How To Prepare For Fertility Treatment
Fertility treatments can help you conceive and start the family you’re dreaming of. But starting treatment can feel daunting — especially if you don’t know what to expect or how to prepare.
Knowing how to prepare for fertility treatment can help you feel more confident about starting, and help increase your chances of success. Let’s look at the treatment process of IVF, how you can prepare for fertility treatment, and if there’s anything you can do to boost your fertility beforehand.
What is the process of IVF?
IVF (in vitro fertilisation) treatment can vary slightly depending on which clinic you go to — but the most common procedure is to fertilise an egg with sperm outside of the womb in a laboratory and then place it back inside the womb for implantation.
Normally, a woman’s ovaries are stimulated with hormones via injections so that they can produce multiple high-quality eggs. These are then harvested and fertilised with sperm. Only once the egg has been fertilised and confirmed as an embryo will it be placed back into the womb.
Two weeks after the embryo has been inserted, a pregnancy test will be taken — showing you whether the IVF was successful or not. It can take multiple rounds of IVF for a woman to fall pregnant, so don’t be too disheartened if it doesn’t happen right away.
How long does the IVF process take?
For most couples, one cycle of IVF treatment can take anywhere between four and six weeks. However, this can differ depending on your circumstances and the timeframes that the clinic offers you.
The process of collecting the eggs takes up to half an hour, as does the embryo transfer back into the womb. This is the shortest part of the process — the rest of the process involves waiting for things like fertilisation and implantation to take place.
How to prepare yourself for IVF
Preparing physically and emotionally for fertility treatments like IVF can help give you a better chance of a successful result.
Here are some tips for how to prepare for IVF treatment.
Stay healthy and active
Maintaining an active lifestyle is important when leading up to IVF treatment, as you need to ensure you keep your body moving and active so that it’s in optimum condition. Exercises like running might be too high-impact during this process; swimming or yoga may be more beneficial.
Getting enough sleep is also vital, as it allows your body to recover and stay healthy — which is exactly what you want during your treatment.
Avoiding alcohol is often recommended too, as it could have negative effects on your body’s response to the IVF treatment.
It’s thought that there are foods that can boost your fertility, so it can be a good idea to incorporate them into your diet before and during your IVF treatment.
Some great fertility-enhancing foods are:
- Spinach and other leafy greens
- Fortified cereals that contain folic acid
- Wholegrain starchy foods like bread and pasta
- Legumes such as beans and lentils
- Lean proteins like fish and chicken
You don’t have to eat these foods with every meal, but it’s important to try and incorporate them as much as possible, while still keeping your diet varied. Essentially, you want to eat well and ensure you get plenty of meals that are high in nutrients.
You may also want to consider taking prenatal vitamins or supplements. These can help you start to create the best environment possible for the embryo to implant during your treatment.
Check your medication
You must tell your fertility consultant about any medications you’re taking beforehand, as some of them can disrupt your fertility.
For example, antihistamine tablets, ibuprofen, and supplements could impact your fertility. There is a possibility that they can make the IVF treatment less effective, so be sure to discuss your medications before treatment.
How to mentally prepare for IVF
Fertility treatments can be intense and demanding, both physically and mentally. While you may get a positive outcome, you might not — so you need to be ready for either result.
Taking care of your mental health when preparing for IVF can look like different things to different people. It might involve meditation and relaxation techniques, or de-stressing with exercise. Some people can find it helpful to write down their emotions or keep a journal leading up to and during IVF.
We offer judgment-free counselling at IVF Matters, as we know how much of an impact fertility issues can have on your mental health. This service can help you prepare for the prospect of IVF.
Can acupuncture help with fertility treatment?
Acupuncture is an alternative medicine that can be used holistically. Some people turn to these types of medicines to help with fertility. The process involves lots of little needles being placed into the body at different pressure points.
It’s been suggested that acupuncture can help with fertility as it may balance the hormones, boost your blood flow and alleviate stress — all of which are said to help you conceive easier.
However, no evidence supports these claims, and when studies have been carried out, the results were inconclusive. So, there’s not any scientific support for getting acupuncture to help with fertility treatment.
Contact IVF Matters to begin your fertility journey
If you’re considering IVF treatment, don’t hesitate to get in touch with IVF Matters for expert advice. We’ll guide you through the process to make sure you’re fully supported, and work with you to get the best possible results.