Will I get pregnant if I quit smoking?

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Will I get pregnant if I quit smoking?

✅Quitting at least 3️⃣ months before trying for a baby is important to make sure the sperm is healthy when the baby is conceived.

Men and women who smoke take longer to get pregnant than non-smokers. Second-hand smoke is almost as damaging as smoking and women who are exposed to second-hand smoke take longer to conceive than women who are not. The chemicals in cigarettes can cause damage to eggs and sperm which affects a future child’s health.

❓Why❓ Because smoking affects every stage of the reproduction process – in both men and women.

Smoking affects:

🛑the DNA (genetic material) in eggs and sperm
men’s and women’s hormone production
🛑the fertilised egg’s ability to reach the uterus
🛑the environment inside the uterus, where the baby grows.
Research shows that smokers are more likely to experience infertility than non-smokers.

Should I be worried if my partner smokes marijuana?

Men who have smoked marijuana at some point in their life had significantly higher concentrations of sperm when compared with men who have never smoked marijuana, according to new research led by Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. The study, conducted in the Fertility Clinic at Massachusetts General Hospital, also found that there was no significant difference in sperm concentrations between current and former marijuana smokers.

These unexpected findings highlight how little we know about the reproductive health effects of marijuana, and in fact of the health effects of marijuana in general.

📝Analysis of the semen samples showed that men who had smoked marijuana had average sperm concentrations of 62.7 million sperm per milliliter of ejaculate while men who had never smoked marijuana had average concentrations of 45.4 million sperm per milliliter of ejaculate. Only 5 percent of marijuana smokers had sperm concentrations below 15 million sperm per milliliter (the World Health Organization’s threshold for “normal” levels) compared with 12 percent of men who had never smoked marijuana.

❗️Unfortunately, science doesn’t always have the conclusive answers we crave — but given what the medical community does know, for the time being, choosing❌ not to smoke weed if you’re trying to get pregnant is the safest approach to avoid possible health effects on conception and the fetus down the line.

Tired of Having Sex for Conception?

Scheduled sex, when actively trying to get pregnant, can make it feel like a chore. As a result, it is natural for sexual spontaneity to all but disappears, and for one or both partners to end up feeling unsatisfied and/or struggling with sexual anxiety. It’s important for the sake of the relationship, as well as getting pregnant, that you continue to have sex but also that you continue to enjoy it. It’s a way that we can bond with our partner, show intimacy and a way that we can feel good about each other. If you are struggling with the routine of timed-intercourse and looking for ideas to maintain sexual intimacy, the following suggestions may help:

💝Define what good sex means to both of you and explore how you achieve that. For some people that means longer, harder, faster, for others, it might be having a giggle and enjoying the moment. Remember good sex doesn’t have to mean penetration, while it’s important when you are trying to conceive if your aim is also to have pleasure, intimacy, and connect with your partner, explore other acts that will help you achieve this.

💝It’s really important to communicate. If you are feeling sexually dissatisfied, discuss it with your partner but also give them a solution to the issue. Suggest a move, a product or getting help from a counsellor or therapist.

💝When we are having sex with somebody for a long period of time, we tend to get into a usual behavior pattern. If you are looking to spice things up in a relationship just choose one small thing to implement into your everyday behaviors that are different.

💝Make sure you celebrate what is working in your relationship. We can often get influenced by all the pressures around us that flaunt what other couples are doing or what we feel we are expected to be doing. Instead of focusing on what’s not going on in the relationship, celebrate what is, and make sure your mind is shifting from the negative to the positive.

💝Your mental state is also important. Women especially, if they are under stress, pressure and anxiety can pull away from their partner sexually. It can also stop them from experiencing sexual pleasure. It’s important to address any issues going on in the relationship but also to do a little bit of work to make sure each other feels desired, confident and comfortable in the relationship. It’s important that you not only feel desired but that you want to have sex and that you enjoy having it.

Mental Health on Your Fertility Journey

Focus on the present. You can’t change the past, so stop reliving the “should have’s” and “could have’s.” You can’t control the future either, so stop pre-living worries and anxieties. Try to stay in the present, because it’s the only place you can really choose to behave in ways that can reduce stress and anxiety.

Practice self-care. That means treating yourself even half as well as you treat your family and friends. Get enough sleep, exercise, time alone, and time with others to make yourself feel cared for. Practice being your own best friend! 

Talk to yourself. Give yourself a pep-talk, because what we say to ourselves is powerful. If others remind you that there’s always a way to build a family, it usually has little or no effect. But if you remind yourself that there’s always a way, your mood will usually lift. Try it!

