Planning to have a baby soon? Dr. Ardyce Yik ND offers the following tips to help you get started on your pre-pregnancy journey.
- Irregular periods or extremely painful periods? You need to ovulate to fall pregnant, and a regular menstrual cycle is an indication that you are ovulating when you’re supposed to. Excruciating pain during menstruation can be an indication of an inflammatory or underlying condition that can affect your fertility. If you have irregular periods or extremely painful periods, now is the time to seek medical attention. Do not wait for one year of trying to conceive before you seek help from a doctor.
- Take a folic acid (folate) supplement or prenatal supplement at least one month prior to trying to conceive. Your body uses folic acid for DNA synthesis and repair. Folic acid is a vital nutrient for healthy growth and development, and it is especially important for pregnant women. If you’re pregnant, folic acid is crucial in the development of your baby’s nervous system and neural tube.
- Consume less alcohol (or better yet, none at all), stop smoking, say no to recreational drugs. All these things can affect fertility including your egg quality and your partner’s sperm, not to mention increase the risk of birth defects, miscarriage and preterm labour.
- Visit your doctor for a health-check. Your doctor will run blood tests, do a PAP smear, assess your weight, check for STDs, test for heart-health issues like high blood pressure and cholesterol, make sure you are up-to-date on your vaccinations, as well as monitor any chronic conditions (such as diabetes, asthma, or thyroid problems).
- Overweight or underweight? Talk to your doctor if you are overweight or underweight, since either one can impede your ability to get pregnant.
- Concerned about toxins and wondering if you should detox? Experts are now discovering the link between toxic chemicals and a variety of different illnesses and conditions including infertility. Chemicals found in the air, household cleaners, laundry detergents and pesticides can potentially be harmful to our bodies, and research shows that increased exposure to these toxins may be affecting your chances of becoming pregnant. Furthermore, many health conditions that are adversely affecting children today can be traced back to environmental toxin exposure, according to Dr. Aviva Romm, a board-certified family physician who specializes in women’s health and obstetrics- who spent twenty-five years as a midwife and had four children before getting her M.D. at Yale University (she is also an herbalist). Talk to your doctor about any health concerns you may have prior to trying to conceive.
Dr. Yik uses a whole-body, personalized approach to help you optimize your health and prepare for a smooth, healthy pregnancy. She developed and is in charge of the Natural Fertility Enhancement Program and the Prenatal Care Program at IMI clinic in Hong Kong. She offers heavy metal testing, blood lab tests, DNA/ genetic testing, detoxification protocols, tailored pre-pregnancy/ prenatal programs and over 15 years of expertise to help you prepare your body to carry a healthy baby to term.
Jorge E. Chavarro, Janet W. Rich-Edwards, Bernard A. Rosner, and Walter C. Willett. Diet and Lifestyle in the Prevention of Ovulatory Disorder Infertility. Obstetrics & Gynecology (2007) Vol. 110, No. 5
Toft G, Hagmar L, Giwercman A, Bonde JP. Epidemiological evidence on reproductive effects of persistent organochlorines in humans. Reprod Toxicol (2004) 19:5–26.