Are You Ready For Your First IVF Cycle?
In vitro fertilization (IVF) can be just what the doctor ordered for individuals or couples struggling with infertility. Every year, about 2% of babies are born via IVF. Trying IVF for the first time can feel overwhelming. IVF has many moving parts involving doctors, laboratory experts, and the health of hopeful parents. Even if everything goes as planned, the success rate on the first cycle is 33%, on average. The goal for any IVF patient is to be fully prepared for every step. Try the following steps to increase the chances of success.
Don’t miss a beat
IVF cycles require quality eggs combined with a sperm sample to create healthy, mature embryos. To achieve this, the fertility team provides hormone medication to increase egg production. After the eggs are extracted, there is another period where hormone medication helps to prepare the uterine lining. Adherence to hormone medication is crucial for a successful cycle. Make sure to take the necessary treatment on time. The same goes for men. Some men may need to take medication to improve the chances of success.
Both men and women should work on staying healthy during the process. Light exercise or movements like yoga have several purposes. First, exercise helps with weight management. Reducing weight can significantly improve the chances of pregnancy. Furthermore, exercise helps with stress management. Reducing stress levels also improves the overall success of IVF. Start at least a few months before IVF to stay healthy during the process.
Boost reproductive health with supplements
Vitamins and minerals play an essential role in reproductive health. The fertility team may recommend both men and women add supplements like zinc, selenium, and vitamins A, D, and E. Women should take folic acid while men may try vitamin C and ashwagandha. Speak with a fertility pharmacist for more guidance on supplementation.
Quit harmful lifestyle habits
Smoking, excess caffeine, and alcohol consumption can all hinder the success of IVF cycles. Studies show that smoking can reduce IVF success rates to 18%. Alcohol also harms fertility for men and women. Additionally, excess caffeine can reduce the success rate of IVF cycles by as much as 50%.
Consider genetic testing
IVF cycles often fail due to genetic anomalies within the sperm or egg. Both samples must have the correct number of chromosomes for a healthy embryo. Preimplantation genetic testing (PGT) can help fertility teams identify any DNA-related issues preventing pregnancy. With added data, only the healthiest embryos are prepared for implantation.
Success the first time
There are a lot of factors that impact the success of IVF. However, the most important is that all participants remain healthy. Exercise, supplementation, lifestyle changes, and genetic testing may tip the scales for first-time patients.