IVF or in vitro fertilization is a method in which an egg is fertilized with sperm outside the body, and then the fetus is transferred to the uterus, and, if successful, the pregnancy begins. You should know that the 30 days leading up to the IVF cycle are critical to ensure that your body is healthy and fully prepared for this medical process. When preparing, starting, and completing a cycle, you may have different feelings. Anxiety, sadness, and uncertainty are common emotions.
What are the stages of the IVF cycle?
The preparation phase begins 2 to 4 weeks before the IVF cycle. This step involves making small lifestyle changes to ensure you are at your best. Your doctor may prescribe medication to regulate your period. This makes it easier to start the rest of IVF.
This step only takes one day. The first day of IVF is the first day of your period closest to the planned treatment.
You start fertility drugs that stimulate or wake up your ovaries. This causes the ovaries to release more eggs faster than usual. This step can take from 3 to 12 days.
At this point, you will inject pregnancy hormones. This hormone helps your ovaries release some eggs. Precisely 36 hours after the injection, you will be in the fertility clinic for your doctor to remove the eggs.
The fourth step
This step takes a day and has two options: either your partner prepares the sperm in advance or does it while fertilizing the egg. In any case, the new eggs are fertilized within a few hours. At this time, you start taking a hormone called progesterone. This hormone helps prepare your uterus for a healthy pregnancy and reduces the chance of miscarriage.
Less than a week after your eggs are harvested, a healthy fetus is returned to your uterus. This is a non-invasive method, and you will not feel anything.
He returned to the doctor’s office 9 to 12 days later. The doctor scans the health of the fetus. You will also have a blood test to check your pregnancy hormone levels.
Healthy diet to increase IVF success
A healthy diet during the weeks leading up to the cycle is certainly not harmful. You do not need to make any significant changes during this time. Research shows that the Mediterranean diet may improve IVF success rates among women under 35 who are not overweight or obese. Since the diet also affects sperm health, encourage your partner to follow a Mediterranean diet with you.
Here are some simple ways to improve your diet with a Mediterranean diet:
- Fill your diet with fresh fruits and vegetables.
- Eat lean proteins such as fish and chicken.
- Eat whole grains such as quinoa, Faro, and pasta.
- Add legumes, including beans, peas, and lentils.
- Turn to low-fat dairy;
- Eat healthy fats such as avocados, extra virgin olive oil, nuts, and seeds.
- Avoid red meat, sugar, refined grains, and other processed foods.
- Reduce salt and season with herbs and spices.
- Supplements are needed to increase IVF success.
There are several natural supplements you can use to increase the success of IVF. Pregnancy vitamins can even help your partner improve sperm health.
Start 30 days (or even months) before the IVF cycle of folic acid, an essential vitamin during pregnancy. This vitamin is necessary because it protects against the congenital disabilities of the brain and spine in the developing fetus. If your vitamin D levels are low, start taking vitamin D supplements before your IVF cycle. Low vitamin D levels in the mother can cause your child to have autism.
Remember that the Food and Drug Administration does not regulate supplements such as medicines in quality and purity. Always consult your doctor before adding accessories to your daily diet.
The amount of sleep during the IVF cycle
Sleep and fertility are closely related. A 2013 study found that those who slept 7 to 8 hours a night were significantly more likely to become pregnant than those who slept shorter or longer. Having the right amount of sleep can help your IVF cycle.
Here are some ways to turn healthy sleep into a daily routine:
Cool your bedroom to 16 to 19 degrees Celsius.
Take a hot shower just before bed;
Spread the lavender extract in your bedroom or bathroom.
Avoid caffeine 4 to 6 hours before bedtime.
Do not eat anything for 2-3 hours before going to bed.
Listen to soft music for relaxation;
Do not use your cell phone, TV, or computer for at least 30 minutes before going to bed.
Before going to bed, do gentle stretching exercises.
Sex during IVF
When it comes time to receive sperm, your doctor wants the best quality sperm. You should not have sex for 3 to 4 days before consuming sperm. Couples are also advised to avoid deep vaginal proximity in the early days, irritating the cervix.
How to exercise in the IVF cycle?
Many women avoid or stop exercising during the IVF cycle because they are concerned that these movements may not suit their possible pregnancy. Do not worry! Most women can continue to exercise daily during IVF.
Experts recommend that you continue your daily routine, especially if you already have a regular fitness diet.
Of course, all women undergoing IVF are advised to limit running, as running impairs fertility more than any other sport. Running can hurt the thickening of the uterine wall.
Increase IVF success
Conditions are different in each woman and each cycle. So there is no sure way to know what side effects you will experience each day of each particular process. The IVF cycle can indeed be unpredictable, but in the meantime, one thing is sure: countless physical symptoms.
Here are some vital signs and ways to manage or even overcome the side effects of fertility drugs:
Bleeding or spotting
Mild bleeding or spotting is expected after the egg has healed. Call your doctor right away if you experience bleeding or spotting during the cycle. Do not use tampons.
Expect the worst period of your life after the IVF cycle because the hormones help the eggs grow and thicken the lining. This does not happen to everyone, but if you have experienced it, do not worry and take painkillers as recommended by your doctor.
Some over-the-counter home remedies include:
Please consult your doctor before taking any medication and ask them about the best dose for you.