November is Prematurity Awareness Month. At Advanced Fertility Center of Texas, we understand that couples undergoing fertility treatments may be concerned with their treatments leading to prematurity or low birth weight. However, there are some steps that can be taken to reduce these prematurity or low birth weight risks. We’ve laid out some helpful tips for concerned couples going through fertility treatments:
Seek prenatal care
Before you even become pregnant, it’s a good idea to set up a preconception visit. These visits let providers check that women are taking a prenatal vitamin with folic acid, address medical conditions, and make sure any medications you are taking are safe during pregnancy. By addressing these issues before conception, problems that lead to prematurity or a low birth weight can be prevented from the very beginning.
Follow Fertility Treatment Recommendations
Women looking to undergo fertility treatments are now encouraged to seek treatments that can avoid multiple births. While most infertility treatments have the risks of twins and other multiple births, certain steps can be taken to achieve single birth. Infertility treatments include ovulation induction medications, particularly gonadotropins injections that can lead to multiple follicles or egg production and result in multiple births. At Advanced Fertility Center of Texas, we attempt to use minimal gonadotropins injections so as to avoid the risks of multiple births. We also utilize elective single embryo transfer, particularly if the patient has gone through In Vitro Fertilization and completed chromosomal testing.
Be at a Healthy Weight Before You Become Pregnant
Weight and especially obesity can lower chance of conception and increase the risk of pre-term birth. Finding a way to exercise 30 minutes three times a week and consuming a diet which contains lower carbohydrates and higher protein, like the Mediterranean Diet, are great ways to ensure a healthy pregnancy weight. For those unsure of whether their weight is healthy, the internet offers free BMI (Body Mass Index) calculators. These calculators can help you determine if you’re underweight, overweight, or right where you need to be.
Don’t Ignore Your Dentist
When going through fertility treatments, your dental visits are probably the last thing on your mind. However, regular teeth cleanings may actually prevent preterm delivery. The same events that happen during a uterine infection occur in women who have gum disease. When paired with the hormones that occur during pregnancy, the chance of developing gum disease increases in women. Regular dental visits ensure disease-free, healthy gums.
Know the Signs of Early Labor
Knowing the signs of early labor helps women recognize when it is happening to them. Although not much can be done to reverse early labor once it has begun, if caught early, delivery can be delayed for a few days to a week with medications that suppress contractions. Additionally, if early labor is caught, doctors can administer corticosteroids to try to prevent the common problem of respiratory distress syndrome in premature babies. Some signs to look out for that could indicate early labor include:
• Contractions occurring every 10 minutes or more
• Cramps that begin in your back and move to the front of your body
• Fluid leaking from the vagina
• Pelvic pressure
Every couple undergoing fertility treatments wants a baby that is born happy and healthy, which is why it is so important to take measures to prevent premature or low birth weight. Advanced Fertility Center is a leading name in fertility treatments. We care about our patients and are here to help ensure that your fertility treatments lead to the family you have always dreamed of. Give us a call at (713) 467-4488.