Before embryo transfer
Properly preparing the body is a leading factor in IVF success. The body will be the developing baby’s whole environment. A healthy heart and well-balanced diet are the platforms for a successful pregnancy. Health often starts from the inside out.
Tip #1: Get off birth control
If natural fertility methods such as condoms, diaphragms, or spermicide were used, the transition will be easy. Fertility should return immediately. Barrier methods prevent sperm from reaching the egg and do not affect hormones. Women who are weaning off hormonal birth control can take 1-3 months for ovulation to return to normal. However, some women will begin ovulating within a matter of weeks. The body needs to be ovulating regularly for egg retrieval.
Tip #2: Maintain a healthy diet and exercise
A healthy body is the foundation of a healthy pregnancy. Diet and exercise will prepare the body for the growing baby. Multivitamins, lean protein sources, and antioxidants can improve fertility success. Exercising is healthy for the heart and muscles but should be done in moderation. High-impact exercises are not recommended. Adding a prenatal vitamin can ensure the mother is getting all the nutrients necessary for a healthy pregnancy.
Tip #3: Consider egg, sperm, and embryo screening
Egg and semen analysis can identify the strongest candidates for the IVF procedure. The egg and sperm can be screened for quantity and viability. If the female partner is unable to ovulate or the male partner has low sperm count, couples may consider a donor. Embryos can be screened for both communicable and genetic diseases before implantation. All tests are done to increase the chances of IVF success.
After embryo transfer
The two weeks after the procedure can be the hardest part of the entire process. The key is to relax. The stress of infertility treatments will be felt both physically and mentally. Anything the mother can do to reduce stress will be beneficial for implantation success.
Tip #1: Relax
The waiting is the hardest part. Most couples will find that relaxing during the IVF process seems impossible, but relaxation is crucial. Getting plenty of sleep and keeping the body and mind calm is the best thing the parents can do. Some couples find that meditating, journaling, or speaking with a counselor can be helpful during infertility treatments.
Tip #2: Avoid strenuous exercise
High-impact exercise can stimulate uterine contractions and prevent implantation. Women should limit physical activity to low-impact exercises such as walking or yoga. Athletes should refrain from all high-impact training and limit cardio workouts to 4 hours or less per week. Exercises that increase strength and flexibility are okay, as long as there is little to no jumping or jostling of the body. Sex should also be avoided during the 2-week waiting period.
Tip #3 Avoid hot temperatures
Increasing internal body temperatures should be avoided. Saunas and hot yoga can raise internal body temperature, causing premature uterine contractions. Hot tubs and pools should be avoided. Being submerged in water increases the chance of infection. A hot shower is a perfect way to relax and stay clean.
Find IVF success today
There are many factors involved in the IVF process. Anything to increase the odds of success should be done, especially if the steps are easy. Relaxation, eating well, and low stress will prove beneficial both before and after embryo transfer. For more information on fertility treatment options, speak with a healthcare provider.