordable option to preserve your future fertility options: Personal Egg Banking SM.
For $4,500, a patient receives one stimulated IVF cycle that includes: one retrieval, cryopreservation and one year of free storage.
While many clinics are now claiming to offer elective egg freezing, very few have GIVF’s many years of experience of actually making babies with frozen eggs. GIVF has many years of experience vitrifying eggs and embryos and has also established a national egg bank using vitrified eggs. GIVF conducted an internal trial over many years to prove not only that eggs could be frozen successfully, but very importantly, that the eggs would produce viable pregnancies when they were thawed and used in a transfer.
In freezing eggs you want to have peace of mind that they will be safely cryopreserved and stored and will be viable when you decide to use them in the future. GIVF, a national leader in cryopreservation, storage and egg banking, gives you that assurance.
While the holidays seem like they are flying by at lightning speed, there is still a lot of time before we start working on those New Year’s resolutions. Why not give yourself an early gift and start working on healthy habits during the holidays? Everyone is busy, but if you focus on a few manageable healthy holiday habits over the next few weeks you can keep the holiday weight gain at bay and give yourself a head start on your healthy New Year’s resolutions.
- Set manageable goals – You have to make a plan to know where you are going. What are you going to achieve? I challenge you to look beyond weight loss goals for the next few weeks and focus on tangible actions you can take on a daily basis. Don’t try and do it all, just pick two to three goals that you can really commit to. Here are a few examples:
- drink water with every meal
- fill half of your plate with fruits and vegetables for lunch and dinner
- have one dessert a week
- have one drink at holiday functions
Write your goals down and post them above your desk or on your refrigerator as a helpful daily reminder of what you’re focusing on this month.
- Get yourself (and your family) moving. I purposely say “moving” versus “sweating.” It doesn’t take a lot to get your heartbeat up and you don’t even have to break a sweat (though it sure feels good when you do). Add a “movement” goal to your list like “I’m going to take the stairs every day” or “I’m going to walk around the building during lunch.” You get extra points if you can find ways to involve your family. You could sign your family up for a “fun run” during December, resurrect the flag football game you used to play as kids or do some outside yard work like raking leaves or shoveling snow. You will reconnect as a family and forget the cold weather that usually keeps you indoors.
- Indulge, but do it mindfully – It’s the holidays so don’t deprive yourself of traditions and treats that only come once a year, but when you do indulge, do it mindfully. Mindful eating is the concept of tuning into your body and savoring the food you eat. You do it by bringing awareness to serving and eating your food. Try concentrating on the buffet when you serve yourself and make trade-offs for what you really want to eat. Sit down at a table to enjoy your food. Really taste how something feels on your tongue and savor the tastes and smells that make this a special holiday dish. When you eat mindfully you get more satisfaction out of your meals, feel less deprived and hopefully eat less as a result.
It may already be December, but there is plenty of time to make a few changes that will set you up for success in the New Year. If you keep it simple, commit to a handful of changes and hold yourself accountable, you can develop some great healthy habits to take you into 2014 and beyond!
Carla Sidhu is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) providing nutrition counseling in Falls Church, Virginia. You can learn more about her services by calling her at 703.608.0280.
The Genetics & IVF Institute (GIVF) regularly publishes an informative newsletter featuring the latest infertility news and developments. The newsletter is sent electronically via email. To subscribe, click here.