9 Ways To Prepare For IVF And To Manage Infertility Better

ivf-preparation-tips

The suggestions on how to prepare for IVF treatment made in this article are gathered from various research studies. Basically, I have read extensively and spoken to infertility specialists to derive on these suggestions that can help you improve your chances of getting pregnant. These are equally effective as pre-IVF preparation. You should begin implementing them atleast six months ahead of your treatment to benefit.  Remember the effects will be subtle and holistic, and most importantly you will have to believe in them to see visible results.

I can vouch for these natural means to prepare for IVF as I have experienced these myself. And, what do you have to lose? These lifestyle changes bring a positive change to your well-being, and it is not just about pregnancy.

A healthy body and mind is an important pre-requisite for a happy pregnancy. You can definitely achieve this by natural means.

1. Ayurvedic Or Mediterranean Diet

The idea is to choose a nutrition style that is as close to its natural form as possible. Home cooked and holistic meal works best. According to a study conducted over 166 Dutch couples undergoing IVF treatment it was seen that those who incorporated Mediterranean diet in their lifestyle, six months before conception, showed significant increase in positive pregnancy. This diet pattern enhances fertility. There is high level of antioxidants in vegetables and fruits and less amount of processed chemicals in these diets.

Again, iron and folate level is also high. With home-cooked food nutrition is intact. Clean eating helps detox and cleanse the system. Your body becomes stronger from inside. Endometrium lining and quality of eggs is positively improved helping you inch towards successful pregnancy.

Fresh food that has gone through minimum processing is the key.

Recommended Vegetables:  Mushroom, lettuce, peas, onion, potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, and broccoli.

Recommended Fruits: Strawberries, peaches, date, grapes, apple, melons.

Recommended Diary: Milk, Yogurt, Paneer

Avoid: White bread, Pasta, Maida

Don’t Avoid: Ghee. Lot of people think ghee is fattening. However, ghee is the closest to Nature. Refined oils are processed. Olive oil and canola oil is good for salads but when you cook them (necessary in Indian cooking) they lose their nutritional property. I switched to cow’s ghee pre IVF and during pregnancy. I had huge gastritis problem but it was hugely minimized when I switched from refined oils to ghee and mustard oil. Use balanced quantities.

Read detailed information on benefits of ayurvedic diet and what exactly to eat during and post IVF.

 

2. Folic Acid

Start on folic acid and take them regularly. It is recommended to start taking folic tablets atleast 6 months ahead of your IVF or before beginning to get pregnant. Continue using it during the first term of pregnancy too. Though, you may be suggested a bunch of prenatal vitamins but it is folic acid that is the most important of all. It helps prevent severe neurological disorders in babies.

Taking folic acid regularly gives you a good jump start and puts you in top 30% of women who are proactive in improving their chances to get a healthy baby.

3. Vitamin D

Do you know recently how many people are suffering from Vitamin D deficiency {get some number here] in India owing to their sedentary lifestyle?

Your body especially your eggs in ovary need sunshine to bloom. Our ancestors never had infertility problem, animals don’t have infertility problem, why? It is because they were not perpetually inside AC rooms and closed environment like us. They were out there under the sun.

A 2010 study led by Dr Lubna Pal from Yake University, published in the journal Fertility and Sterility, found that Vitamin D blood level was a better predictor of pregnancy success following IVF than any other parameter. For women undergoing fertility treatment, this means that your IVF may fail just because your body is Vitamin D deficient, even of everything is perfectly ok.

Vitamin D has significant impact on fertility. We can be well-nourished but that does not necessarily mean we are not Vitamin D deficient. Get Vitamin D test and start taking supplements to overcome deficiency if any. Sitting in the sun might not be a choice for everyone. Also, the sun-rays in metros is equally polluted. Though if you can it is best to walk in the open and get early morning first rays of the sun, ideally before 9 am.

Now you know why in Hindu religious system giving water to early morning sun was considered a good practice. Sometimes, your astrologer will also suggest you to do the same. You know the logic now.

4.  Omega 3 and Omega 6

Increased Omega-3 intake during preconception phase greatly improves embryo quality in women undergoing IVF. Increase Omega-3 and reduce Omega-6 (fatty acids) to create a perfect balance in your body.

Reducing omega 6 might be quite difficult if you have a messed up lifestyle. You have to ideally stop or reduce intake of processed foods, fast food, fried potatoes, white bread, and all junk food.

