Improving IVF Success Rates

In vitro fertilization (IVF) is used by many women and couples with different types of infertility problems to help achieve a pregnancy. The process is time-consuming and financially burdensome, so any patient undergoing IVF hopes for the best chance of success. Avoiding these 4 habits known to decrease IVF’s success rates can help women conceive sooner.


1. Avoid tobacco products

Most people know that smoking is not a healthy habit. This is especially true while undergoing IVF treatment. Smoking is known to reduce fertility in both men and women, and infertility rates in smokers are twice as high as in nonsmokers. Furthermore, research shows that the more cigarettes a person smokes, the higher the risk for fertility problems. Anyone pursuing IVF should quit smoking altogether or at least cut down on the number of cigarettes each day to maximize the chances of success.

2. Quit overeating

Maintaining a healthy body mass index (BMI) can improve many different aspects of overall health, including fertility. Women planning to undergo assisted reproductive technology (ART) should aim for a BMI of 18.5-24.9 to be considered a healthy weight. A BMI of 25.0-29.9 is considered overweight, while 30.0 or higher is considered obese. Women with a high BMI may have more difficulty conceiving and should work to lower the number. Avoid overeating and mindless snacking. Instead, reach for protein-rich foods that keep the belly full and plenty of fruits and vegetables. Drinking enough water is also essential.

3. Too much exercise

Working out has many benefits, including weight loss and improved cardiovascular health, but can a person exercise too much? In some instances, extreme forms of working out can be detrimental to fertility. This is most commonly seen in people who engage in intense activities such as marathon running. Extreme exercise can make periods irregular, impair ovulation, and lead to excessive weight loss, all of which can negatively impact a patient’s chances of pregnancy. When undergoing IVF, consider cutting back to a few shorter workouts every week.

4. Drinking alcohol

Most people know alcohol should be avoided during pregnancy, but what about while trying to conceive? Fertility doctors usually recommend that patients avoid alcohol while undergoing IVF for the best chances of success. This is because alcohol can negatively affect ovulation and alter specific hormones needed for pregnancy. While many women find giving up a glass of wine or beer difficult, staying alcohol-free ensures a quicker path to pregnancy.

Healthy habits for baby

Although the woman’s age largely dictates IVF success and the underlying infertility diagnosis, certain habits can have a negative effect on conception. For the best chance of getting pregnant, fertility patients should quit smoking and drinking and aim for a healthy weight without overexercising. With a healthy approach to life, a baby is possible.

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