3 ways to increase fertility

The world of infertility is full of  doctors appointments and refilling prescriptions and plotting things on your calendar. In the midst of all these “must dos”, it’s easy to overlook some of the simplest and most important things you should also do. Here are our top three.

1st Thing You Should Be Doing if Infertile

Get a copy of your medical records once a year. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) gives you the right to inspect, review, and receive a copy of your medical records and billing records. A provider cannot deny you a copy of your records for any reason including having failed to pay for care. There should be no charge if you request an electronic copy, but you may have to pay a reasonable fee for copying if you want a paper copy. There should be no fee for searching for or retrieving your records. For more information about the HIPAA privacy rule, go to S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office for Civil Rights. Once you have your records, read over them for accuracy and information.

2nd Thing You Should Be Doing if Infertile

Keep an infertility journal. I hate journaling. (And yes, I know that’s not popular to admit.) But regardless whether you want to or not, you need to be proactive with your infertility. Write down your ovulation days, your appointments, what the doctor said, what tests were run, what treatment prescribed. Include your emotional state. Were you depressed, were you feeling optimistic, were you sleeping well, etc. Use your journal to keep track of your treatment and to look for patterns.

3rd (and most important) Thing You Should Be Doing if Infertile

Do something that provides you with joy, relaxation and self-care as often as possible, but at the very least a couple of times a week. This is not a pie-in-the-sky kumbaya piece of advice—it is a real as the other two concrete suggestion. As much as I wish it weren’t true, stress affects fertility in general and may impact the effectiveness of fertility treatments, such as IVF. (See Does Stress Cause Infertility?) Taking care of yourself and finding everyday joy is a great way to reduce stress. And perhaps more important, it’s a great way to live your life so that you don’t look back at these years of struggle as wasted years or simply the prelude to the main act of your life.

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Originally published in 2015; Updated in 2017
Image credit: evelina zachariou