Talk to others. There are many reasons to be reluctant about discussing infertility with family, friends, or in the workplace. You may want to keep medical issues private because you don’t want unsolicited advice, you don’t want to hear everyone else’s fertility stories, or because you feel there is a stigma attached to infertility. You may worry about keeping your job or even keeping your dating options open.

The result is that you may feel isolated just when you need understanding and support. Emotions are far more manageable when they are said aloud than when they’re buzzing in your head.

Focus on your work. As stressful and preoccupying as fertility treatments can be, work can provide an effective distraction from the persistent anxiety you may be feeling from infertility. Staying busy and active with projects can distract you, give you a sense of accomplishment, and help boost your self-esteem and confidence.

Try cognitive restructuring. Cognition refers to thinking; restructuring refers to creating new views. Together these terms tell us that we can choose to think in a new way, and the result can be new behaviors and feelings.

For example, when we focus on hopeless thoughts, we convince not only ourselves but also everyone around us that hope is not worth wasting energy on, and our inertia can make it true. This thought process is one of the major reasons patients drop out of fertility treatment. On the other hand, if we choose to be hopeful, we are more likely to approach problems with strategic behavior that leads to results that justify our hope—positive self-fulfilling prophecies. 

Check for depression. Mild depression may make you feel tired and sad. More severe depression may mean frequent crying, loss of appetite, and despair.

All signs of depression should be taken seriously and addressed to make sure that the suffering is alleviated as soon as possible. Whether it is triggered by hormonal therapy, recurrent pregnancy loss, treatment failure, financial or relationship stress, there is help available. Speak to your physician about a referral for therapy, support, and/or medication. A change or break in fertility treatment may help, too.

Work and play will help you cope with this journey, so don’t wait until you are overwhelmed. Make your mental health a priority now

Partner support through miscarriage

Miscarriage is something that impacts both partners, with each individual trying to process their recent loss. Even though as the partner you might not have felt the physical changes of pregnancy or miscarriage, the emotional loss and self-blame is still just as significant. As partners, you can experience things very differently, but the important part is being there for one another. Find out some of the strategies our fertility experts and counsellors recommend for staying connected and getting through it, together.

✅ Connect with your caregivers and be kind to each other.

Communicating is the first step, but sometimes you may need an external ear and this is where counselling can come in as an important element to help couples process their loss together. For the partner who did not physically carry the baby, they can place a lot of pressure on themselves to provide support for the person who did, and push their own grief aside. When you speak to someone such as a fertility counsellor, it can help both individuals by voicing their feelings out loud to someone outside of their relationship.

✅ Recognise that people experience things very differently.

As difficult as it is, try to remember that individuals experience things very differently, and try not to have expectations that your partner will feel or act in a certain way. Oftentimes, the grief is the same, but the expression of that grief can be different. Even if you’ve known your partner for years, they may not act in a way that you expect. And you don’t need to have the answer. The most important thing is to listen to each other, and let each other grieve in their own way.

✅ It’s ok to let the grief fill the room.

This can be uncomfortable, and that’s ok. Pregnancy loss is a very difficult thing to go through. Let yourselves acknowledge the hurt and the pain, together, and don’t be afraid for the grief to fill the room when you’re in a safe space.

✅ Keep connected and ask each other what’s helpful.

Because miscarriage and pregnancy loss is something outside of anyone’s control, it can take a few extra strategies to learn how to cope, and how to support each other through it. If you’ve been in a relationship for a long time, it can be easy to assume how your partner is feeling. This is why it’s so important to ask each other what you can do to provide support. You can each think about what is helpful for you and share these ideas. Sometimes, the partner who didn’t physically go through the pregnancy loss can feel that they are on the sideline. Each person in the relationship can become focused on processing things on their own – staying connected is important to prioritise. So take some time to do things you would normally enjoy doing together.

✅ Find a way to acknowledge the pregnancy.

When it comes to pregnancy loss, whether it’s week 7 or week 20, there is so much more than the biology of that loss that needs to be grieved. The dreams of the future with the baby, the initial excitement of the pregnancy, the milestones that go with expecting. These are all suddenly taken away when miscarriage occurs. When a family member or loved one passes away, we have ceremonies and traditions to allow our grief to surface. Finding a way to acknowledge the pregnancy in a physical representation can be helpful. Couples may choose to do this by planting a tree in their garden, or having a memento that can be seen and taken out when they feel the need to honour their loss. Having a physical representation can also be used as a way to connect the loss of the baby to the parents’ children who are already a part of the family.