Did you know that complementary therapies to improve IVF success can be used to great effect? There are so many different approaches you can try, each of which helps to increase the chances of a successful round of treatment.
When you finally decide that IVF is the right approach for you, then you are likely to feel emotional turmoil. You are investing your time, money and emotional energy in a process which probably means everything to you, with no definite chance of success. It is therefore logical that you do whatever you can to increase the odds of a great outcome.
Like most couples, you will probably have to prepare yourselves for more than one round of treatment and you will want IVF to work as quickly as possible. Lets look at some steps you can take:
Complementary Therapies Can Help Improve IVF Success
Many of the methods you can use are common sense, such as ensuring you are in the best of health. However, other strategies are quite specific and if you have not researched these beforehand, you might think they are a little outlandish but all have been studied and you should consider trying those which appeal to you.
Becoming Healthier Improves IVF Success
Achieving a pregnancy by whatever means is a complex process, with so many chemical and physical processes having to synchronize. Your eggs need to be in the best of health as does the man’s sperm and your reproductive organs need to be healthy to carry a baby for nine months.
This is not difficult to do and you can start off my taking a multivitamin and mineral supplement designed for women who are trying to conceive. There is also a similar one available for men. These include a good mix of vitamins designed to aid conception. In particular, women should ensure they are taking vitamins E, C the B vitamin group and folic acid. Men should also take a good supply of vitamins but ensure they take zinc and L-arginine.
You should also both ensure you are eating a healthy balanced diet to improve IVF success. Plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables should be on the menu, as well as beans, nuts, seeds and lean meats. Full fat dairy products are also good if you are trying to conceive, whether by IVF or conventionally. As far as possible, ensure that you are eating organic produce to minimize your ingestion of pesticides and chemicals which can be harmful to a developing fetus.
Yoga Can Help IVF Work
Yoga is a gentle form of exercise which is effective nonetheless. It is becoming very popular as a complementary therapy to improve IVF success and also for couples hoping to conceive naturally. Experts are not exactly certain why Yoga works to improve fertility, but studies have been undertaken which conclude that yoga is a good way to both improve overall health and fertility. Exercise which is too strenuous can actually prevent ovulation so is not encouraged at this time, whereas moderate exercise, such as yoga is perfect when trying to conceive. Stress reduction is important and yoga can help with this, making it one of the best complementary therapies to improve IVF success.
Acupuncture To Help IVF Succeed
In recent years, acupuncture has come into the fore in terms of a complementary therapy to help improve IVF. There are several reasons why it is a beneficial therapy for the improvement of reproductive health. I would add at this stage that there are few scientific studies available to confirm how effective IVF actually is, but there is so much anecdotal evidence, not only from patients but medical professionals, that it simply cannot be overlooked.
Acupuncture is believed to help with implantation as it can help to increase blood flow to the uterus which in turn, thickens the uterine lining which leads to a better chance of the embryo implanting successfully. As a woman ages, the blood supply to the uterus lessens dramatically and as most women have IVF in their thirties or even forties, you can see why this is so important.
Acupuncture can also improve IVF success by reducing stress as it can stimulate the production of endorphins, the “feel good” hormone. I’ve already spoken about how stress is a fertility detractor as it can cause hormonal disruption.
These complementary therapies to improve IVF success are not harmful and so can be worth trying as you embark on your journey. Every positive step you take can take you a step nearer to your dream of having a baby.
Read about IVF egg retrieval tips.
Prior to the implantation component of your IVF procedure, there is much you can do to help with the process beforehand. There are a number of easy IVF egg retrieval tips which can help to improve the success of this part of your IVF.
Following egg retrieval, we all know that the number of eggs implanted can increase the chance of a pregnancy. Beforehand though, you should consider that pregnancy chances are improved by the quality of the eggs and this is influenced by the environment in which the eggs grow. You can take steps to improve your egg quality if you begin several months beforehand but there are steps you can take just before retrieval to increase the success.
