Children are a wonderful part of life and a source of joy for many families. However, many couples have a difficult time getting pregnant and may experience infertility.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines infertility as a situation where a couple has been having unprotected sex for a long period of time but still cannot get pregnant. For women under 30 years old, they are said to be experiencing infertility if they’ve been trying to get pregnant for a year or more, and for women over 30, it is six months or more. Many couples struggle with infertility, and specialized fertility treatments can be very expensive because they are usually not covered by insurance.
Let’s talk about some fertility options that are recommended by family nurse practitioners specializing in women’s health, and where you can go in Kent, Washington, for outstanding medical care that can boost your fertility.
Solutions for Infertility
Fortunately, there are safe, cost-effective options to increase fertility at home. The following are ways in which you can increase your fertility with simple at-home supplements, medications, and tests as recommended by a family nurse practitioner:
About one-third of infertility problems are male-based, another third is female-based, and the remaining third are due to both partners. If the infertility problems are male based, it means there may be issues with the sperm.
To see if there are issues with the sperm, you and your partner can conduct a sperm analysis at home with an over the counter (nonprescription) testing kit which you can buy at a pharmacy. To do the test, you simply put semen in the collection cup that comes with the testing kit and follow the instructions to test the quality of the semen.
The YO Home Sperm Test is an excellent solution. This test rates the health of the sperm by measuring the number of sperm in the sample that are moving properly (motility), and the quality of the sperm. It then compares the health of the sperm to the health of sperm from men who have fathered children.
If the YO test scores the sperm as healthy, then you know the issue is not male-based – and you can focus on ways to improve female-based fertility. If the sperm is indeed unhealthy, you may want to schedule an appointment with fertility specialist to discuss next steps in improving male fertility.
If you’d like to use the YO Home Sperm Test, you can buy it by clicking here and use the discount code KENT25 to get 25% off your purchase!
Ovulation Predictor Kit
To increase your chances of getting pregnant, it is best to have sex when you are most fertile, or most able to get pregnant. At different points in your menstrual cycle, your ability to get pregnant changes. You are least fertile during your period, and the most fertile when you are ovulating. This is when an egg is released from an ovary and is ready to be fertilized.
To determine when you are ovulating, you can use an ovulation predictor kit. This is an at-home test that checks for a rise in the luteinizing hormone (LH) which causes women’s bodies to release an egg into the fallopian tube.
Many of these kits work like a pregnancy test and require you to urinate on a test stick and wait for the lines to change color. If the second line is darker than the first line, it means you will ovulate soon – and you should have intercourse that day and the day after.
It is best to start using the test sticks about 14 days before your next period. This is because you ovulate about halfway through your menstrual cycle, which is typically 28 days. However, if your cycle is 35 days, then you should be ovulating about 20 days before your next period. Every woman’s cycle is different, so it can be helpful to consult a family nurse practitioner to help you more precisely calculate when you may be ovulating and when you should use the test sticks.
Keep in mind that this test does not confirm whether ovulation has occurred. To confirm that ovulation has occurred, you must use a progesterone test. This measures the hormone progesterone, which is released into your body after ovulation. So, the ovulation predictor test tells you if you are ovulating soon, and the progesterone test tells you if you’ve indeed ovulated.
The PROOV Ovulation Confirmation Kit conveniently contains both ovulation tests and progesterone tests. You can get the PROOV Ovulation Confirmation Kit by clicking here, and you can also use the discount code KENT25 to get 25% off your order!
Another way to increase fertility is for the woman to take folic acid (folate, or vitamin B-9) supplements. Folic acid is a nutrient that is important to the health of your eggs and the health of the baby when you become pregnant.
Women who take multivitamins with folic acid are more likely to ovulate regularly, which means they release eggs consistently every month. In addition, folic acid helps to prevent early-pregnancy problems that can lead to miscarriage. Ideally, you should start taking 800 micrograms of folic acid at least 6 months before trying to get pregnant to make sure there is enough of the nutrient in your body to increase your fertility.
Continue taking the folic acid once you become pregnant and through the breastfeeding stage, as it is an important nutrient when your baby is young and growing quickly.
A menstrual disc is an alternative to tampons and pads that women use to collect period blood. It has a flexible rim that is connected to a soft plastic “basket.” To use it, you put it into the vagina, and it sits right below the cervix and catches the blood that is leaving the uterus.
Some women use menstrual discs after sex to help keep the sperm near the cervix, thereby increasing the chance of sperm entering the uterus and fertilizing an egg. Although there have not been many research studies on menstrual discs and fertility, menstrual discs are an inexpensive and accessible fertility option. Brands like Softdisc cost about $15 for a package of 15 discs, which are each meant to be used once and then thrown out.
Metformin is a medication that is prescribed to treat diabetes as well as PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome). Studies have shown it also helps women ovulate, especially those with PCOS. Because metformin has multiple medical uses, all primary healthcare providers can prescribe it, not just fertility specialists. Metformin is an excellent alternative to other prescription fertility treatments, which tend to be more expensive.
Some people do not experience an increase in fertility with metformin alone, so you may also be prescribed letrozole – which is another drug that encourages ovulation. Taken together, metformin and letrozole help women ovulate, especially if they have issues ovulating due to PCOS. If the combination of these two still aren’t increasing your fertility, you should go to an infertility specialist.
Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner in Kent, Washington
At FamilyCare of Kent, our board-certified and experienced family nurse practitioners provide sexual healthcare for women of all ages and from all walks of life. We also provide care to teens and young women who are looking to improve or maintain their overall health and wellness.
Our goal is to provide quality primary care for entire families in a warm and comforting environment that is close to home. If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment, call FamilyCare of Kent today at (253) 859-2273 (CARE) or fill out our convenient online request form. We look forward to serving you!