IVF is the only hope of conceiving a child for many couples. It can take its toll on both partners and you can never really predict how you will react to each stage. If you’re going through or about to go through IVF, you may be wondering what you can do to boost your chances of success. Here are some things that couples have found helpful while going through IVF.
Easier said than done, right? If it’s your first attempt at IVF, you may be stressed out without even knowing it. It’s likely that you’ll be constantly thinking about what happens next and you’ll probably have a million questions at all times. You may even find yourself searching the internet for answers while you’re in work or before you go to sleep. To allow yourself to relax, write down all of the questions you have and ask your doctor during your first consultation. Your IVF clinic should provide you with a phone number that you can ring if you have any questions during your treatment; make use of it. That’s what they’re there for.
Know the Process
It’s surprising how many couples don’t know what IVF involves before they start treatment, even after speaking with clinic doctors and nurses. For example, many women don’t know that they’ll have a period while down regulating on a long protocol IVF treatment. It may seem like common sense, but some couples aren’t sure whether they need to use contraception during an IVF cycle. It is recommended that couples use protection during an IVF cycle. If you’re looking for a safe form of contraception, you can read more here. Make sure you know everything you need to know before you get started.
Don’t Raise Your Expectations
That isn’t to say you shouldn’t hope for success; of course, hope and a positive attitude are both important. However, you can never be sure of what will happen at each stage. IVF is a delicate process and there are instances where things don’t work out as brilliantly as you planned. Many women have been stopped in their tracks because a cyst was present at a baseline scan or OHSS had developed before or after egg collection. If something does go wrong, it doesn’t mean it’s the end of the world. Keep an open mind and try to go through the process without expectations. It’ll help to keep you sane!
Keep a Healthy Diet
Going through IVF can mean that you’re twice as busy. No matter what protocol you’re on, you’ll need to schedule scan appointments, blood tests, treatment planning, egg collection and more. You’ll be on the go a lot and it can be tempting to nip into McDonalds drive thru as you’re on the way home so you don’t have to cook. Sticking to a healthy diet while going through IVF is important, so do your best to avoid the short cuts. Prepare a smoothie to take with you to your scan and freeze easy, healthy meals that you can prepare when you have the time, so you don’t have to do much when you get home.
Rest When You Feel Like It
You may come across lots of articles that tell you to be on full bed rest while going through IVF. Doing so could actually harm your chances of conceiving. You need to be up and moving about when you can to encourage blood flow. Without good blood flow, your chances of implantation decrease. It’s all about knowing yourself. You know when you’re tired and you need to rest and you know when you have the energy to get up and do things. For example, many women feel that they need to rest after egg collection because most are put under sedation, but most women feel able to resume normal activity after embryo transfer because the procedure is painless and quick.
The reason alternative therapies have been linked to IVF success is because they help you to relax. Acupuncture is often used in conjunction with IVF treatment because it encourages blood flow and relaxes the patient. There are many other therapies that could achieve the same results. For example, an intermediate yoga class or meditation can both work to take your mind off the IVF treatment and onto your body.
Laughing Will Help
Laughing out loud can help to release all the pent-up tension you’re carrying during your IVF treatment. Waiting for IVF results can leave you feeling like you’re constantly on the edge of your chair. Laughing will help you to forget about what you’re going through, even for just a moment. Put a comedy movie on the TV, go out and spend time with friends, make inside jokes with your partner. Laughing may not boost your chances, but it will certainly relieve your stress and there’s chance of you developing anxiety or depression.
Don’t Believe the Hype
You’ll read many things about boosting your chances. You have to eat pineapple core for implantation. You must use a hot water bottle on your abdomen before egg collection. You should put Maca powder in all of your smoothies. While there may be some evidence that these things work, it will usually just result in you blaming yourself if you forget to do something. Or, you’ll be so focused on ticking everything off the list that you’ll forget to focus on the really important stuff. If it was essential for you to do something, your doctor would tell you about it.
Don’t Self Punish
Only one in three couples have a successful pregnancy after two rounds of IVF. If IVF doesn’t work for you, don’t let anyone make you believe it was because of something you did or didn’t do. IVF can be a bit of a lottery. Even fertility nurses will admit that they can never tell when an IVF cycle will result in a pregnancy. If you’re doing everything that your doctor recommends, there’s nothing more you can do but keep your head high and hope for the best.