IVF Egg Retrieval Tips
Trying out acupuncture is worthwhile and there is a lot written about how it is a respected complementary therapy for IVF. It can help to both reduce stress and the unwanted side effects of some of the fertility drugs and in addition to this, it can actually help to increase the number of eggs available to retrieve.
Acupuncture can help to improve the blood supply to the uterus and ovaries, thus increasing the nutrients flowing into those areas and therefore helping improve egg quality. Studies indicate that women having acupuncture alongside the IVF cycle respond better to the fertility drugs.
Ideally, you should start with your acupuncture treatments a couple of months before you are due to begin IVF but certainly, even if you have left it late, it is really a case of better late than never! Of course, you should ideally find a practitioner who is experienced in working with IVF patients, and your IVF clinic may be able to recommend one for you.
Stress Management and Reduction
Managing stress is one of the best IVF egg retrieval tips. Stress can negatively affect the quality and quantity of your eggs. You need to carefully think about what makes you feel the most relaxed and try to practice this for a few days beforehand. It could be gentle walks, meditation or reading, for example. Maybe you like to have a massage or spend time napping. Be kind to yourself and your body and mind.
Although not as tried and tested as other methods of IVF egg retrieval tips, visualization involved you imagining the whole process down to the smallest detail, such as your ovaries containing ripe eggs, imagine successful fertilization with a beautiful tiny baby at the end of the process and go over the whole process in your mind in a positive light. This can help you remove negative thoughts about the process and in turn, reduce stress, an inhibitor of fertility.
Certainly, there is much to say that remaining positive and looking after yourself can help improve the process and help with IVF egg retrieval. Tips are available from various sources-you can read some of my other posts on this website or consider the IVF Success Program.
Almost 50% of the cost of IVF goes towards the medications which are used and this comes as a big surprise to many women. There is a way to get cheaper IVF treatment if alternative natural cycle ivf is suitable for you.
The medications which are normally used are to ensure that there are plenty of eggs to collect when the cycle is completed. The alternative natural cycle IVF does not use drugs to boost the egg production and although many doctors refer to the process as “new”, this is not strictly true as the first IVF baby was born through natural cycle IVF.
This cheaper IVF treatment means that more couples can take advantage of treatment and if you are a suitable candidate, it can mean that you avoid the side effects which often come with the usual rounds of IVF drugs.
How Alternative Natural Cycle IVF Works
Cheaper IVF via the alternative natural cycle works in conjunction with the woman’s body. Rather trying to artificially speed up the process of egg production, the natural cycle is simply monitored carefully. Although there might only be one egg produced, often there are two or more.
Doctors will keep a check on the size of the follicle and carefully monitor hormonal levels to ensure that all is well. Rather than the regular often daily visits required by conventional IVF, with this process, there may only be 3 or 4 visits.
With cheaper IVF using the alternative natural cycle, the egg or eggs are retrieved using the same process as for the conventional cycle and from thereon, everything is the same.
Why Try Alternative Natural Cycle IVF?
There are advantages to using this method. Of course, the cost factor is important to mention and as said previously, this is lower due to no drugs or medicines being used. Some clinics might step in here and offer a low cost, low dose hormone to be taken orally which might increase the number of eggs produced, but this only marginally increases the cost.
Overall, natural cycle IVF is much less stressful than conventional IVF. The injections and daily monitoring are often quite stressful in themselves and there is some evidence to suggest that increased stress levels can negatively affect the process itself. Also, as the eggs are developed naturally, some doctors believe that they are more healthy than those which are “forced”. Also, there is no high risk of multiple births.
Cost of Cheaper IVF Through The Alternative Natural Cycle
On each round of treatment, you are probably looking at a cost of just 25% of that of normal IVF and doctors estimate a success rate of 50% after 4 attempts. This means that you could undergo 4 cycles for the cost of just one standard treatment, with a potentially better pregnancy rate when using the alternative natural cycle IVF.
If you are heading towards this procedure, then why not ask your doctor about cheaper IVF treatment through this method. It is certainly worth considering and not only for the cost element alone.
