January 2014 eNews
Five Things You're Probably Not Doing, But Should Consider When Trying To Get Pregnant
- Be cautious about what supplements and medications you are taking. Herbal remedies or supplements can significantly affect hormone levels. You may be inadvertently sabotaging your efforts to conceive if you take an herbal supplement that hasn't been cleared by your doctor. Some common medications (such as some allergy medications) are contraindicated for pregnancy and can harm a developing fetus. If you are taking any herbs, supplements or medications, please clear them through your OB/Gyn or fertility specialist.
- Take stock of your overall health. Lack of sleep (less than seven hours nightly), an unbalanced diet, too little or too much exercise, poor dental hygiene, as well as excessive intake of alcohol and caffeine all can affect fertility. Smoking, even just occasionally, can drastically decrease odds of conception and increase odds of miscarriage. Consider visiting your general practitioner for a physical and your dentist for a routine check-up to be sure your overall health and your habits maximize your chance for pregnancy.
- Stop having so much sex! Many people assume that they should have sex as much as possible when trying to conceive, but that's not necessarily true. Sperm quality is optimized after one or two days of abstinence. Unless otherwise instructed by your doctor, a man should have two to three ejaculations per week during the month when he and his partner are trying to conceive. Having sex multiple times a day for multiple days is neither optimal, nor necessary to conceive.
- Time sex appropriately. If you are using an ovulation predictor kit (OPK), you may assume that you need to have sex as soon as the ovulation predictor kit is positive, but that's incorrect. In fact, a positive OPK indicates an LH surge, which precedes ovulation by 12-36 hours, so the ideal time to have sex is 24 hours after an OPK turns positive.
- Consider all of your options for building a family. It's okay to do a little research into every option available to you. Unfortunately, many couples worry that doing so is tantamount to throwing in the towel on their hopes of conceiving on their own. Choices such as adoption, donor egg, gestational carrier, or foster parenting are not for everybody, but allowing yourself the chance to consider these options without fear or judgment can be liberating. There are many paths to having the loving, happy family you desire. Explore your options!
Experts Discuss Whether the Affordable Care Act Changes
Coverage for Infertility Treatment
Although implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is sparking significant changes in health care coverage, experts say the new law does not increase coverage for infertility treatment or require changes in most existing coverage.
Sean Tipton of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine says, "I expect the ACA will have very little impact on infertility coverage."
Despite "lots of concern and worry over what might happen, we see very little affect from the ACA," says Barbara Collura, president of RESOLVE: the National Infertility Association.
"We are watching closely those states with an IVF mandate to see what happens over the next two years and to ensure that those mandates remain in place," Ms. Collura added. Maryland, Massachusetts and six other states have IVF "mandates."
During the coming months, RESOLVE will continue to post information about the ACA and infertility treatment on its website, www.RESOLVE.org.
Although coverage for infertility treatment is not directly affected by the ACA, Ms. Collura pointed out that the new law does provide one important benefit for some individuals diagnosed with infertility. Since the ACA prohibits insurance companies from using pre-existing conditions as a reason to deny insurance coverage to new applicants, the companies can no longer use a pre-existing diagnosis of infertility as a reason to deny healthcare coverage, although that coverage may not include infertility treatment.
If you are considering treatment and want to know what your plan covers, consult your employee benefits department if your coverage is through your employer or consult GIVF's expert financial counselors for help.
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.