How Can I Increase IVF Success?
For many couples who struggle with infertility, in vitro fertilization (IVF) is the answer. IVF has high success rates, and these success rates are continuing to increase. Still, couples can take some extra measures to boost chances of IVF success. Here are 7 little changes that add up to a big difference with IVF.
#1: Ask all your questions before you’re in the exam room
IVF can cause a lot of anxiety and stress. But one of the biggest ways to manage this stress is to make sure all questions get answered prior to the IVF appointment. Experts recommend asking the doctor about success rates, risk factors, and timeline prior to IVF. This helps manage expectations and improves the IVF experience.
#2: Don’t waste sperm
Studies have shown that refraining from ejaculation for at least 3-4 days prior to IVF can boost success rates. Refraining from sex prior to the IVF appointment will increase sperm count, which raises chances of success. However, couples should ensure that the male partner has adequate sperm count prior to the IVF procedure.
#3: Watch what you eat
What a person eats can affect the success of IVF. Studies have shown that following a Mediterranean diet may lead to more positive IVF outcomes. This includes a diet rich in lean protein, fresh fruits and vegetables, and healthy fats.
#4: Relaxing can make a difference
When dealing with infertility, one of the most dreaded pieces of advice is to just relax. However, experts are finding that stress levels do play a role in a person’s ability to become pregnant. Manage stress by meditating, talking with a counselor, or getting a massage. Recent studies have even shown that acupuncture can play a large role in reducing a woman’s infertility-induced stress.
#5: Start cutting back on alcohol before pregnancy
Most people know to avoid alcohol during pregnancy. However, avoiding alcohol prior to pregnancy is important as well. In one study, women who had more than 4 drinks per week had a 16% lower success rate with IVF. And the male partner’s drinking habits matter, too. In couples where both partners had more than 4 drinks per week, IVF success rates dropped 21%.
#6: Find the exercise sweet spot
Some women struggle to know how much exercise is the right amount. Overly strenuous exercise can interfere with menstruation and make getting pregnant more difficult. However, moderate exercise can boost IVF success. Women should focus on walking, stretching, yoga, and light strength training following an IVF procedure.
#7: Aim for 7-8 hours of shut-eye
Healthy sleep habits can boost chances of IVF success. In one study, researchers found that women who slept 6-9 hours per night had the highest chances of IVF success. In general, sleeping 7-8 hours per night is a good recommendation for anyone trying to get pregnant or just to improve health.
Little changes, big success
IVF can be time-consuming and emotionally challenging. But IVF has high success rates. And there are little changes couples can make that will add up to a big difference in IVF success. Couples should speak with a healthcare provider about individualized risks and recommendations when pursuing IVF treatment.