Are You Prepping For IVF?
For infertile couples, single women, or LGBTQ+ couples, IVF, also known as in vitro fertilization, can be a stressful experience. The procedure can work around the missing pieces needed for fertility. By extracting egg and sperm, a clinic creates an embryo outside the body. The mature embryo is then implanted into the woman’s uterus and monitored later for pregnancy. Each cycle could feel like a knife’s edge. To increase the chances, however, preparing body and mind is invaluable.
How successful is IVF?
There are a lot of factors that impact the success rates of IVF. These include age, reproductive health, genetic abnormalities, and much more. On average, a couple below age 35 have a 40% average pregnancy rate with IVF. This figure decreases with age. For instance, women over 40 have an 11.5% chance of pregnancy with the procedure. IVF takes more than one cycle in some cases, but the success rate increases with each attempt. The reproductive endocrinologist will often recommend the person or couple make lifestyle changes to prepare for IVF. These 3 tips are proven to impact the success rate.
1. Maintain a healthy weight during the process
Studies have shown that BMI or body mass index is closely related to pregnancy rates. Overweight patients are more likely to have metabolic syndrome, hormonal imbalances, or other issues that can affect pregnancy. Before and during the IVF period, a combination of a healthy diet and light aerobic exercise can impact weight. Decreasing body weight by as little as 5-10% increases the chances of pregnancy during IVF. This rule goes for men, as the quality of sperm used can improve with weight management.
2. Keep stress to a minimum
Can stress impact the success rate of IVF? Unfortunately, yes, stress can affect pregnancy chances. The unfortunate thing is that IVF is a stressful process. Patients are anxious and need to keep on top of the intense medication regimen. The stress of IVF can cause IVF to fail, creating a painful loop of failed attempts with subsequent stress increases. Stress management through self-care is crucial for all parties involved. Try meditation, yoga, massage, and other stress-relieving techniques. Get everyone involved, creating a space that can improve IVF success.
3. Look into helpful supplements.
The reproductive endocrinologist may discuss helpful vitamins and supplements that are proven to increase fertility. Vitamin D is essential for strong bones, muscles, and immune systems. However, studies show that a vitamin D deficiency decreases fertility. Increase D intake through sunlight exposure and supplementation. CoQ10 and DHEA are other helpful supplements. CoQ10 helps with energy generation, cell growth and may improve egg and sperm quality. A DHEA supplement 6-8 weeks before IVF improves egg production in women with low ovarian reserves.
Do your part for the best outcome
Turning to IVF is not a guarantee in each cycle. However, the chances of pregnancy increase significantly versus taking no action. Infertile women or couples, in particular, will have hope to start or grow a family with IVF. IVF can work, but patients must make lifestyle changes to improve their body’s health. Weight management and supplementation are powerful and evidence-proven allies to IVF. However, a calm body has reduced oxidative stress and is ready to receive treatment. Try these steps consistently, and there could be improved outcomes around the corner.