For increasing omega 3 you can take supplements easily available over the counter. Eat fatty fish, tofu, soyabean and flaxseed oil.

It is this balance between omega 3 and 6 that will bring harmony to your inner body system and make it healthy to conceive and sustain pregnancy.

5.  Yoga – Pranayam

Yoga, especially pranayam can help you relax. Stress and anxiety developed due to failed attempts to conceive and unusually prolonged waiting period definitely needs to be managed and you have to make a conscious effort towards it. I know, you seem to lose control over life and this feeling drives you insanely crazy. Infertility messes up your mind. But if you let it continue it affects your future attempts and fertility treatment. Take charge of your life. Reduce tensions and clear out the mess you will see visible improvement in your conception chances.

A 10 minutes pranayam early morning along with 2 rounds of sun salutation should be a good start.

6. Fertility Massage

Fertility massage is a great way to reduce tension hidden deep inside the skin and also get the blood circulation moving. Go to a naturopathy centre and seek for professional masseurs or do it yourself at home. You know your body better so gently massage your abdomen, ovaries and uterus prior to ovulation. This helps digestion, removes toxins from the body and increases blood flow to ovaries.

 

7.  Acupuncture

During your tryst with infertility you might have heard about effects of acupuncture in improving implantation chances of embryo. For IVF treatment this is a vital step – implantation and most failures occur at this stage. Studies show improved pregnancy outcome for women who went for atleast one acupuncture treatment before embryo transfer.

I had acupuncture session before second round of IVF and it turned out well. I can’t pinpoint and say IVF was successful because of acupuncture. However, when I am trying to do all the things right and want to give my 100% to the treatment then why not try this approach too.

The logic behind correlation of acupuncture and pregnancy is simple – this Chinese methodology works as an instant hormone stimulant. It opens up blocked energy channels thus preparing both mind and body to accept the baby. It increases blood flow to the uterus thus having positive impact on egg quality, embryo quality and the process of implantation.

A word of caution: Acupuncture is an extremely complicated science. Don’t fall for tricksters. If, and I insist only if you find the right acupuncture practitioner then go ahead with this methodology. There have been cases where a wrong needle insert caused irreversible damage. It is your body at stake so be extremely cautious.

8.  Communicate With Your Partner

If you are stuck in the long and dark tunnel of infertility then only one thing can see you through at the end where light is waiting for you – walk the tunnel holding your partner’s hand tight. A lot of couples give in to this trauma and stop communicating to each other. Stress starts to seep in and hits at the foundation of marital relationship causing even more distress. It then becomes a domino reaction destroying everything one by one.

No one, atleast your partner is not responsible for your infertility so why punish him/her? Communicate, understand, empathize and come out of this tunnel together. Broaden your perspective and look for alternatives if you feel stuck in one methodology of treatment. Medical science is advancing at a lightning speed in this field. There is something for you too, for sure. Only you need to look keenly.

I know of many couples where one partner will just not speak about adoption even though they were going through 6th round of IVF. It is you who has to make efforts to come out of this tunnel. Come out soon as divine light is waiting to welcome you on the other side.

9.  Join A Support Group

Infertility is a traumatic and lonely journey. However, you are not alone. You will be amazed to know how many women are there who are going through similar pain, anxiety, joy and skepticism. Joining a support group or chatting away in a forum with women facing a similar situation definitely helps to reduce anxiety, especially during the two weeks waiting period (TWW) in IVF, post embryo transfer. Help someone with your experience and see the difference it makes you. Infertility is such a journey that one who goes through it can only understand. At our infertility forum you will find many such women who are ready to listen and hold hand. Don’t suffer silently.

These 9 tips if followed with full trust and discipline will surely increase your IVF success rates. Do incorporate them in your lifestyle as there is nothing to lose but to gain a holistic approach towards life and living. The pain of infertility, the pain of failed IVF is excruciating, to say the least.Prepare for IVF well and never rush into it as IVF takes a toll of your mind, body an pocket. Keep your best foot forward. A little patience when you have already waited so long, won’t hurt.

 

Inputs taken from book: How to improve egg quality: The smart way to get pregnant by Darja Wagner P.hd

 

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13 Comments
  1. shivani 2 months ago

    Wonderful website that you have shared. Please keep sharing more details about it. thanks.

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