Over 48 million couples worldwide struggle with infertility, be it due to male factors, female factors, or a combination of both. While addressing medical concerns like infertility was different a few decades back, things have advanced drastically.
Assisted Reproductive Technologies now enable infertile couples to seek treatment for their issues and conceive their biological child successfully. Amidst all the different ARTs, In-vitro fertilization (IVF) is a front runner. It has a higher success rate and comes with additional benefits like Preimplantation genetic testing (PGT) to ensure optimal health of the future child.
However, IVF treatment heavily depends on the patient’s lifestyle, habits, and choices throughout their treatment cycle. So, what are some of the dos and don’ts that you should consider while undergoing fertility or IVF treatment?
In this Article
- 1 What are the Dos during IVF Treatment?
- 2 What are the Don’ts during IVF Treatment?
- 3 Conclusion
- 4 FAQs
What are the Dos during IVF Treatment?
IVF is an extensive procedure, especially for the female patient, since they have to take fertility drugs, align their ovulation process, and even undergo a small procedure to retrieve the healthy eggs released during ovulation.
Even for the male partner, checking their health reflects vehemently on the sperm count and quality, both quintessential when it comes to successful fertilization.
So, what should you do to enhance your chances of conception?
1. Familiarize yourself with the IVF procedures
Undergoing any kind of medical procedure is daunting. And, when it involves one’s fertility, it is very common to be anxious and on edge throughout the treatment.
Instead of wondering about the “What ifs?”, it is ideal if you discuss your IVF treatment in detail with your fertility specialist. Having a well-round idea about the procedure can effectively help you in the long run. If you notice something different with your body, you’d know what’s normal and what’s not.
Even halfway through the IVF procedure, asking your doctor about the progress isn’t wrong. And they are also obligated to answer all your queries with facts and without sugarcoating. This enables you to understand what direction the treatment is progressing.
2. Focus on weight management
Fertility and weight are interconnected. If you want to enhance your chances of a successful pregnancy, we’d recommend that you keep a check on your weight.
Getting pregnant can be a hassle, especially for overweight and obese individuals, as studies suggest. So, throughout your IVF procedure, make conscious and sustainable efforts to manage your weight.
Not just throughout the future pregnancy, making healthier choices in life will benefit you in the long run as well. Maintaining a healthy weight is also associated with optimal hormonal levels, a crucial deciding factor for IVF success.
3. Handle your stress
Stress management is another big DO throughout your IVF procedure. There are studies that suggest that physiological or psychological stress doesn’t have any influence on IVF outcomes, but it might hinder the implantation procedure.
If you tend to stress over the smallest issues throughout the procedure, find constructive ways to put your mind at ease.
Since IVF is quite taxing, maintaining positive mental well-being throughout the treatment allows you to have a positive and happy experience, irrespective of the outcomes.
4. Focus on your Diet
Diet has a multitude of impacts on the reproductive health of both men and women. Various diet factors contribute to:
- Optimal hormone production
- Semen production
- Egg count
- Egg viability
- Quality of uterine lining, etc.
So, if you want to improve your chances of a successful conception after the IVF procedure, it is mandatory to pay attention to your diet is mandatory. However, does that mean eating bland or tasteless food?
Absolutely no. When directing your diet for your IVF treatment, your doctor will emphasize eating a balanced and nutritious diet that contains a good amount of protein, fats, carbohydrates, and the necessary micronutrients too.
Studies have even found that switching to a plant-based or Mediterranean diet can proactively improve IVF success.
5. Get your prenatal vitamins
Prenatal vitamins prepare the body for a future conception. So, even when you are undergoing an “artificial” method of conception, taking an optimal dosage of prenatal vitamins is crucial.
Folic acid is an absolute must before and up to 12 weeks of gestation. Not just for fetal development, folic acid also prevents the risks of neural tube defects.
Your doctor should be able to guide you through the best supplements that you’d need to take before starting the IVF treatment and even during the IVF procedure.
6. Focus on getting good sleep
Not just stress, you also need to factor in your sleep as well. If you are not getting sleep, it directly influences the body’s hormonal balance, especially with the reproductive hormone secretion.
However, studies have found that excess sleep negatively affects the circadian rhythm, which can negatively impact the body, especially throughout IVF.
So, focus on getting sleep in moderation, especially focusing on the sleep quality instead of the duration.
What are the Don’ts during IVF Treatment?
With the positive factors out of the way, the next thing you need to prioritize is the don’ts. More than what you should be doing, it’s important to focus on what you should avoid throughout the procedure.
Here’s a quick list of all the potent don’ts.
1. Avoid alcohol
Alcohol is one of the biggest antagonists to pregnancy. Not only before the IVF treatment, but it’s also crucial that you avoid alcohol altogether.
Not just for women, daily consumption of alcohol in men vehemently affects the sperm count and sperm quality as well.
In women, quitting alcohol while trying to get pregnant through IVF positively impacts the egg’s viability and the estrogen levels in the blood.
2. Avoid excess caffeine
It is a common misconception that you should forego caffeine altogether throughout your IVF treatment. That’s not true. Drinking caffeine in minimal amounts and moderation is considered safe.
However, excess caffeine, especially from coffee, has been found to have negative implications on the reproductive functions of the body. Excess caffeine also makes a person anxious and jittery throughout the day, which can be a negative trigger during an IVF procedure.
3. Avoid heavy-duty exercising
Leading an active lifestyle is encouraged throughout the IVF procedure. Not only does it support optimal hormonal balance, but it also keeps one in their best physical and mental health throughout the treatment.
However, which kinds of exercise you choose makes a lot of difference. You want to ensure that you indulge in low-grade and light-intensity activities like walking, spinning, light jogging, etc.
High-intensity workouts like cardio, HIIT, resistance training, etc., isn’t encouraged throughout your IVF journey. An unregulated exercise regime is one of the common triggers of IVF failures.
IVF procedure is an extensive and expensive affair involving many technicalities. If you are undergoing IVF, always prioritize consulting a well-equipped clinic and highly experienced fertility specialists for higher success rates. Following that, you need to make conscious efforts to focus on your and your partner’s health for a successful conception, as we have explained in this article.
Engaging in sexual intercourse during your IVF cycle is normal and encouraged. It is safe and might also be a positive trigger for ovarian stimulation.
What you eat during your IVF treatment cycle depends on your body’s needs and physical health. Your fertility specialist will either prescribe a diet by themselves or refer you to a nutritionist for a well-rounded diet chart you could follow.
Travelling isn’t a complete no during IVF. However, to ensure that the intended mother is in the best health and there are no risks of any diseases, it’s often suggested to avoid travelling as much as possible.