Ultimate 30-day guide to 100 percent IVF success
Your journey with in vitro fertilisation (IVF) is about to begin, or it may already be underway. You’re not alone, though; approximately 1 in 8 women need this additional assistance to become pregnant.
IVF is frequently the greatest way to have a biological baby if you’re ready to start a family or expand it and have explored all other fertility options.
An egg and sperm are fertilised through IVF, which results in the development of an embryo into a young seedling. This occurs externally to your body.
The embryo is then either frozen or put into your uterus, where it will hopefully develop into a pregnancy.
During the planning, execution, and culmination of an IVF cycle, you could experience a range of feelings. It’s normal to feel anxious, depressed, and uncertain. For a chance at conception, IVF can be physically taxing, time-consuming, and expensive.
We won’t even address the hormones. Your emotions may become more intense and your body may feel entirely out of balance after receiving regular doses for around two weeks.
The 30 days before to your IVF cycle are crucial for ensuring that your body is healthy, robust, and fully ready for this pretty demanding medical procedure, so it makes sense that they are so critical.
An IVF cycle involves passing through a number of stages. It is typical to require more than one IVF cycle before results are sustained.
Here is a list of the phases and how long each one lasts:
Two to four weeks prior to the start of your IVF cycle, the prep stage begins. It entails making minor lifestyle adjustments to maintain your health.
To help you have a normal menstrual cycle, your doctor may prescribe certain drugs. This facilitates beginning the remaining IVF stages.
This stage only lasts for one day. The first day of your period that falls closest to the day of your IVF therapy is Day 1 of your IVF. Yes, it’s a good thing that you’re starting your period now!
This phase can last for three to twelve days. You’ll start using reproductive medications that arouse or awaken your ovaries. They become energised by this and release more eggs than usual.
You’ll receive an injection of human chorionic gonadotropin, sometimes referred to as the “pregnancy hormone” (hCG). This hormone aids in the egg release from your ovaries.
You’ll arrive at the fertility centre precisely 36 hours following the injection, where your doctor will collect or extract the eggs.
This stage consists of two parts and lasts a day. Sperm will either already have been delivered by your spouse (or a donor) or will be provided while your eggs are being extracted.
Your healthy embryo will be implanted in your womb less than a week after your eggs were removed. There will be no pain associated with this non-invasive process.
You’ll be back in your doctor’s office 9 to 12 days later. Your doctor will do a scan on you to evaluate how well your unborn child has settled into your womb. Additionally, a blood test will be performed to measure your pregnancy hormone levels.
Lifestyle suggestions during IVF
The lifestyle modifications that will provide your body with the optimum support during your IVC cycle, during pregnancy, and for your general health are covered below.
How to eat while having IVF
During an IVF cycle, pay attention to eating wholesome, well-balanced meals. Avoid making any large or major changes during this time, such as quitting gluten if you weren’t already.
A Mediterranean-style diet is advised by various reproductive endocrinologists. The vibrant, plant-based foundation of it ought to give your body the good nutrition it need.
In fact, studies suggest that a Mediterranean diet may increase the success rate of IVF in women under 35 who are not overweight or obese.
Even though the study was tiny, maintaining a healthy diet in the weeks before the cycle can’t hurt.
Encourage your partner to follow the Mediterranean diet with you as diet has an impact on sperm health as well.
Here are some quick tips for improving your diet with the Mediterranean diet:
- Consume plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables.
- Pick lean proteins like poultry and fish.
- Consume entire grains like quinoa, farro, and pasta made from whole grains.
- Beans, chickpeas, and lentils are among the legumes you can add.
- Use low-fat dairy products instead.
- Consume nutritious fats like those found in avocado, extra virgin olive oil, nuts, and seeds.
- Steer clear of refined cereals, sugar, red meat, and other highly processed meals.
- Eliminate salt. Instead, use herbs and spices to season food.
How to exercise while undergoing IVF
Because they are concerned that working out could not be helpful for a future pregnancy, many women avoid or cease exercising throughout their IVF cycle. Don’t be concerned. The majority of women are able to keep up their fitness regimen.
If you’re a devoted runner, you should safely substitute:
- Light jogging
- The elliptical
Which products to toss and chemicals to avoid?
Consider tossing or avoiding some household items made with endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs).
EDCs interfere with:
- reproductive health
- prenatal development
Not to mention, they’re not good for your overall health.
Chemicals to avoid and where they’re found
- nail polish
Parabens, triclosan, and benzophenone
BPA and other phenols
- food-packaging materials
Brominated flame retardants
- yoga mats
- stain-resistant materials
- nonstick cooking tools
- art clay
- medication coatings
- cosmetics with fragrance
Medications that could interfere with fertility treatments
Inform your fertility specialist of any medications you take as you are ready to begin your IVF cycle. Be sure to list everything, even the most common medications, such as:
- a daily allergy pill
- acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil)
- any prescriptions
- over-the-counter (OTC) supplements
Some medications could potentially:
- interfere with fertility drugs
- cause hormonal imbalances
- make IVF treatment less effective
The following drugs should be kept to a minimum. Inquire with your doctor whether there are any alternatives that can be prescribed for your IVF cycle or even when you are pregnant.
