Are you getting ready to embark on your first IVF cycle? That’s such great news. And, we also understand that you may feel absolutely terrified. You’ve courageously persevered through trying to get pregnant on your own, infertility testing, and diagnosis.
Odds are, your IVF cycle isn’t your first fertility treatment rodeo, so we want you to feel as prepared as possible for what’s coming and to set yourself up for the best chances of success.
Get Ready for IVF: 1, 2, 3, Go!
The first and most crucial step is to listen to your fertility specialist, read all of the materials provided for you about your IVF treatments, and always ask any questions, no matter how silly you think they may be. We want patients to feel informed and part of the process, rather than at the mercy of the experts. Read our Infertility Help Guide section, In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF): Step-by-Step to review the process.
In addition to that, there are three more steps you can take to prepare for upcoming IVF cycles.
Step One: Prepare Your Body
It’s no surprise that the healthier your body is, the better chances you have of conceiving and enjoying a healthy, full-term pregnancy.
Read Preparing Your Body for Pregnancy. Ideally, you would have been living by these tenets for at least a year or more before trying to conceive (TTC). Those basic tenets include:
- Observe a healthy, Mediterranean-type diet. Several studies have shown Mediterranean diets can increase IVF success In addition, this diet has inherent anti-inflammatory properties which support overall wellbeing. If you have PCOS or are struggling to maintain and healthy pre-pregnancy weight goal, speak to your doctor about a modified Adkins diet to restrict carbs a bit more and support balanced blood sugar levels. Also, if you aren’t already, discuss prenatal vitamins with your fertility specialist to ensure your body is “topped off” with all of the vitamins and nutrients your prospective embryos need when they implant.
- Continue exercising. While you should avoid extreme or contact-oriented sports, most women are encouraged to continue their daily routine of light to moderate exercise. Verify your exercise plan with your physician. Yoga, walking, hiking, biking, swimming, water aerobics, dancing – all are examples of exercises you can continue after IVF treatments.
- Avoid potential toxins to the best of your ability. From second-hand smoke to cannabis, as well as household toxins, avoid anything that threatens your health, the health of your reproductive system, or that are known endocrine (hormone) disruptors.
- Get confident about fertility medications. Learn all you can about fertility medication injections, how to do them, and tips for making them as comfortable and pain-free as possible. Also, it’s a good idea to locate a specialty fertility pharmacy that can ensure you have your meds whenever and wherever you need them.
In the months and weeks leading up to IVF, we want your body to be as ready as possible to accept its precious transfers.
Step Two: Prepare Your Mind and Spirit
The span leading up to your first IVF cycle offers the opportunity to make stress management and relaxation a daily practice. Preparing your mind and spirit is every bit as important as preparing your body. Stress and anxiety exacerbate immune system responses and hormone imbalances that can compromise a healthy reproductive system.
Many of our patients love to schedule acupuncture sessions before and throughout your IVF cycle. Research shows there are positive benefits to using reproductive acupuncture from a licensed and experienced acupuncturist. Visit this acupuncture post to learn more about acupuncture fertility and view a list of vetted acupuncturists here in the Sacramento area.
We also recommend reading 12 Self-Care Tips for more information on stress management and relaxation tips that support fertility treatment and parenthood!
Step Three: Cultivate Healthy Sleep Habits
Your body uses sleep to restore balance, rejuvenate, and facilitate hormone production and overall balance. Therefore, do your best to cultivate healthy sleep habits, getting at least seven to nine hours of sleep each night. This will also support your efforts at Steps One and Two.
Plus, let’s face it. When you experience a successful IVF cycle, your days of continuous, sound sleep are numbered. So now’s the time to savor the experience of being well-rested and restored!
Have more questions as you prepare for your first IVF cycle? We’re here to help. Contact the Northern California Fertility Medical Center for answers.