If you’ve spent the past year trying to conceive without success, the prospect of a brand new year may bring renewed hope and determination. It might also bring up difficult emotions as you've had to navigate another holiday season without a baby in your arms.
No matter which end of the spectrum you’re on right now, here are some simple steps you can take to maximize your chances of success with fertility treatment in 2023.
In this article:
5 Doctor-Approved Tips for Trying to Conceive
As a fertility specialist who works with patients every day to help make family-building dreams a reality, I know how difficult it can be to maintain optimism and hopefulness while trying to conceive. While many things are out of your control on your journey, there are some actionable steps you can take as we enter the new year.
Here are five recommendations to help you maximize your chances of success:
#1 Make a Plan
If you haven’t chosen a fertility clinic yet, now is the time to do your research and find the practice that’s right for you. Fertility clinic schedules book up quickly, and the start of a new year is often when many hopeful parents decide to start treatment, so it helps to plan ahead when scheduling your appointment.
Keep in mind that all fertility patients typically undergo fertility testing in order to rule out potential roadblocks to pregnancy, and that takes time. In order to achieve your fertility goals sooner, factor in time for fertility testing and possible procedures that will need to take place before you can begin fertility treatment.
Already working with a fertility specialist? Reach out and ask any questions you may have about your next steps so you can enter the new year feeling confident and prepared for what’s to come.
#2 Get to Know Your Insurance Coverage
If you have an insurance plan that offers fertility coverage, be sure to do a deep dive on what is covered (and what’s not) to help eliminate frustrating surprises in the new year. Start by calling the number listed on the back of your insurance card or talk to your employer's HR department to better understand your coverage.
#3 Reach Out for Support
Going through fertility challenges can be an incredibly isolating experience, but you don’t have to go it alone. With one in eight couples experiencing infertility, there are likely more people around you dealing with similar struggles than you might expect.
Here are a few ways to support your mind and body:
Find a Fertility Support Group
Many organizations (and some fertility clinics) offer virtual support groups, so you don’t even have to leave your house to connect with others. Here at Illume Fertility, we offer free, virtual support groups like Ladies' Night In, Pregnancy After Infertility, Fertile Yoga and more.
Prioritize Your Mental Health
It’s easy to focus so intensely on your physical health during a fertility journey that you completely forget about your mental wellbeing.
Did you know that studies have shown that those navigating infertility often experience the same levels of anxiety and depression as patients with cancer? More proof that this journey is indeed extremely challenging and emotionally complex. Being able to talk with a licensed therapist or a trusted friend or family member can help you navigate that stress.
Create a Support Network
This can include friends, family, and healthcare professionals – anyone you can trust to be an empathetic listening ear, a source of accurate information, or someone who can relate to what you’re going through. Don't be afraid to lean on your people when things get tough.
Try Acupuncture or Massage
The physical toll of fertility struggles and treatment can leave your body feeling sore, tired and uncomfortable. Modalities like acupuncture or massage therapy can decrease those side effects and help you care for your body throughout the process.
Did you know? Laser acupuncture has been proven to increase the odds of a successful embryo implantation by up to 15%. Pretty incredible!
#4 Be Proactive About Your Health
As anyone who has been on a fertility journey will tell you, there’s a lot of waiting involved. Waiting for next steps, waiting for appointments, waiting for procedures and waiting for test results. One way to help make all that waiting go by a little faster is by getting proactive about your preconception health.
By concentrating on preparing your body and mind to be the healthiest place possible for your future baby, you will be taking actionable steps, which leads to you feeling more in control. A great way to work on this is by following our 90-day preconception health checklist, which will guide you through all the areas you should focus on.
Working on your health prior to pregnancy can lead to improved fertility treatment outcomes and a healthier mom and baby. It can also shorten the amount of time it takes for you to successfully conceive.
By implementing simple lifestyle changes, prioritizing your mental health, and getting the right nutrients now, you can help set yourself up for fertility treatment success in 2023.
#5 Know What You Can (and Can’t) Control
It can be difficult to accept that certain aspects of fertility are beyond your control. If you’re someone who is used to having a plan and knowing what’s next, embarking on a fertility journey can at times feel disorienting and frustrating.
Recognize that while this experience will not always be predictable, there are many ways you can be proactive and take back control on your path to parenthood.
Embrace the New Year with Hope
While it's not always easy, entering the new year with courage and optimism can help start things off on the right foot. Whether you are just starting your fertility journey or are already a seasoned warrior, planning ahead mentally, physically and financially for the fertility process can help to maximize your chances of success with fertility treatment in the new year.
The outlook is positive for 2023, as there are many different paths to parenthood and lots of treatment options available to help you achieve your dreams of growing your family.
From all of us here at Illume Fertility, we wish you a new year full of hope and joy.
Dr. Meyer is board certified in both reproductive endocrinology and obstetrics and gynecology. After graduating from the NYU School of Medicine, she completed both her residency and fellowship at New York Presbyterian Hospital - Weill Cornell Medical Center. Dr. Meyer joined Illume Fertility's physician team in 2020.