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Will You Be Pregnant in 2020?

By Francis Polansky, M.D.

In the past, it was first assumed that the mastery of the physician is the most critical factor determining the outcome of fertility treatments. Then it was believed that the performance of the IVF laboratory matters the most, and now, we are realizing that the outcome of fertility treatments is more often than not decided before the treatment starts.

In other words, what you, as patients, bring to the table, so to speak, is the most crucial factor.

Both the semen and egg quality seem to be gradually decreasing over the years and decades. This appears to be related to the decreased health and fitness of people compared with the past and to the fact that many couples are delaying their childbearing.

It has been our experience that an improvement in one’s health can result in higher quality eggs and sperm.

Make this your New Year’s resolution:

  1. I will get pregnant in 2020!

  2. Optimize your health and your fertility potential.

  3. Optimize your weight.

    Studies have shown that with each uptick in a woman’s BMI, there is a lowering of the probability of pregnancy.

    Overweight men produce increased levels of female hormones, sometimes dramatically decreasing their sperm quality.

  4. Optimize your mental wellbeing

    The female partner’s level of stress plays a decisive role in the fertility treatment outcome.

    Full-time employment, hostile mood, depression, and higher anxiety have been all shown to correlate with the treatment failure.

    Over the years, we have observed that couples who are at ease about their treatment outcome are quite a bit more likely to be successful than couples who “must” get pregnant.

    There are many stress-reducing techniques. Some of the more popular methods that are associated with increased pregnancy rates are:

    • Psychotherapy
    • Support/educational groups
    • Meditation
    • Yoga
    • Exercise
    • Walking/hiking
    • Acupuncture
    • Massage therapy
    • Taking time off from work


The lesson is this: Do not passively expect that the medical team will get you pregnant. Get actively involved in preparation for your treatment. YOU are the one who will most influence whether “You will be pregnant in 2020!”

January 2020


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