Health Steps

At St. Augustine Medical Centre & Assisted Reproduction Technology Unit, we have two goals for your infertility treatment. The first is to help you with the treatment options for Infertility: Assisted Reproductive Techniques (ART) and the second is to help you experience an uncomplicated pregnancy and deliver a healthy baby. Here is a list of tips that can help you in getting pregnant and to learn manage Stress.

Stress may contribute to infertility and infertility is a major source of stress. Stress alone may cause a woman to stop ovulating. St. Augustine Medical Centre & Assisted Reproduction Technology Unit invites all our patients to participate in stress reduction programs through our:

Don’t Smoke
If you smoke, we recommend that you stop. In addition to the detrimental effects on general health, smoking has a negative impact on fertility. Also, women who smoke during pregnancy increase the risk of premature labor, decreased fetal growth and other complications.

Avoid Alcohol 
Avoid alcohol completely. Alcohol can interfere with getting pregnant, and during pregnancy it increases the chance of the birth defects.

Limit Caffeine 
Several studies have concluded that a woman chance of becoming pregnant decreases and the likelihood of miscarriage increases when caffeine is ingested. We recommend that you consume less than 50 mg of caffeine per day. A cup of coffee has about 150-200 mg, and tea and soft drinks have up to 40 mg.

Don’t Use Recreational Drugs 
Use of cocaine or heroin during pregnancy may cause the baby to have severe withdrawal reactions after birth. Some drugs, such as marijuana, may decrease sperm production. Intravenous drugs increase the risk of HIV or hepatitis.

Discuss Medications with a Doctor at St. Augustine Medical Centre & Assisted Reproduction Technology Unit
Tell a Doctor at St. Augustine Medical Centre & Assisted Reproduction Technology Unit about any prescription medications you are taking, and tell the physician who prescribed your medication(s) that you are trying to get pregnant. Avoid Advil, Aleve, Ibuprofen and Motrin, since they can interfere with ovulation. Tylenol is a good alternative. Herbal remedies should be completely avoided since their effect on fertility and pregnancy is unknown.

 Maintain a Healthy Body Weight
Being overweight creates a higher chance of complications during pregnancy, including diabetes, high blood pressure, and the formation of blood clots. Women who are overweight tend to have larger babies, more difficult deliveries, and are more likely to require a cesarean section. On the other hand, normal menstrual function requires at least 22% body fat. Eating disorders and extreme exercise often result in abnormally low body fat, and can contribute to infertility. If you are underweight or overweight, we recommend that you consult a nutritionist .

Take Vitamin Supplements 
Take at least 0.4 mg of folic acid daily. Several studies have confirmed that folic acid reduces the risk of neural tube defects in infants by almost 50%. (Neural tube defects are abnormal developments of the spine and skull, such as spina bifida.) Prenatal vitamins contain safe doses of nutrients. It is often recommended that women begin taking these vitamins once a day when they are trying to conceive.

Get Tested for HIV 
We recommend HIV testing for all couples contemplating pregnancy. Many people who are infected with the virus continue to lead normal lives for some time before developing symptoms of AIDS. A woman who is infected with the virus can pass it to her unborn child.

Exercise in Moderation
Moderate exercise during pregnancy is beneficial. However, the medications used to stimulate the ovaries as part of your treatment can cause temporary ovarian cysts. Therefore, we may advise you to avoid high-impact exercise activities (i.e., running, step aerobics). Also, extreme strenuous exercise may disrupt the menstrual cycle.

Maintain Good Nutrition
Nutrition can influence the establishment and maintenance of a pregnancy. Extremes of body weight can alter ovarian function. While you are trying to conceive and throughout pregnancy, eat a well-balanced diet and avoid foods with high content of fats and oils.

Continue Routine Gynecologic Care 
During your infertility treatment, it is important for you to continue your routine care with your gynecologist or primary care physician. This should include a yearly blood pressure check, physical examination, pelvic examination, Pap smear, and mammogram if you are over 40.



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