Previous Post-Tips To Help With IVF Treatment
Although I am about to give you some tips to help with IVF treatment, accurate advice for In vitro fertilization treatment can, of course, be best obtained by your health care provider. It is advised to always consult your physician before as well as after the IVF procedure. This article provides certain basic tips that can help you to follow during IVF procedure. This article provides information that is not intended to replace your own physician’s advice.
Tips To Help With IVF Treatment
Before the IVF procedure
Always consume a balanced diet and perform exercise regularly. Obtain a desirable, healthy weight as obesity or even being overweight by a few pounds can negatively interfere with the IVF cycle. Make sure that your body mass index (BMI) is ranging between 20 and 25. It is advised to discuss about your medications or pre-existing health condition with your health care provider to avoid unexpected drug interactions. Avoid drinks that contain high quantity of caffeine or minimize the intake of caffeinated beverages. Avoid smoking, drinking alcohol or at the very least, limit your intake and have no more than the equivalent of half a cup of red wine.
During IVF procedure
Although many tips to help with IVF treatment relate to pre-preparation, during the procedure itself, continue with the regular intake of a healthy, balanced diet and minimize the intake of caffeine. Have an adequate sleep of around 8 hours. Perform moderate exercises. Both partners should avoid smoking and alcohol intake. Dieting is not advised as it complicates the IVF cycle. Cold water fish containing mercury should be avoided. Avoid all medications for cold, allergy or cough. Discuss the prescribed medications with your health care provider before its intake. Avoid hot temperatures as it reduces the chances of getting fertile in both partners, but particularly the man. Consume plenty of water-an intake of around 3 liters per day is acceptable. Baby aspirin is a blood thinner that may improve the implantation in the uterus and should be taken on your consultant physician’s advice. Stress should be avoided as it reduces the fertility in both the partners and provides a negative outcome.
After the implantation of the embryo
Tips to help with IVF treatment after implantation are as follows; It is advised to not consume food that is not freshly prepared or if older than 12 hours. Avoid fish that contains mercury. Avoid over-exercise and stress. Moderate walking and adequate sleep is advised. Avoid lifting heavy weight that is about 2 to 10 pounds. Prevent constipation by consuming excess of water. Hot temperature should be avoided by both the partners. Practice breathing exercises, meditation, positive affirmations and yoga exercises that improve fertility. These are the best relaxation techniques to relieve stress and increase the success rate of IVF procedure.
Tips for Males
It is advised to discuss about the sperm count improving products like clomid with your urologist. It also improves the sperm quality in certain cases. Also discuss with your physician regarding vitamins and dietary supplements to improve male fertility as these can be really useful and there are a number available at your local pharmacy. Your physician may prescribe supplements like multivitamins, Vitamin E, vitamin B12, Vitamin C, Beta Carotene, Zinc, Selenium, Flaxseed oil and Fish oil. Hot temperature should be avoided by both the partners. Practice breathing exercises, meditation, positive affirmations and yoga exercises that improve fertility. Avoid smoking and alcohol intake.
For more tips to help with IVF treatment, try the IVF Success Program which will take you hand and guide you from the early stages of contemplation right through to hopefully a successful pregnancy, as well as specific information on each stage such as the 2 week wait and reducing the costs.
The IVF 2 week wait can be one of the most stressful times for couples who are having IVF treatment. It is very frightening for couples to simply have to await the long-awaited results to find out if indeed they are going to be parents to an often long-awaited baby.
If you know beforehand how to cope, then it needn’t be as bad as you are expecting. If you have a good support network then you are well on your way of easing the difficult feelings which are inherent in the IVF process, in particular, the two week wait.
If you haven’t got to the IVF 2 week wait stage yet and you are already worried about this period, then here are some strategies which will help.
Support During The IVF 2 Week Wait Is Crucial
There have been numerous studies done which have focused not only on the statistics as regards to pregnancy rates, but on emotional and mental responses. In British Columbia, one such study took questionnaires from the couples during the IVF process and collated the responses.
