Yet another year has passed by us! We all intend to welcome the New Year with new goals and plans to work towards a better us. Some will be making New Year resolutions like ‘I want to lose weight’ ‘I want to grow a step higher in my career’. For some couples, the New Year resolutions might be ‘It’s time to have a child in our family’. What could be the New Year resolutions for couples? We have interviewed Fertility Specialist, Dr Agilan Arjunan from KL Fertility Centre, for his suggestions on the 10 New Year Resolutions for Couples.
We can divide couples into two groups, to whom this list might be beneficial for:
- Those who want to take time in planning a family.
- Those who have been trying to start a family but the past years have been very stressful for them.
Dr Agilan hopes that these resolutions will give them a new direction and a focus: What can they do this year? Let’s hear what Dr Agilan has to say in his own words.
You have to get the mindset right; it’s time to move to the next level in your relationship to become parents and to welcome a new member into the family. Time and tide waits for no man. My advice to couples would be not to think that it is fine to delay starting a family, since it might be the same story the following year as well. The most important thing here is to make the decision about the timeline.
2. Set A Reasonable Time Limit
Every couple trying for a child has to set a reasonable time limit. You have to decide how long you are going to keep trying. Now, when it comes to time if you do not set a start and an end point, whatever task that you have is going to take all of your time.
How does one decide? The general advice is to try for a year. However, take note that this advice does not apply to everyone. This general rule applies to someone who is young. When comes to fertility, I will say less than 30 years of age is young because we do not anticipate problems at this age.
For someone who is between 30 – 35 years, we would advise to try for about 6 months. Generally, once you have passed 35 years of age, fertility starts to decline. We would advise patients to take a baseline fertility test. In some cases, the couples may already be aware that they have issues with male infertility or female infertility such as endometriosis. We advise couples to get a fertility check earlier rather than later. This would help early intervention.
3. Be truthful to yourself
Couples need to be open about the problem of infertility. They need to accept the fact that there is a problem and work towards a solution. Avoiding the problem and not addressing it will only delay solutions and also affect both the partners. So being truthful to oneself and facing the problem is essential.
4. Doing what is right
Couples need to be there for each other not only physically but emotionally as well. We are all busy with work. We are off to work before sunrise and back after sunset. This affects quality time between partners. So it is not just about being “there” but being there for each other. The more time you spend with each other and the higher the frequency of intimate relationship, the higher the chance of you in getting pregnant.
5. Eat right
My advice on eating right is to eat a balanced and healthy diet. A regular meal in adequate proportion is vital. Various diet regimes have been introduced to enhance fertility. Whatever the regime is, ideally it should be easy to follow and comprise of vital nutritional components. Avoid strict diet regimes that are stressful.
So what about coffee? Try to limit coffee intake up to 2 cups per day. Too much caffeine will impact fertility negatively. Drinks such as tea, Chinese tea and chocolate also contain caffeine.
6. Fitness matters
A tree does not bear fruits if it is not nurtured from sapling.
Fertility is exactly the same, you need to nurture your body today and not wait for tomorrow. Even though fertility technology has improved, sometimes it does not help everybody. Couples have to realize that even when they are not ready to start their family, they need to take care of their health.
I would say exercise at least three times a week. Be active. For those who have already started an IVF, they can still exercise but not excessively.
7. Change of lifestyle
Fertility and smoking are very much related. My advice to heavy smokers would be to cut down on number of cigarettes smoked daily. It is not easy to stop cold turkey. However it is often easier to gradually reduce the number of sticks per day and aim to stop.
Alcohol abuse also affects fertility negatively. Alcohol consumed in moderation is healthy. However, alcohol abuse or binge drinking is a big NO to fertility.
8. Start something new this year
Indulging in a hobby can help couples reduce their stress and mundane routines. It adds a bit of colour to your life. So if you are too stressed out due to repeated failure to conceive, start a new hobby or activity today.
9. Keep track of your health
Aim to achieve a routine health screen annually. This is important because conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure are more prevalent in the younger populations these days. These conditions, if left undetected, can affect your fertility adversely. So aim for early detection to improve fertility health.
Have an aim and stick to the plan. The biggest distraction is YOU. The couple needs to focus all their effort in achieving their target to have a baby. More often than not, couples get distracted away from their goal by social and work commitments. I’m sure with some soul searching; you will find a right balance.
So, there you have the 10 New Year Resolutions for Couples. Have you made yours?
This article was first published here.