With IVF treatments now being given the go-ahead thanks to recent lifting on certain elective surgery restrictions, it’s expected that many couples will now be flocking to clinics.
While it’s understandable that you may be anxious to jump straight into treatment, now the COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted, there are some important steps you should take first, to avoid costly failed attempts.
It is really important that you prepare your body as much as possible when it comes to nutrition, supplements and physical and mental well-being, to ensure you have a strong chance of success.
IVF cycles are expensive and you are really lowering your chances of producing quality eggs, and setting yourself up for multiple attempts, if you rush into treatment before your body is ready.
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According to a study published in the Journal of Nutritional and Environmental Medicine, couples who adhered to dietary and lifestyle protocols in the months prior to treatment greatly improved their chances of conceiving through IVF.
Double Your Chances Of IVF Success
Out of more than 1,000 couples who were monitored, there was more than a doubling of conception success rate for IVF at 47.1 per cent following preconception health care as opposed to the national rate of 22.6 per cent.
And yes, you can double your chances of IVF success, especially in the 90 days prior to commencing.
As women, we are born with all the eggs we will ever have. These eggs begin to mature 90 days before being released at ovulation. So optimising the environment in which these eggs are developing during these 90 days, can improve egg quality and improve chances of creating your healthy baby.
Having good quality sperm is also just as important as good quality eggs. Poor sperm health is linked to infertility, miscarriage and can even influence the lifelong health of the future child.
Even if a man has no obvious problems, and his results are ‘within normal range’, it’s still essential that his body produce the best quality sperm possible.
As women are biologically programmed to ‘fix up’ our men. We do this at a cellular level at the moment of conception. Our eggs have the ability to ‘fix’ issues within sperm to go on to create a pregnancy. As we age, our eggs have less energy to be able to make these ‘improvements’. So supporting male preconception health to create ‘great sperm’ rather than just ‘okay sperm’ can make all the difference.
The good news for men is that a whole new batch of sperm is being created every 90 days, so making small, positive changes to male preconception health during this time can produce significant results. I have worked with many couples for whom the women had always been the focus because the man’s results were ‘within normal range’. But focusing on his preconception care helped create that longed for pregnancy.
Tips For IVF Success
There are 5 key things that I recommend to all my patients preparing for IVF or wanting to conceive naturally
- Take a good prenatal multivitamin daily: Women should look for one with folic acid and folinic acid as well as choline to create a healthy internal environment. Men should ensure a good intake of zinc, magnesium and essential fatty acids.
- If you smoke, stop: Sperm and eggs can be harmed by toxins in tobacco. Fortunately the damaging impact of smoking on fertility can be reversed, often quite quickly, especially in men.
- Eat the rainbow: Colourful fruits and vegetables provide phytonutrients, which are rich in antioxidants and can positively influence both egg and sperm health.
- Reduce stress: Recent studies have found that women with high levels of alpha-amylase, an enzyme that correlates with stress, have a harder time getting pregnant. So, employing stress reduction strategies and prioritising a good nights’ sleep is important.
- Maintain a healthy weight: Being overweight in women can create hormonal imbalances and ovulation problems and can result in decreased sperm health in overweight men. When trying to lose weight for fertility, the focus should be on good quality fats and protein like nuts, seeds and good oils as well as a variety of fresh vegetables and fruit. Cut out soft drink, sweets and highly processed foods.
I have seen many couples, often after years of heartbreak, realise their dreams of parenthood simply by optimising their preconception health and wellbeing. Receiving excited emails and phone calls from these couples telling me they’re pregnant is a joy I will never tire of.
Even though you may be anxious to get back into treatment to work towards realising your baby dreams. Investing in yourself during the precious 90 days of egg and sperm development, is the best investment in your child’s future you will ever make.
What are your top tips to maximise your IVF success? Tell us in the comments below.