The emotions which were expressed by the couples in question were certainly varied, but this in itself indicates the wide range of emotional responses and feelings. The emotions ranged from depression, anxiety and loss of control right through to positive feelings. Many women felt anxious during the procedure and some reported that they felt a loss of control after the actual transfer itself. Both men and women mentioned that they had high levels of depression once the IVF round was completed and both sexes indicated that they felt the need for a high level of support at all stages of the IVF procedure.
How To Find Support For IVF
Deciding that you need support, especially during the IVF 2 week wait is the first step. You then need to know where to find appropriate levels of support. Here are some suggestions which you might like to follow up on.
- Local Support Groups – If you live in a big city or town, you might be able to find local IVF support groups which consist of couples who have already gone through the process as well as couples like you, who are still in the treatment stage. Each group will be managed locally but in general, they will offer support by talking to one another and sharing experiences, the value of which should not be overlooked. You will be able to both give support to others in similar situations and get support from other members. For example, if you are going through the IVF 2 week wait you can get support from those who have been through that stage as to how they coped and offer help to couples who are still to get to that stage.
- Online Support Groups – There are many online forums which offer support to both men and women. If you don’t have a local support group nearby or don’t have the time or inclination to meet up with others regularly, you might find this a great option for you.
- Friends and Family – Although you might find that you can get excellent support for the IVF 2 week wait from support groups and forums, there is nothing like good, solid support from your loved ones who simply want the best fro you and who are rooting for your success. Although IVF is something which many couples like to keep private, you and your partner might like to discuss whether you should tell certain trusted family members and friends who will be supportive. You do not need to tell everyone, but this type of support from those who know you well can certainly help.
There is much extensive information on how to cope with the IVF 2 week wait in Diana Farrell’s IVF Success Program, along with help for every step of the process, including what you need to do leading up to your IVF and afterwards.
Learn more about enhancing fertility before IVF treatment.
Like many patients, you may feel that the success or failure of your IVF procedure is mainly down to the competence of the clinic and, to some extent, the “luck of the draw”.
In actual fact, nothing could be further from the truth and whilst acknowledging the undeniable influence of the clinic and the element of good luck involved, there really is a lot you can do yourself for enhancing your fertility before IVF treatment which which can really make a difference.
Like many things in life, good preparation really matters. When it comes down to IVF, it is important to start as soon as possible. When you think about it, IVF is usually about taking over the mechanics of conception, in terms of getting the sperm to the egg and ensuring (as far as is possible) that implantation happens. Other than that, it is still crucial that the quality of the eggs and sperm is tip-top! Indeed, one of the common reasons for failure of IVF is the egg or sperm quality.
Your diet and lifestyle can impact massively on the quality of eggs and sperm. What you eat, the exercise you do, the type of lifestyle you have, your working environment and any “bad habits” will all count.
The good news is that it isn’t actually difficult to have a big impact. In an ideal world you need to begin working on this between 3 and 4 months before your procedure as it can take this long for any beneficial changes to impact upon sperm quality as initial production within the testes actually begins 3 months before ejaculation. In terms of the woman, although the eggs are already present in the ovaries from birth, there is a lot to do to improve and enhance the quality and again, the earlier you start the better.
It might even be worth delaying your IVF cycle if you know that your preparation isn’t as good as it could be. You would then have a timescale to really concentrate on ensuring that you are as ready as possible.
Enhancing Fertility Before IVF Treatment
“Feeding” the eggs with the correct nutrients is as important as watering and feeding any seeds which you grow! Maturation takes about 4 months and during this time, the undeveloped eggs are feeding on nutrients and any harmful substances from your body. The same can be said for sperm.
Simple tips revolve around foregoing substances and foods which, if you are honest, you already know are harmful. These include fast foods, coffee, smoking, alcohol, recreational drugs and many prescription and over the counter meds.
