Preparing For IVF
In vitro fertilization (IVF) is an assisted reproductive technology that uses medical means to help a woman conceive. In this procedure, the woman’s egg is fertilized with a man’s sperm outside the uterus. After fertilization, the fertilized egg is implanted directly into the uterus. To achieve a better outcome, taking the necessary steps in preparation for IVF is essential.
1. Incorporate a healthy diet
Eating a healthy and well-balanced meal helps to increase the success of embryo transfer. One research study found that the Mediterranean diet showed promising results in IVF success rate. A healthy diet is also essential for the male partner to improve the overall health of sperm. Focus on including fruits, vegetables, proteins, beans, low-fat dairy products, and whole grains in the diet. Avoid certain foods such as salty and fatty food, too much red meat, and sugary products.
2. Engage in physical activity
Doctors encourage exercise during this time. However, any strenuous activity, such as running, is usually not recommended once the IVF process has started. Instead of running, try walking, hiking, or light jogging. Yoga is another low-impact exercise that can be performed to boost heart rate and lower stress. Ask the healthcare provider if unsure about performing a particular activity.
3. Don’t forget your supplements
Begin taking prenatal vitamins at least 30 days before the start of the IVF cycle. Women who are deficient in any vitamins, such as vitamin D, should supplement with the correct amount. Multivitamins can also help to improve the health of sperm, so the male partner may benefit from taking one as well. Before taking any supplement, consult the healthcare provider for review.
4. Get good sleep
A good amount of sleep is beneficial for the IVF cycle. Research has shown women who get a moderate amount of sleep tend to have a higher chance of pregnancy. Not getting enough sleep can impair memory and alertness, which are essential when undergoing a complicated procedure like IVF. Consistent lack of sleep can also increase depression and anxiety symptoms.
Self-care and more tips
Avoid taking alcohol or any other illicit substance, as this may affect the chances of conception. Avoid household items that contain toxic chemicals. Stay well hydrated by drinking plenty of water. Engage in relaxation techniques such as meditation and massage. Get involved in activities that help keep the body and mind relaxed during this time, such as reading a book or journaling.
Men matter too
Male partners also need to take necessary precautions for a successful IVF to happen. Men should focus on eating a healthy diet, exercising, sleeping well, and reducing alcohol intake. These small changes can contribute to greater chances of pregnancy success.
The success of IVF
The effectiveness of IVF depends on many factors, one of the most important being age. IVF success is seen more in women less than 35 years old. The success of IVF rates is lower in women over 40 years old. Some women may require more than one cycle of IVF to achieve positive results. Although the dietary and lifestyle changes suggested here are not a guarantee, such practices can increase the chances of success from IVF.