As we enter 2017 it is time to think about your new year’s resolutions. For those with infertility and have resolved to have a child by the end of the year, here are a list of possible resolutions to help achieve your dreams of building a family. Remember, setting intentions on short attainable goals are more likely to succeed than setting big picture goals.

Resolving to quit smoking. Although it is well known that smoking can affect heart and lung health, it also greatly affects fertility potential in both men and women. According to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, infertility rates in both males and females who smoke are twice as high as those who do not smoke. Quitting smoking can improve fertility and decrease the risks of pregnancy complications. Work with your health-care provider to consider ways to quit smoking while trying to conceive.

Setting activity goals. Being active has many benefits including reducing stress levels, getting better sleep, and healthier appetites. Exercises that are found to be best for women trying to conceive include brisk walking, yoga, dancing, Zumba, aerobics, or swimming.

Achieving a healthy BMI. Extra weight can cause hormonal shifts that affect ovulation, menstruation, a decrease in conception rates, and pregnancy complications. Being underweight can also affect fertility by causing irregular menstrual cycles and may cause ovulation to stop altogether. Start slow. Set a goal to lose 5 pounds. Once you reach that goal, set another. Each small goal will eventually add up to reaching a much larger one!

Making the decision to proceed with Donor Egg or Donor Embryo. If your fertility specialist has recommended that you need an egg donor, you may grieve about losing that genetic link to your child. Take the time you need to process this. Focusing on the joy of raising a child, regardless of physical appearance, can help. Make a list of must-have’s for your donor and work from there. Deciding between embryo and egg donation can help focus your search further. Embryo donation is defined as the giving of embryos remaining after one couple’s in vitro fertilization to another intended parent. This process is generally more affordable. In egg donation, you may select a donor through an IVF clinic’s in-house donor agency, an egg donor agency, or a known donor which you find yourself. Many fertility clinics have their own pool of egg donors listed in their in-house agency. IVF clinics may also refer you to an outside egg donor agency which maintains a pool of donors. Known egg donors might be a friend or relative. Unless you have a known egg donor in mind, speaking with a few egg donor agencies can help you narrow your search for the perfect donor. These agencies screen egg donors on many levels including, psychological, personal medical, family medical, genetic, and counseling to make sure the process is as smooth as possible.

Sources: https://www.asrm.org/FACTSHEET_Smoking_and_Infertility/ http://www.asrm.org/factsheet_stress_and_infertility/ http://www.asrm.org/factsheet_weight_and_fertility/