You should also refrain from vigorous exercise as this can inhibit fertility, especially in females. However, that is not to say that you should not exercise as regular moderate exercise is recommended, with suitable forms being walking, yoga, gentle swimming and stretching. For males, although the intensity is not as crucial, men should avoid doing extensive periods of cycling and visiting the hot tub after the gym as excessive heat can damage sperm.
A good diet coupled with a pre-natal supplement (for both men and women) can help with enhancing fertility before IVF treatment. You should eat a healthy diet, including plenty of fresh fruits, vegetables, wholegrains, beans, nuts and seeds. Lean, healthy meat is also good when preparing for conception as is full fat dairy produce. You should ensure that the foods you eat are organic as this minimizes your exposure to pesticides. One good rule of thumb is to eat foods which are in their original form as far as possible before you cook them, meaning that you should avoid processed foods or those with additives and preservatives.
With regard to supplements, there are many good quality tablets available and you could consider asking your IVF professional what she would recommend.
Your state of mind is also a factor to be considered. Some research indicates that people who consider themselves to be “stressed” have a reduced level of fertility and this is thought to be due to the fact that the stress hormone, Cortisol, can be a hormone disruptor. Therefore, practice relaxation techniques and try, if possible, to remove stressful situations from your everyday life.
Of course, your doctor will no doubt tell you that no amount of preparing yourself for IVF treatment and the skill at the clinic can guarantee a successful pregnancy. However, doctors do agree that good preparation can indeed help in enhancing your fertility before IVF, thus at least increasing your odds significantly.
Much is written on the subject of preparing yourself for IVF treatment. You will find lots of information on this blog on this very topic and, of course, on the internet.
The cost and time investment, not to mention the emotional energy we expend on having IVF makes it natural that we want to give it the best possible chance of success. Very few people go through the process of IVF without understanding that there is no guarantee of success and the “rose colored spectacles” and illusions of everything being easy and straightforward are usually quickly dismissed as we enter the uncertain, exciting and sometimes frightening world of hospital appointments and medical procedures to help us have our babies.
Although some women feel that they must surrender to the process and have little say and influence in the whole procedure, most women recognize that there is actually a lot that can be done behind the scenes which can directly and indirectly influence the subsequent success or failure of IVF.
Preparing For IVF Treatment
There are various areas which can be addressed, but we will look at 3 of the main topics which regularly crop up.
- Diet-What we eat has such an influence on all aspects of our lives whether we want to become pregnant or not. A healthy diet can prolong our lives, keeping us fit and well long into old age, often preventing serious diseases. But how can our diet help when preparing yourself for IVF treatment? It is known that certain foods can be bad for fertility. These include processed foods, those with undesirable additives and foods which have been treated with pesticides and certain preservatives. Additionally, excessive sugar and trans fats can wreak havoc with fertility as they can cause imbalances in the healthy balance of certain hormones, thus causing disruption to ovulation. A balanced, healthy diet which is made up of organic produce is the way forward. Include plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, lean organic meats, nuts, seeds and wholegrains. Also, ensure that you drink a couple of liters of freshly filtered water every day and avoid caffeinated drinks and alcohol.
- Relax! – There is a lot of evidence to suggest that women who practice simple relaxation techniques give themselves the best chance of conceiving. As well as promoting a feeling of well-being at a very stressful time, when we are stressed our bodies release a hormone called Cortisol which can disrupt levels of other hormones which are essential for fertility. Preparing yourself for IVF treatment should include practicing relaxation techniques but there is certainly no “one size fits all” solution. Some women feel relaxed after moderate exercise whereas others might prefer the opposite, finding that a quiet lie down in a darkened room is just what the doctor ordered! Others might like distraction techniques such as reading or watching TV. Gentle massage works for some. The key is to find what works for you personally and go with it.