Medications to flag to your fertility doctor
- prescription and OTC nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), like aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, Midol), and naproxen (Aleve)
- medications for depression, anxiety, and other mental health conditions, like antidepressants
- steroids, like those used to treat asthma or lupus
- antiseizure medications
- thyroid medications
- skin products, especially those containing estrogen or progesterone
- chemotherapy drugs
Taking supplements during IVF
You might take a few organic vitamins to assist a fresh pregnancy.
To enhance your folic acid, begin taking a prenatal vitamin 30 days (or even many months) before to the start of your IVF cycle. This vitamin has a crucial role in preventing brain and spinal birth abnormalities in growing foetuses.
Even your partner’s sperm health can be improved with the use of prenatal vitamins.
Start taking vitamin D pills before to your IVF cycle if your levels are low. Autism may be caused by the mother’s low vitamin D levels.
Keep in mind that unlike the FDA, which oversees pharmaceuticals, supplements are not subject to the same quality and purity standards. Before including supplements in your daily diet, always discuss them with your doctor.
Additionally, you can look for an NSF International certification on labels. This indicates that reputable, independent testing labs have deemed the product to be secure.
How much sleep should I get during IVF?
Fertility and sleep are tightly related. A healthy sleep schedule can help your IVF cycle.
According to a 2013 study, women who sleep 7 to 8 hours per night are much more likely to become pregnant than women who sleep for less or more time.
Here are some strategies to include restful sleep into your daily routine:
- Cool your bedroom to 60 to 67ºF (16 to 19ºC).
- Take a warm shower or soak in a hot bath just before bed.
- Diffuse lavender in your bedroom (or use in the shower).
- Avoid caffeine 4 to 6 hours before bedtime.
- Stop eating 2 to 3 hours before bedtime.
- Listen to soft, slow music to relax, like symphonic pieces.
- Limit screen time for at least 30 minutes before bed. This includes phones, TVs, and computers.
- Do gentle stretches before bedtime.
Guidelines for IVF sex
One of the greatest ironies of infertility is that the sex that should be producing these children is neither simple nor uncomplicated!
Men should refrain from performing manual or vaginal ejaculations 3 to 4 days prior to sperm retrieval. When it comes time to collect, couples prefer to get “the whole pot full” of the best sperm rather than just “what’s left” from a post-ejaculate sample.
But that does not imply complete celibacy. Couples are capable of having passionate touch, or “outercourse.” So feel free to screw around as long as the man isn’t ejaculating during that crucial window for sperm growth.
Couples should also steer clear of deep penetration and keep it shallow avoid deep vaginal intercourse, as this can irritate the cervix.
Can alcohol be consumed during IVF?
After enduring the emotional burden of IVF, you might feel like having a drink. If so, there is good news—drinking in moderation is feasible.
However, be aware that a few drinks throughout the week might have a detrimental impact on the success of the IVF cycle.
You could not react well to alcohol in addition to the reproductive medications. It might make you feel awful.
Live birth rates were shown to be 21% lower in women who had more than four drinks per week in a 2011 study, as well as 21% lower when both spouses consumed more than four drinks per week.
Obviously, you should stop drinking all alcohol when the embryo transfer is finished.
What to do for IVF symptoms
As unpredictable as an IVF cycle can be, one thing’s a certainty: myriad physical symptoms.
Every woman and every cycle are different, so there’s no sure way to know which side effect you’ll experience on any given day of any given cycle.
Here are some ways to manage or even beat the side effects of fertility drugs.
- Bleeding or spotting
- Call your doctor immediately if bleeding or spotting occurs during the cycle.
- Light bleeding or spotting after an egg retrieval is normal. Heavy bleeding is not.
- Do not use tampons.
GI and digestive issues
There are plenty of OTC options available to treat digestive issues. Try taking:
- a stool softener
It may seem counterintuitive, but taking in more fluids can relieve bloating. If water is getting tiresome, hydrate yourself with:
- coconut water
- low-sugar electrolyte drinks or tablets
If natural remedies aren’t working, try an anti-nausea medication, such as:
- But first, talk to your doctor to make sure OTC anti-nausea drugs are safe for you.
Headache and pain
Some OTC remedies for pain relief include:
- acetaminophen (Tylenol)
- ibuprofen (Motrin)
- heating pads
- Before taking any OTC drugs, talk to your doctor and ask about the best dosage for you.
Exhaustion and fatigue
- Get 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night.
- Try taking 30- to 45-minute naps during the day.
- Don’t overcommit or overbook yourself. Take it easy (and say “no” whenever you want to!)
- Stress and anxiety
- Practice a slow, restorative breathing regimen.
- Use the FertiCalm app for support and healthy ways to cope.
- Use the Headspace app for meditation.
- Practice yoga. Here’s our definitive guide.
- Continue your exercise regimen.
- Stick to any established routines and schedules.
- Get plenty of sleep.
- Take warm showers or baths.
- Visit a therapist.
- Have sex to release feel-good hormones.
- Hot flashes
- Wear light, breathable clothing.
- Stay in air-conditioned spaces.
- Add a fan to your bedside or desk.
- Stay hydrated with cool water.
- Avoid smoking, spicy foods, and caffeine.
- Practice deep-breathing exercises.
- Do low-impact exercises like swimming, walking, or yoga.