Leigha, editor at WhoaBella!, got pregnant a second time despite struggling with secondary infertility. Here’s what helped her make her TTC dreams come true.
Facing the realities of infertility is never an easy thing to do. The range of emotions, the bevy of treatment options, the list of alternatives… it’s overwhelming, to say the least. But this predicament can be particularly perplexing and stressful for those women who have already conceived a child but can’t seem to get pregnant for the second time, women facing what’s known as secondary infertility. Woman and couples facing this issue are often caught a little off guard (at least I know I was!), mainly because once you’ve become easily pregnant the first time you just expect the second time around to go as smoothly.
When I first found out about my secondary infertility, a whole slew of questions start to fill my mind. Things like: I got pregnant before, why not again? Am I only meant to have one child? Why is biology working against me? What can I do to overcome this?
While every couple is different and there are no simple answers to questions like these, I can say from experience that there are things you can do (both non-invasive and non-expensive) to ease the tensions of the situation and could ultimately help you reach a state of gestational bliss.
Of course, only your physician can yield the best treatment plan and course of action for you and your partner. However, I’d love to share with you three simple pre-conception lifestyle changes I made which ultimately resulted in my second pregnancy, after nearly a year and a half of trying.
Not only was this the easiest to implement of the three changes I made, it’s also one that most couples don’t even give a second thought. Many lubrication products on the market don’t take sperm motility into account (in other words, they make those little swimmers lose the race). This is why choosing a lubrication designed to help sperm retain their motility and create a favorable pH environment is so important.
My husband and I loved the Astroglide TTC Trying to Conceive™ lube! It’s made with conception in mind and is shown in studies to be compatible with sperm. This one product can truly make a world of difference for couples trying to conceive, and can help offer users a feeling of proactivity in the face of secondary infertility.
I’m not going to lie here — I’m a girl who loves food, and not exactly the leafy green kale-ish type either. But when it came time to evaluate my nutritional choices, I knew this was an area I could make vast improvements. I did a diet overhaul and packed in foods like lentils, dark greens, seeds, whole grains, and olive oil, all of which are said to improve fertility.
Ultimately, in the month directly preceding my second pregnancy, I become totally vegetarian, mainly because most of my meals were already meat-free and it seemed like the natural progression for me. To be honest, I found the switch easy to maintain and noticed a significant difference in my overall health.
I can’t say enough about the benefits of yoga as an overall mind and body wellness booster, but for women looking to conceive, the benefits are even further magnified. First off, when dealing with infertility a certain amount of stress is a given, so being able to combat that with a relaxing, low-impact exercise like yoga is ideal.
Additionally, because yoga strengthens the core muscles and the pelvic floor, it’s an ideal workout for women to practice from the pre-conception phase through the third trimester (with a doctor’s approval, of course). Best of all you don’t need to spend money on classes if you don’t wish to — you can simply search YouTube for all sorts of yoga tutorials and find the one that works for your skill level and time constraints.
I found that 30 minutes of yoga before bed followed by a few minutes of meditation made a world of difference physically and mentally for both my husband and me.
I feel I have to mention the benefits I believe I received acupuncture treatments. While I only started going to acupuncture treatments routinely after becoming pregnant, I’ve recently discovered that, in addition to alleviating many of pregnancy’s not-so-fun side effects, this form of ancient Eastern medicine can be very help for women experiencing fertility struggles as well as easing the stress that comes with the territory. Your mileage may vary, and always talk to your doctor first, but keep your mind open!
I firmly believe that these three lifestyle changes ultimately helped me achieve my second pregnancy. Right now I’m thrilled to say that I’m currently 20 weeks into my second pregnancy and our darling daughter will be making her very long-awaited debut this June.
Images are for illustrative purposes only.