- Nutritional Supplements For IVF – Although we might think we are eating a balanced diet, we often miss out certain essential nutrients, especially micronutrients, which are often overlooked. Over the last few years, many reputable companies have brought out supplements for both men and women which are ideal for taking before conception. These are carefully balanced and include essentials such as Folic Acid, Zinc, Selenium, Fish Oils and trace elements. The advice I would give is that before you consider taking anything in addition to what has been prescribed by your clinic professionals that you check with them first to ensure they are suitable. They will add very little to the overall cost but may make a significant difference.
When preparing yourself for IVF treatment, try to begin as soon as possible. Some practices, such as taking supplements, can take some time to achieve maximum effect so allow at least 3 months if possible. For IVF male preparation, allowing 3 months when taking supplementation to improve sperm quality is especially important.
There is such a lot you can do in the weeks and months leading to IVF but much of the advice is geared towards the woman’s role, overlooking the fact that IVF male preparation can be just as important.
Although there is no doubt that the woman takes on the bulk of the workload when getting ready for the procedure, the simple fact is that if the sperm is below quality for any reason at all, then this obviously affects the potential success of the whole process.
IVF Male Preparation-Where To Start
The ideal situation is to be planning and preparing several months in advance of the actual procedure itself. The main reason for this, as far as men are concerned, is the fact that sperm production actually goes through a cycle which lasts around 3 months. This means that something you do today, could affect the quality of your sperm 3 months from now.
Assuming you have the luxury of a window of 3 months, the ideal IVF male preparation involves several aspects, all of which work towards ensuring that your sperm is at the optimum quality.
You may already be aware of the fact that cycling is thought to affect male fertility and this is correct to a certain extent. Supervised studies have been done which indicate that the compression which happens when cycling, coupled with the higher temperature can both destroy sperm and cause reduced mobility. The effect is more pronounced when cycling for long periods of time over rough terrain. Additionally, riding a bike which has the front of the saddle pointed up slightly can cause harm by increasing pressure on the genitals.
So, all in all, if you enjoy cycling and still wish to go ahead, restrict the length of time you spend on the bike and go for a comfortable, wider seat, ensuring it is not pointed upwards.
Bathing and Using A Hot Tub
There is a good reason why the testicles hang outside of the body and this is to keep them cooler than body temperature. The testes require a cool environment to produce healthy sperm and studies have shown that the temperature and season can affect sperm count and quality. For this reason, it is best to avoid the hot tub or hot baths or at the very least, limiting your time in there and ensuring that the temperature isn’t too high.
Smoking and Drug Use
It goes without saying really that certain bad habits can adversely affect sperm count and quality. As far as IVF male preparation is concerned, you will not only help improve your sperm count, but your overall health too if you cut out practices which are known to be harmful. It therefore makes complete sense to at least cut down on smoking (stopping if possible) and of course you should not take any drugs. If you are taking prescription drugs, then check with your doctor if these could be harmful to your sperm and see if there is an alternative available.
During the lengthy period before IVF when sperm is being produced, you should ensure that you are eating a healthy diet, the basis of which should be organically grown or produced natural foods. Lean meats, fish, vegetables, fruits, wholegrains, peas and beans are all healthy as is a good intake of water. As well as these general guidelines, there are specific foods which can help with IVF male preparation and these include:
- Vitamin A Rich Foods – Such as red peppers, oatmeal, apricots and oatmeal
- Zinc Rich Foods – Pumpkin seeds, turkey, eggs and oysters are all good sources
- Vitamin C Rich Foods – Include oranges, asparagus, strawberries and tomatoes
- Folic Acid - Important for men as well as women. Sources include wholegrains, beans and dark green leafy vegetables
- Omega 3 Fatty Acids – Anchovies, walnuts, sardines and salmon are all rich sources
As well as choosing the right diet, most fertility doctors agree that it does not harm to take a nutritional supplement which includes the important nutrients which are important for the development of healthy sperm. It is certainly worth asking your IVF doctor for recommendations. Alternatively, there are many reputable, household brands available at most pharmacists.
As you will now understand, as a man, the optimum time to begin preparing for IVF is 3 months in advance of the first cycle. Of course, it might well be that you are reading this much nearer to the time when you will be trying to conceive your baby. However, do not be disheartened, there is still much you can do which will help and it is never too late to start making beneficial changes.
