Tip #1: Avoid ejaculation
Men should avoid ejaculation for a few days before donating sperm. Refraining from ejaculation increases sperm count and the chance of harvesting the most active sperm. A semen analysis will likely be performed before IVF, as sperm quality changes frequently. Isolating the healthiest sperm increases the chance of IVF success.
Tip #2: Exercise
Exercise is good for a healthy mind and body. Obesity is a leading factor in fertility struggles. On the flip side, over-exercising can increase stress, upset menstrual cycles, and result in implantation failure or miscarriage. Light exercise, such as walking or yoga, is recommended for a few days surrounding the procedure.
Tip #3: Get plenty of rest
Start getting on a good sleep schedule a couple of weeks before the IVF procedure to make sure the body is well-rested. Sleep deprivation can increase stress levels and throw off hormone balances. This can decrease sperm count and ovulation, making implantation less likely. The average adult needs between 8-10 hours of sleep per night. Taking extra care to relax as much as possible after the procedure will also increase the chances of success.
Tip #4: Talk to someone
IVF is as much mental as physical. The whole process can take a considerable toll on the emotions of a couple. Talking things through with a counselor or medical professional can help the parents-to-be regulate feelings and make sense of everything that is going on. Many individuals will need to undergo multiple IVF cycles before success. IVF is often a roller coaster and having a robust support system throughout the IVF process is essential.
Tip #5: Acupuncture
Acupuncture is often recommended during the IVF journey. Acupuncture reduces stress, increases blood flow, and can be targeted to any part of the body. There are very few risks associated with using acupuncture. However, because there is a slight chance of miscarriage if the wrong puncture points are used, only an acupuncturist specializing in fertility should be sought out.
Tip #6: The fertility diet
A diet high in healthy fats, lean protein, and folic acid is good for the health of the parent and developing fetus. Foods such as leafy greens, avocados, olive oil, nuts, chicken, and fish are recommended. Health happens from the inside out. A proper diet increases fertility. Following a healthy eating plan will ensure the parents are setting up the best possible environment for the baby.
What is IVF?
IVF involves the fertilization of an embryo outside the body. The procedure occurs in a medical clinic and can include parent eggs and sperm or the use of a donor or surrogate. IVF is used to combat both male and female infertility related to damaged fallopian tubes, ovulation disorders, fibroids, low sperm count or mobility, and genetic disorders.
How does stress impact fertility?
Stress can decrease sperm count and lead to imbalanced hormone levels. As stress levels increase, fertility appears to decrease. The impact of stress on fertility rates can be challenging to track. Distinguishing between underlying health factors and stress as the reason for infertility has been a topic of debate. Often, medications to treat anxiety and stress can negatively affect fertility rates. Infertility creates more stress, but scientifically confirming if stress equally impacts fertility has proven to be complicated. Old wives’ tales say that couples having trouble conceiving need to relax. Though science has doubts, many couples seem to agree that decreasing stress does help with the fertility journey.
Success is more than reducing stress
Reducing stress is a large part of fertility success. But there is more that can be done. Preparing the body for the procedure and relaxing afterward sets the couple up for the best chances of IVF success. Speak with a fertility specialist to learn more about fertility treatments to help get pregnant.