Been asked a lot about what to do in preparation for an IVF cycle to increase chance of success. While the patients’ bodies and the fertility center play the biggest roles, there are a few things you can do that may help, and won’t hurt… well okay, maybe a little pain.
Here is a summary of what previous patients found helpful:
- Take a vacation – Doesn’t have to be an exotic vacation to a faraway place, which sometimes may not be relaxing since traveling can be stressful, and if you don’t speak the language, that’s another story. Some suggestions are weekend trips to the zoo, aquarium, Disneyland, botanical garden, museum, local hotel for a brunch + spa day, take a “personal day” and hang out with your best friend who is always positive, go to your favorite vacation destination. Basically, stay as relaxed as possible!
- Adopt that famous Hawaii saying – “Hang Loose!” (ie. Worry less) If you’ve ever been to Hawaii, you probably have noticed how everyone seems so in touch with nature, and so laid back? Flower in the hair, flip-flops, not a worry in the world. Maybe take some time to go to the beach, meditate, and imagine yourself being in a relaxed state. If you simply can’t achieve a relaxed state on your own, try contacting a Guided Imagery with Music specialist, who can take you on a mental journey by helping you to relax by using music and imagery. (This technique is very commonly used in cancer settings.)
- Eat healthy foods high in fiber – Some people may experience constipation at some point during or after the IVF process, and it is not helpful to have to push hard when you are trying to conceive. So, get in the habit of eating healthy foods high in fiber early to reduce chance of constipation.
- Start taking your vitamins – Prenatal vitamins, that is. Over the counter ones will do, or you can ask our fertility specialist to give you a prescription.
- Acupuncture (here comes the painful part)- If you find acupuncture to be helpful, go ahead and do it. If you’ve never tried it before, but are considering trying it, try it before you start the cycle! At the time of the embryo transfer should not be the first time you have an acupuncture treatment. Also, use an acupuncturist experienced with infertility. Ask our staff for a list of referrals.
- No more hot tubs and jacuzzi – This is for men. Simply put, they are not good for the sperm.
- Stay away from gossip – It’s okay to do some research on the internet, but too much of it will drive you bananas. Once the decision to pursue IVF has been made, it is actually more helpful to try to keep your mind off of it. Instead, during your free time, focus on more positive things such as hobbies, interests, family, pets, your relationship, etc.