In-vitro-Fertilization is a type of infertility treatment where the doctor takes the eggs from the ovaries, fertilizes them with sperm, after which the eggs develop into embryos. In a few days, the specialist re-implants the embryos back into the uterus. Studies show that there are many women about to undergo IVF treatment who don’t make proper lifestyle choices. There is so much information that can be gathered on this topic and knowing about it is equally important.
Dr. Neha Explained That, “This study shows that many women who are about to undergo fertility treatment make poor lifestyle choices. Many of those women do not follow lifestyle changes to improve fertility. Continuing the consumption of alcohol and caffeine has a negative impact on their body.”
Choices to make while undergoing IVF Treatment
As a woman, it is important to make healthy lifestyle choices during the treatment. Here is how to make yourself more fertile:
- Stop smoking. Smoking decreases the egg supply and may also harm your fallopian tubes and cervix. It increases the risk of miscarriage.
- You must try to have ideal weight because obesity can affect your body and interfere with ovulation. Even those who are highly underweight are at an increased risk of the same.
- Consult your doctor to achieve ideal body mass index (BMI) so that there are no issues with ovulation.
- Limit the intake of alcohol. It is noted that alcohol can have a detrimental effect on female fertility. Those who abstain from it have a greater chance of becoming pregnant. Alcohol intake decreases fertility, increases conceiving time and the risk of miscarriage.
- Reduce the consumption of alcohol. It can increase the risk of abortion and live birth. Even having caffeinated herbal tea can have a detrimental effect on pregnancy. Try not to exceed more than 2 cups in a day.
- Make sure that you do not indulge in unprotected sex as it can lead to sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), gonorrhoea or chlamydia etc.
- Start eating foods with folic acid in them, such as leafy green vegetables, fresh fruits, dried beans, peas, nuts, enriched pieces of bread, cereals, other whole grain products.
- Make sure to eat healthy proteins as it helps to maintain blood sugar balance. It also supplies to the body hormones and supports a healthy reproductive system. Healthy proteins include chicken, lean red meats, lentils, chickpeas, nuts and seeds, etc.
This is an essential factor in contributing to a person’s overall well being. It is ideal to take care of your physical health to have a healthier pregnancy. Mild and moderate exercise is acceptable whilst undergoing IVF treatment. But one should not indulge in anything extreme. You should take care of a few things:
- Always work within your comfort zone.
- Avoid cardiovascular exercises.
- Do not exercise for more than six hours per week.
- Work on exercises that encourage stress relief.
Always consult your doctor before you indulge in anything during IVF treatment. They will know what is best for you and will guide you appropriately. There are many Indian celebrities battling infertility who may show that they still remain top notch with proper exercise routines, but it is best to consult your doctor for the same. Even they indulge in positive promotion and do not show negative signs if things don’t go well.
People who undergo IVF are quite stressed out because of the failures, complications, success rates and other problems of this treatment. This stress will be different and unique because it is based on each person’s life experiences and personality. There are many side effects to this treatment such as headaches, hot flashes and mood swings due to sonograms, injections, health concerns and also decision making regarding embryos.
Problems can be based on many things such as physical, social, marital, religious, financial and even emotional issues. The time is very stressful as well due to the commitments and disruptions it leads to. This IVF stress can also have an impact on the marital relationships and reduce sexual intimacy between the couple. Financial decisions enter with the difficulties of payments and stretching oneself to their utmost limits where success is a huge gamble. All of this can cause conflicts. It may lead to abnormal levels of anxiety and confusion, which are at peak due to shock, distress and sustenance.
How to cope with such problems
IVF can be an emotionally exhausting roller coaster. It can be physically and financially exhausting as well. Here is how to be a pro at coping with the same:
- Always know what you are preparing yourself for. Gather all information and plan ahead. Only a good and well-planned decision will help you be educated and play safe. It will keep you informed about your body, the IVF process, and your treatment program. It can also help reduce your anxiety.
- Be prepared for decision-making. You must know what you are getting into and be firm about it. Discuss your options and form a plan B beforehand.
- Talk about your problems. Be honest about everything. A struggle with infertility may have changed a lot about you or have taken a toll on you. It may cause isolation so you should try being in a better place emotionally. Discuss your hopes and expectations and get help early before problems arise.
- Gather support. Your friends and family can be quite helpful in your worst times. Decide in advance who you want to tell about your treatment and know who will support you. It can be helpful to have a spokesperson, a family friend or a relative. Also, stay in touch with other infertility patients. Only they understand what is truly going on with you. You should consider joining an IVF support group or be active on the internet where you can have a handful of such information.
- Everyone has a different way of dealing with things, so make sure you know how you work and act accordingly.
- Choose what to take control over and what not to. Eliminate any unnecessary stress and don’t make any important decisions or changes in your life. Avoid any kind of major life-changing decisions that can add stress to you. In order to get rid of unwanted stress, you can alleviate to exercise and hobbies. It helps get rid of depression, anxiety and tension. You can also join stress management classes or join yoga and even listen to meditation tapes.
- Look at all the aspects. Decide what you want to do with everything. Discuss everything with your doctor. Know how many embryos are to be transferred, how to maximize your chances for pregnancy, how to minimize the possibility of multiple babies, what to do with extra eggs, etc. Carefully discuss everything before you discard everything in the corner.
- Facilitate strong communication with your partner. Decide on a specific time period by which you can talk to them about everything about IVF. Set your future expectations straight, possibilities, risks during the cycle. You can choose to be together during the appointments, on the day of the pregnancy test, when you expect a call from the doctor. Counseling also helps you from being depressed, anxious or emotionally stuck. Even tiny preventive measures are helpful, so make sure you do whatever you can in order to stay healthy and happy and get help early before problems arise.
- The waiting period between the transfer and receiving of the pregnancy test results is the most difficult stage. You must allow yourself to be strong and not fall apart. Choose whom to stay near and give yourself some breathing space and time to adjust. It is always easy to know how you will feel after the success of the treatment. But sometimes things don’t go how you have planned, which is why you must see to it that you are prepared for the worst case scenarios. Don’t think about the outcome of IVF, only see the good in everything and minimize any possible future regrets.
Many women are willing to change their lifestyle habits and increase the chance of fertility treatment success. Because of this, many people do the same before their treatment, which can be done before a month, five months, or a year prior. Even then, some people don’t adhere to the fertility clinic’s recommendation to control their behaviour and habits such as to reduce alcohol, caffeine consumption and body weight.
A good lifestyle and fertility go hand in hand. There should always remain an honest two-way discussion around the current lifestyle habits and the potential improvements to be considered. One should offer support and motivation throughout the treatment and promote positive behavioral changes. Just by following these ideas, one can see a drastic change in the body and improved results. You must begin with the healthy lifestyle choices at least 6 months before you undergo IVF Treatment. It will help you have a healthy baby. This is a lengthy, multi-step treatment, which leads to a number of questions and concerns. Always make sure you know what you are getting into before you do it.