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.