How To Get The Best Out Of Your IVF Treatment
IVF is an exciting time for couples. There is joy as couples anticipate the birth of their own child at the end of the process. Many couples ask us what they can do to get the best out of the IVF treatment process. Here are the top four things you can be doing to support fertility and IVF success.
If you are a vegetarian, the traditional Indian meals include most, if not all the nutrients that are necessary for good health. You’ll receive nutrients from each food group by eating meals that consist of dal, rice, chappatis, a dab of pure ghee, vegetables, salad, and dahi. Remember to maintain portion control.
If you are a non-vegetarian be sure to include plenty of vegetables in your diet. Findings from a prospective cohort study published in Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology (2019) concluded, “Infertile women with greater adherence to Mediterranean diet pattern were likely to obtain more embryos available in IVF cycle.” Typically, the Mediterranean diet is typically high in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans, nut and seeds, and olive oil with weekly intakes of poultry, fish, eggs and beans.
Foods to avoid: Unhealthy, processed snacks and high-calorie desserts. Avoid alcohol consumption, even moderate alcohol especially in the latter half of the menstrual cycle. According to the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE), “Compared to non-drinkers both moderate and heavy drinking during the luteal phase was linked to a reduction in the odds of conceiving by about 44%.”
GET INTO SHAPE
Ideally, you should start getting into shape three months before your IVF treatment begins. Women who were physically active before their IVF cycles showed improvements in clinical pregnancy rates and live birth rates. A systematic review and meta-analysis of studies focused on the relationship between maternal physical activity before IVF/ICSI cycles and reproductive outcomes. The meta-analysis showed that women who exercised for 2.5 hours a week may have a better chance of IVF success. We recommend that women engage in light to moderate exercise such as brisk walking, elliptical, and yoga.
Infertility issues are likely to be 3 times higher in obese women. In fact, overweight women can improve fertility by losing just 5% of their body weight. Shedding excess weight before IVF can help improve ovulation and pregnancy success, according to a 2018 Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ).
We do not recommend fad diets that result in quick weight loss and focus only on consuming a few food groups as these often deprive women of necessary nutrients.
The IVF process can be stressful for some couples. Studies have shown that reducing stress can improve your chances of getting pregnant. At Xenith, we provide counseling at every stage of the IVF process. In addition to counseling, women may want to consider a few complementary therapies:
Reiki: A large-scale trial resulted in findings that show Reiki may help significantly improve both physiological and psychological outcomes. While there are no trials conducted so far for women undergoing fertility treatment, the general consensus is that it can help ease anxiety in such women.
Acupuncture: A few studies have shown that acupuncture may have the “highest level of evidence for its use in improving male and female fertility outcomes.” A randomized study shows that it may provide “increased relaxation, reduced psychological stress, and enhanced well-being and self-efficacy.”
Yoga: There are about 3 studies that show that practicing yoga can help to improve mental health outcomes during fertility treatment. The breathing exercises of yoga can be very helpful.
Other ways: Engage in a hobby that brings you a sense of relaxation. Some suggestions? Take a warm bath before going to bed. Stick to your established routine. Maintain a moderate exercise regimen. Socialize with friends. Get a massage. Pamper yourself!
OPTIMIZE SPERM HEALTH
- Healthy diet
- Being active
- Optimal weight
- Stress management
- Free from sexually transmitted diseases
Some studies have shown that increased scrotal temperature can hamper sperm production so your partner may want to switch to wearing boxers instead of briefs. Your doctor may prescribe supplements that can promote sperm health. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), it is recommended that for testing and analysis, semen samples should be collected after a minimum of 2 days and a maximum of 7 days of sexual abstinence. The same would apply for sperm collected for IVF.
Xenith Advanced Fertility Clinic offers highly specialized care that blends modern medicine with holistic care at par with international standards. Dr. Mamta Dighe is a board-certified fertility practitioner and is one of the first few doctors in India to receive a Fellowship in Reproductive Medicine. Our team of the best embryologists in the country, nutritionists and complementary care physicians will support the journey of IVF. More than 70% of infertile couples have achieved pregnancy here!