Struggling to get pregnant? These 3 lab test are a must for your success!
There is this “unspoken rule” in our society that women don’t seek help with getting pregnant until they have been actively trying for 12 months. This is the typical amount of time your family doctor will use as a guideline for sending referrals to fertility clinics.
This rule makes me sad.
There are so many things women, and men, can do BEFORE even trying to get pregnant, while they’re getting busy, and way before the 12-month specialist timeline.
I start all my patients who are starting to think about family planning on preconception care atleast 6-months prior to when they’re going to “pull the goalie” (so to speak). It takes 100-days to properly mature and be released, so any healthy changes you’re making now will be affecting the quality of eggs released in 3-4 months. This is why we start early!
My preconception care plan also includes lab work because knowledge is power. Why wait to know if there are going to be roadblocks? Let’s get everything out in the open up front and tackle any potential issues you might face along the way.
Here are the 3 crucial lab tests to run if you’re planning on starting your family in 2018.
1. Thyroid Panel including TSH, free T3, free T4, and Anti-TPO – hypothyroidism is one of the leading causes of infertility. In fact, I’ve had multiple women in my practice who had no other symptoms of thyroid dysfunction EXCEPT difficulty getting pregnant. Once this was discovered and they were put on the proper medication, they were pregnant in less than 3 months. Your medical doctor might have run TSH, but it’s important to also see the full picture when it comes to your thyroid. You can find out more about thyroid testing here: LINK.
2. Vitamin D – research is showing low levels of vitamin D are associated with a higher risk of miscarriage. Optimizing these levels prior to getting pregnant is crucial. Vitamin D is not a vitamin at all, but actually a hormone, and it also impacts the quality of eggs being released. A new 2017 study also showed women undergoing IVF had higher pregnancy rates if their vitamin D was optimal.
3. Female Hormone Panel + 4-point Cortisol – the true piece of the pie when it comes to preconception health is addressing any hormonal imbalances. The best way to assess your hormone health is through saliva testing on day 21 of your cycle. Having our hormones balanced prior to starting a family will not only help with outcomes, but improve your health during pregnancy as well.
This is my “short list” when it comes to fertility labs – the things I like to do before-hand. The world of fertility can get complex, which is why you want to build a support team around you during this time.
To find out more about how you can start building your fertility team at Natural Choice, book a 15-min complimentary meet & greet with Dr. Kelsey Duncan.