The chances for a successful IVF can be significantly increased with a well-prepared body and mind. Let’s focus on our body first.
Until now, I was a little bit confused by the technical process of IVF, and to be honest, I did not think much about what I can do to increase our odds of success. We spent most of our time and energy on finding the right clinic, choosing the best doctor, getting all of our tests done in time, but do we know how to prepare our body to become the perfect place for our future baby?
Do your best but take it easy. Do not make any major or significant changes during this time, like going gluten free, vegan or start training for a Marathon if you were not doing so already. We do not have to be superwomen (because we already are). We just have to try to do our best.
As I just recently learnt, preparation of the body is as important for IVF as other stages of the fertility treatment. Preparing the body should begin 4 to 8 weeks prior to the start of the actual IVF cycle. This means that it is not enough to start living a healthier lifestyle at the beginning of the actual treatment.
A well-prepared body may tolerate the IVF treatment better. It could have a great impact on the egg quality, as well as our hormonal environment, which can result in a significant increase in our odds of a successful fertility program.
I found some helpful tips that could be beneficial for all of us ladies going through fertility treatments:
1. Use your diet as a fertility booster
Starting now, eat healthy, balanced meals. The following tips can be obvious for some women, but to be honest, not all of them were obvious to me, so it is helpful to address them again:
Say goodbye to processed foods and focus on clean eating as much as possible
Fill up on fresh fruits and vegetables. Leafy greens are especially good for us
If you are a meat lover, stay away from red meat and choose free-range chicken and wild caught fish instead.
Avoid refined grains, and try to incorporate whole grains, such as quinoa and whole grain pasta.
High protein diet is very favourable. Opt for beans, chickpeas and lentils in your diet
Switch to full-fat dairy products. Greek yoghurt is an excellent choice.
Eat healthy fats, such as avocado, extra virgin olive oil, nuts and seeds
Try to limit your salt intake. Flavour your food with herbs and other spices instead
The selection of your vitamins and minerals should be discussed with your doctor. Your provider will tell you exactly which vitamins and other supplements you should take based on the results of your blood tests. I had to start taking vitamin D, which plays a significant role in fertility by acting on the ovaries and the endometrium, as well as folic acid, which is an important vitamin for both men and women who are trying to conceive. Aside from these three supplements I have decided to take vitamin C to boost my immunity, and CoQ10, which helps the eggs to stay healthy. My advice to you is to invest in high quality vitamins if you decide to start taking any.
3. Smoking, alcohol, caffeine
All of us probably know that drinking alcohol and smoking cigarettes is not a good idea while trying to conceive, so I do not feel like it is necessary to discuss this topic. However, what should we do about caffeine? Excessive consumption of caffeine has a negative effect on female fertility, so keep your caffeine intake below 200 milligrams a day, which includes your coffee, tea and soda drinks consumption. 200 milligrams is equal to two mugs of tea (350 ml), one mug of filtered coffee, two mugs of instant coffee, five cans of cola or two energy drinks.
4. Get enough sleep
Sleep and fertility are closely connected. A 2013 study on sleep and fertility found that the pregnancy rate for those who sleep 7 to 8 hours every night was significantly higher than those who slept for shorter or longer durations. A hormone called melatonin regulates both sleep and reproduction. It peaks between 9pm and midnight, therefore the ideal time to fall asleep would be between 10 pm to 11 pm.
Too low or too high levels of BMI (body mass index) can have a negative impact on fertility, therefore it is important to keep active to achieve and maintain a healthy BMI. Taking part in moderate exercise regularly can help boost your fertility. Walking, jogging, yoga and Pilates can be a fantastic choice of exercise, if you are not a sporty girl like me. It is recommended to be active at least 30 minutes a day, and taking a 10 minute walk three times a day definitely counts! +1 Just do your best!