Preparing for fertility treatment can be both an exciting and stressful time. It is exciting to embark on the journey of building a family, but we understand it can also be a stressful time because of the inherent unknowns about the outcome. As you begin preparing for fertility treatment, it’s important to be in a ready-state: mind, body, and spirit. While it’s very easy to become inundated with the to-do list associated with fertility treatment, we encourage you to take each day one at a time and take care of yourself along the way.
10 Tips for Preparing for Fertility Treatment
1. Look for healthy ways to relieve stress.
We aren’t suggesting you need to plan an expensive vacation or trip to the spa, but get creative about what helps you to relieve stress. Perhaps it’s asking your partner to give you a massage, watch a funny movie or television show, play with your pets, or have a night in with close friends. Laughing can help you reduce your stress hormones and it can actually make you feel pretty good from the inside out.
2. Join a support group
It can be difficult to share with family and friends the emotional aspects of this journey, especially with people who are unfamiliar with infertility. However, without being able to talk to loved one about the process, it can feel very isolating. At SGF, our support groups are a community of men and women who are in your same shoes. The group comes together to listen, connect, share advice and experiences, and remind you that you are not alone in this process. Whether you are just now preparing for fertility treatment or have been through a cycle or two, it is never too early or late to find support.
3. Modify Your Diet
While you are mentally preparing for fertility treatment, use this time to also prepare your body. Treat food as fuel and opt for healthier alternatives when possible. Reach for an apple or handful of almonds when that mid-day hunger strikes and trade a side of french fries for seasonal veggies or a salad. Scheduling a consultation with a nutritionist at Shady Grove Fertility’s Wellness Center can help get and keep you on track with your diet and ensure that you’re eating plan is balanced and provides adequate caloric and nutrient intake. Our nutritionist can also provide tips for meal ideas and snacks to make it easier to stick with a plan.
4. Stay informed and ask questions
We know there is a lot going on physically and emotionally during this time. SGF’s entire staff is here to help. We offer a multitude of resources that provide you with information about your treatment, support you during your journey, and much more.
Take a look at some of our online tools that we offer to help you as you are preparing for fertility treatment:
5. Try a relaxation technique
The Wellness Center at Shady Grove Fertility provides complementary therapies such as, acupuncture, massage therapy, and nutrition counseling that support our patients during and while they are preparing for fertility treatment. Many people have found these therapies to reduce stress and keep them healthy: mentally, physically, and spiritually.
6. Drop the extras
Whether it’s clutter or pounds, neither one helps when it comes to preparing for fertility treatment. Excess clutter in your life can cause anxiety and unwanted stress. Tackle tasks around your home or office one thing at a time. Whether it’s the desk in your office, or the boxes in the attic, staying organized can give you more focus and can be a great stress reliever and weight loss activity, too! Losing any excess weight will set you up for greater success when you begin treatment.
7. Start a gratitude journal
One of the greatest things you can do for yourself is keep a gratitude journal. It’s pretty simple and can be done in just 5 minutes each day. Describe some of the things you are most grateful for. It can be something as little as when someone holds the door for you or gives you a seat on the metro. Whatever it is—small or large—if it makes you feel good, write about it! Get the Five Minute Journal App (for iPhone).
8. Get in shape
You don’t have to be at the gym every morning at 5 a.m., but it’s always good for your mind, body, and spirit to incorporate some form of cardiovascular exercise into your daily routine. Even if your schedule makes it difficult to get to the gym, try taking the stairs at work instead of the elevator, and walk instead of drive to pickup lunch during the day. Even a small weight loss can have a big gain when it comes to your fertility.
9. Pay it forward
Feed your soul by giving back to the community. Nothing makes us feel better about ourselves than knowing we really helped someone else in need. Let someone with only a few items go in front of you in the grocery line, offer to help an elderly neighbor, or volunteer at a local community shelter. What you give out, you will receive back.
10. Focus on today
Realize that not every day is going to be a good day, and that’s ok. Try and focus on the things you can control and let go of the things you can’t. When you get to the finish line and look back on your journey, you will hopefully agree that it was all worth the ride.
Editors Note: Article updates August 2017.
To learn more about preparing for fertility treatment or to schedule an appointment, please call our New Patient Center at 1-877-971-7755 or complete our online form.