In terms of IVF male preparation, the old adage “better late than never” certainly applies and as well as helping yourself, there is a lot you can do to help your partner along too.
Read about Pre IVF Preparation For Women
Pre IVF preparation for women can take several forms. Indeed, there is no singular step which you absolutely need to take before your treatment, but there is no doubt that a combination of small steps can make a huge difference in terms of a successful outcome.
IVF is such a huge investment in terms of time, money and emotional energy that it makes complete sense to do whatever you can to increase your chances of pregnancy. Each small step you take can help add to your overall success.
Pre IVF Preparation For Women
Prior to the development of today’s IVF techniques, there were always a small percentage of couples who found it difficult to conceive. Even then, natural treatments were developed which could significantly improve the chances of getting pregnant. These natural treatments were effective in their own right and still have a place in today’s technological age and the can work very well to improve the success rates when used as pre IVF preparation for women.
You will often hear of acupuncture being used as a complementary therapy for IVF treatment. Indeed, it can be used to improve fertility in both men and women. In terms of fertility enhancement, it is believed that acupuncture can help to free up blocked energy channels which were preventing natural conception. Also, it can improve the blood flow to the pelvic region. The energy created by acupuncture is said to help to allow the body to heal itself and to function naturally and normally. This treatment has been widely linked to IVF, so much so that conventional doctors often recommend a local practitioner who you could use.
Another effective treatment which can form part of the pre IVF preparation for women is fertility massage. This is an advanced form of massage which uses several different techniques each of which is aimed at a specific fertility problem. To give you an example, Myofacial massage can free the tissues which tend to bind together and cause blockages, thus hindering fertility. On its own, this treatment can improve IVF results. Acupressure, a technique which focuses on massage points rather than using needles, can also be used.
These types of treatment can be easily learned and performed on yourself or by a willing partner. Not only can they help to improve success rates but they can also help you relax and reduce stress naturally.
One very economical and easy to use treatment is castor oil . This natural oil is known to be able to penetrate the skin and has powers to heal all manner of conditions. It is particularly well known for its effectiveness on conditions which effect fertility and the reproductive organs. Indeed, home made castor oil packs are often recommended as treatments for fibroids, endometriosis and cysts on the ovaries. As pre IVF preparation for women, it can be used either as a home made “pack” or as a massage oil for your fertility massages.
These are just three suggested treatments out of many you could try to improve the chances of success when you are undergoing IVF. Other simple yet effective options include changing your diet to include fertility boosting foods, taking appropriate pre-natal supplements and practicing relaxation techniques.
Diana Farrell’s IVF Success Program will arm you with all the important techniques to give you the best possible chance of success. Her pre IVF preparation for women is extensive yet simple to implement and has help many thousands of women become pregnant without having to undergo repeated cycles.
Previous Post – Help Before IVF Treatment
Beginning the long road of IVF treatment can be very a very daunting time indeed. For most couples, having a family is a pivotal key point in their lives and their very future will be shaped by the children they may or may not have.
Prior to starting the procedure, it is wise to seek help before IVF so that you fully understand what is going to happen to you. This makes the whole process so much less daunting and can help reduce your stress level, which in itself is believed to be a fertility detractor.
Although IVF treatment is often successful, it usually takes more than just one try. Indeed although some women will conceive on their first cycle, many take several to conceive.
Before you actually begin, be aware that it is normal to feel overwhelmed and stressed. Just thinking about what is about to happen in terms of the medical procedures such as ultrasounds, bloods, injections etc can leave some couples feeling worried. For some women, it is worth mentioning that the drugs you will be taking can sometimes adversely affect your moods and so being prepared for this to possibly happen is beneficial. In terms of help before IVF treatment, just being mentally prepared is a huge help
Help Before IVF
Although the protocols will vary from clinic to clinic and certain procedures will be tailor-made for the individuals, there is a general step by step method for treatment and the basics are below.
