Anna Victoria Says She's Taking a Break from Trying to Get Pregnant
The fitness influencer says she's been feeling overwhelmed by her infertility struggles.
It's been three months since Anna Victoria shared that she was struggling to get pregnant. At the time, the fitness influencer said that she'd resorted to IUI (intrauterine insemination) in an effort to conceive. But after several months of the fertility procedure, Victoria says that she decided to stop trying.
In a new YouTube video, the creator of Fit Body Guides shared that all the treatments and procedures became too much for her and her husband Luca Ferretti. “We were really just too overwhelmed and stressed and exhausted, mentally, and Luca had a hard time seeing me go through everything with all the injections,” she said. “So we decided to just take a break from it all.” (Related: Jessie J Opens Up About Not Being Able to Have Children)
The couple tried a few different tricks that have been said to help with infertility. For starters, Victoria stopped taking her thyroid medication, wondering if it was inhibiting her from getting pregnant.
But after some tests, doctors determined it was better she stay on her prescription to manage her health. Next, she increased her vitamin D levels through supplements, but that didn't seem to help either.
Victoria also asked her doctors to check her progesterone levels and learned that they were low; she also learned that she has an MTHFR (methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase) gene mutation, which makes it difficult for the body to break down folic acid.
Folic acid is important for fetal development during the early stages of pregnancy. That's why women who have this mutation can have an increased risk for miscarriages, preeclampsia, or have a baby born with birth defects, such as spina bifida. That said, her doctors felt that the mutation shouldn't have an impact on her ability to conceive.
Finally, her doctor said to try a gluten-free and dairy-free diet, which surprised Victoria. "I don't have celiac's disease, I'm not gluten intolerant, I don't have adverse side-effects to either of those things," she said.
Is there a connection between these foods and infertility? "We don't have a lot of good data on that," says Christine Greves, M.D., a board-certified ob-gyn from Orlando Health. "That said, every person is different and processes gluten and dairy differently. So it's hard to tell how they may impact your body. But as far as certifiable research goes, cutting out those foods won't boost your fertility." (Related: Halle Berry Revealed She Was On the Keto Diet While Pregnant—But Is That Safe?)
Rather than restricting foods, Greves recommends eating a well-balanced healthy diet instead. "There is a diet called the 'pro fertility diet' that has been associated with an increased probability of a live birth," Greves says. "It's high in unsaturated fats, whole grains, and vegetables and can boost fertility in both men and women."
Needless to say, going gluten and dairy-free didn't help Victoria. Instead, she and her husband took a few months to remove all the stress and pressure.
“We were hoping, like everyone says, that as soon as you stop trying, it’ll happen,” she said. “Which is NOT always the case. It was not the case for us. I know that probably a lot of you are hoping to have a happy announcement in this video, which there’s not. It’s okay.”
Now, Victoria and Ferretti feel prepared for the next step in their journey and have decided to start in virto fertilization (IVF). “It’s been 19 months now that we’ve been trying to conceive,” she said, tearing up. “I know that I’m young, I know that I have time, I know that we don’t need to be in a rush, but I’m just kind of tapped out on the two week wait [with IUI] and the mental and emotional ups and downs, so we decided that we are starting IVF this month.” (Related: Is the Extreme Cost of IVF for Women In America Really Necessary?)
Given all the procedures associated with IVF, Victoria says she likely won’t have any news until the fall.
“I know it’s gonna be physically, mentally and emotionally really hard on me but I am up for the challenge,” she said. “Most things happen for a reason. We don’t know that reason yet, but we have faith that we will find out some day.”