Pregnancy is an extremely joyous experience for most couples. While some get to rejoice in the feeling through natural processes, some couples might face certain struggles. There’s no reason to feel unworthy or not enough for opting for any assisted reproductive techniques (ARTs).
Studies from the CDC suggest that close to 2% of newborns in the United States are born via in-vitro fertilization (IVF). It is an accessible and effective procedure for a diverse range of patients. It caters to couples battling infertility, same-sex couples, and even older couples and has reduced the chances of a successful conception naturally.
Given how much medicine has evolved over the years, it is time to eradicate the stigma surrounding discussions about IVF and the processes involved. We will discuss all the related tips to ensure a healthy IVF pregnancy treatment.
In this Article
- 1 Breaking Down the IVF Cycle
- 2 How to Optimize the IVF Pregnancy Chances?
- 3 FAQs
- 4 Conclusion
Breaking Down the IVF Cycle
Undergoing an IVF cycle involves a lot of research, preparation, financing, and implementation. Unlike other medical treatments, IVF isn’t a one-day process. An IVF cycle involves several sub-steps, all contributing to its success rate.
When it comes to an IVF cycle, it starts with a standard preparation, followed by six individual treatment stages. Here’s what you need to know:
Preparation – starts 2-4 weeks preceding the actual treatment’s initiation. It involves introducing lifestyle and dietary changes to ensure optimal health before the onset of the treatment. This stage also consists of administering certain medications to regulate the menstrual cycle.
Stage in IVF Cycle – it involves six distinct stages.
Stage 1 – this is considered the Day of your IVF cycle when you start your period.
Stage 2 – this involves days 3-12 of your IVF cycle. Your doctor will administer certain fertility drugs to stimulate the ovaries to produce and release multiple eggs for the fertilization process.
Stage 3 – involves administering the human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) hormone to stimulate the ovaries to release the eggs. After 36 hours of injecting this hormone, the patient needs to visit the fertility clinic for egg retrieval.
Stage 4 – involves egg retrieval or harvesting. The eggs are then fertilized with the sperm sample (from the partner or donor) within hours. Your doctor will prescribe progesterone by this stage.
Stage 5 – following a week after egg retrieval and fertilization, the fertilized embryo is then transferred to the womb of the female patient.
Stage 6 – this is followed by the wait and watch the game for up to two weeks, after which the patient has to come into the clinic to get the first ultrasound to check for successful implantation and pregnancy.
How to Optimize the IVF Pregnancy Chances?
Undergoing IVF is an expensive procedure and very taxing on a person’s mental health. So, it isn’t surprising that most people want to ensure success during the first cycle.
How do you achieve that? We have sorted some of the best tips for a healthy pregnancy through IVF.
1. Maintain a Healthy Weight
As crude as it sounds, your weight affects the chances of conception through an IVF procedure. Maintaining a healthy weight before and throughout the IVF treatment is thus necessary for higher success rates of conception.
Both overweight and underweight women reduce the IVF success rate by 2-4%. Also, being overweight or obese also hinders the ovarian function monitoring throughout the IVF procedure, disrupting the timing and affecting the successful egg retrieval process.
Most fertility specialists hence patients undergoing IVF, work with a dietician to maintain their weight throughout the IVF treatment.
2. Working with a Reputed Clinic and Specialist
The success rate of an IVF treatment isn’t solely reliant on the patient and their well-being. It is equally dependent on the clinic from where you are getting treated.
Partnering with a reputed reproductive endocrinologist working in a well-equipped clinic increases the chances of conception by 2x. Also, find supportive and empathetic fertility specialists who will support you through the treatment journey.
Ideally, we’d recommend indulging in strong research and checking the success rate of the doctor and the clinic individually before you schedule a consultation in the future.
3. Manage Stress and Anxiety
Undergoing IVF treatment isn’t an easy ride. It involves a lot of speculations, anxiousness, and what-ifs. However, stress will add to your risk of failure of an IVF treatment.
Doctors even confirm that basal stress levels have an impact on not just IVF success but even when a couple is trying to conceive a baby naturally.
So, prepare for ways to level out your stress during the IVF journey. It could be with help from your partner, or you could sign up for stress-relieving yoga classes, practice mindfulness, and focus on the positive triggers surrounding you.
4. Quit Smoking
Smoking is an unhealthy habit that impacts a person’s overall well-being. So, it is a given that when you are undergoing a sensitive procedure like IVF, smoking can hinder the success rate drastically.
So, if you are trying for a baby via IVF or are planning to undergo IVF in the upcoming months, it is crucial to quit smoking for good. Smoking has damaging impacts on the eggs and sperm quality. So, quit it at least 3-6 months before starting your IVF journey.
There are structured programs online, and offline that can help quit smoking in a healthy and structured way. Consult one accordingly.
5. Prioritize Supplementation
In normal times, doctors and nutritionists will recommend you to get your daily requirements of vitamins, minerals, and overall nutrition from dietary sources.
However, when it comes to IVF, supplements like DHEA and CoQ10 improve egg quality and streamline the egg retrieval process. Your fertility specialist will also suggest taking multivitamins to support the IVF journey.
Besides that, Vitamin D supplementation is also crucial throughout the IVF journey. Ask your specialist about the dosage and requirements depending on your levels.
IVF is a prolonged and nerve-wracking procedure. Following the transfer of the fertilized embryo, the wait through the two weeks until you know if you are pregnant can be debilitating. Sometimes, the first cycle of IVF might not be successful. It was probably not the right time. So, don’t get disheartened because there are always options to try again.
Which chemicals should I avoid during IVF?
Chemicals like formaldehyde, parabens, triclosan, etc. should be avoided during an IVF procedure to ensure optimal success.
Can I exercise during IVF?
Light exercising is permissible throughout your IVF journey. However, we’d recommend discussing the safe options with the doctor before you start running or hit the gym.
What kind of medications can interfere with fertility drugs during IVF?
Some medications like allergy pills, acetaminophen, OTC supplements, etc., can interfere with fertility drugs.
IVF is a physical and emotional procedure for patients. If you are undergoing the treatment, being mindful of the associated factors is crucial. You need to ensure that you prioritize your health and prepare your body for a successful conception. We have assorted all the relevant information in this guide with it answers queries related to IVF pregnancy tests and IVF pregnancy chances in a patient.