- Before the treatment cycle, you might be put on birth control pill as these are thought to reduce the risk of ovarian hyperstimulation and may improve your chances of success
- You may be asked to monitor your ovulation (by basal-body temp or using a kit). Following this, you may be placed on a treatment to help control subsequent ovulation cycles.
- The first “official” treatment day is the day you get your period. On the following day, you are likely to have an ultrasound and blood tests. This gives the doctors a baseline. The doctor will check your estrogen levels via your bloods and check the size of your ovaries via the ultrasound. If all looks well, then treatment can move forward
- The next step is to stimulate the ovaries with fertility drugs. This might mean up to 4 injections for between a week to ten days. (You will be given help before IVF injections so you know how to do this yourself)
- During this time, your ovaries will be monitored and medications adjusted if necessary. Once the largest follicle is between 16-18mm in diameter, your doctor might want to monitor you on a daily basis
- Next, you will be given a shot of hCG to trigger maturity. Timing is crucial and will be based on your blood tests and ultrasound. If it looks like all is not progressing well, and there is a chance of hyperstimulation, the cycle may be cancelled and alternative meds tried on the next cycle. This cancellation happens during about 10-20% of cycles, with the likelihood rising with age
- Retrieval of the eggs happens around 34-36 hours after you have received hCG. Prior to this, you will be given some medication to help before IVF retrieval which will mean you relax and most women do not find the procedure too stressful. The doctor will use ultrasound to guide a needle through the vaginal wall and into your ovaries. The needle will then gently suck up the fluid and oocyte from the follicle. There is once fertilized egg (oocyte) per follicle and the average number retrieved is between 8-15. After retrieval, you will be asked to rest for a few hours. You might experience light spotting and mild cramps.
- You will then return home and back at the clinic, the retrieved fluid will be checked for eggs and the quality assessed.
- Providing the eggs are suitable, your partner will provide a sperm sample the following morning and this is prepared prior to fertilization. One way to help before IVF treatment is to ensure that your partner stops drinking and smoking and eats a healthy diet to improve the sperm quality. The embryologist will select the best sperm and around 10,000 will be placed in a petri-dish with each suitable egg. The dishes are inspected after 12-24 hours to see if fertilization has taken place
- In general, about 70% of the eggs will have been fertilized and after 3-5 days, a pre-decided number of embryos will be transferred back into the womb. This number is usually between 2-5. The procedure is done via a catheter which is passed via the cervix. Some women will experience mild cramping. Afterwards, you will be asked to lie flat for a couple of hours before being allowed to return home. Any “spare” embryos may be frozen for future use
- After transfer, not too much happens and many couples find this very stressful. You are given much help before IVF but immediately afterwards, some feel as if they are suddenly lacking the support they had beforehand. This is not the case, it is simply that this stage is a waiting game until you know whether or not you are pregnant
- Usually, a pregnancy test is done 9-12 days after transfer and after that, you will continue to take progesterone supplements if the test is positive. You will also have follow-up ultrasounds and blood tests from time to time. Of course you will be monitored for signs of multiple pregnancy, with decisions needing to be made if you have 4 or more fertilized eggs
- If pregnancy is unsuccessful, then you will stop taking the progesterone and decide on the next step in consultation with your IVF clinic.
- If failure happens, bear in mind that this is common and does not mean that your next cycle will not result in a pregnancy. Try to remain positive and get as much help before IVF begins again as possible in terms of moral and emotional support.
Knowing the process as detailed above will be of significant help. However, there is much you can do before you actually get to the process itself. For example, much help before IVF relates to your diet and lifestyle. It is important to eat well and try to maintain a bodyweight which is within the healthy range for your height. Additionally, some doctors believe that eating organic foods can help as can avoiding trans-fats and foods with additives and that this can give particular help before IVF treatment if started up to 6 months before the first cycle. Other steps include stopping smoking and drinking alcohol and caffeine.
Read more about preparing for IVF treatment