The IVF process is an expensive and stressful time, tips and hints can make all the difference. Every clinic will give you their success rates, going from 33% to 55%, and usually will link them to your own personal fertility issues such as Male Factor, Endometrosis, PCOS, Age etc. However, the agreed success rate is 40% with most clinics.
So what can you do to increase this. Well alot actually. We are not going to be able to double your chances with these steps, but look at every step as increasing your chances by one or two little percent. So the more steps you can achieve the greater the percentage you will gain.
The most important step is to look at the preparation of your fertile body and fertile mind for this up coming journey, a journey to create life , a journey to allow your baby to choose you as parents.
We have amazing success rates in our clinic when our patients use our meditation and mindfulness program on the day of their transfer. We have tested it in a number of IVF clinics and all have continued to use it with their patients…..
Mindfulness is a wonderful way of getting your stress levels down.
One of my favourite recommendations to help our patients during their IVF cycle to deal with Stress is an Android and IOS App called ‘Mindful IVF’
You can download the IOS App on the iTunes App store here:
The App has over 30 free Mindful IVF modules to help you through each stage of your IVF cycle. Helping you through each of the days of your IVF cycle from Down regulation, stimulation to Egg collection, its like a little IVF Buddy in your phone to keep you in balance through your IVF cycle.
So give it a try. It’s my Number 1 Tip of the week. And there are now some other amazing meditations on the app for you.
The clinics will do everything in their power to get you to transfer, that is their goal, and once they have done that, their job is done, then its up to you.
Once you have left the clinic you are by definition pregnant, you’ve seen the transfer happen, you’ve seen the embryos, whether it be on a day three or blastocysts transfer, when you leave the clinic, enjoy the moment.
I got alot of emails from readers who were struggling with the two week wait, so I put together a IVF Hypnosis piece to help you relax over the two week wait. It has been specifically created to increase your chances of a successful implantation after your IVF transfer. I hope you like it. If you do please like us on sound cloud… Its really nice to see that people like the hypnosis…. I know I know…. 🙂
So here are 10 steps to help you increase the chances of a successful IVF.
Step 1 – Detox
A detox can be a really good way to get your body back into balance and ready for the IVF journey. Getting rid of all those toxins you have build up in your body over the years. The best way to start is to speak with a local specialist, you can usually find helpful information on detoxifying in most good Health Food stores or with your local Nutritionalist. This normally will last two to three days.
Step 2 – Nutrition:
A well balanced diet will absolutely help your chances of success, try and prepare this at least 3 months before the transfer, take part in the fertility diet to enhance your reproductive organs and ensure good quality blood supply to the uterus. Good quality blood supply to the uterus increases protein and nutrient secretion around implantation, which your embryos will love.
Get your partner on the Sperm Diet, IVF fertilisation rates increase with good quality sperm, so better sperm will give you better fertilisation rates and better embroys on the day of transfer.
Step 3 – Acupuncture:
Acupuncture is now, without a doubt, one of the best ways to enhance your success rates, it will, reduce your stress, enhance your ovarian function, and increase blood supply to your reproductive organs. Again three months of acupuncture before your transfer will be a great support to you.
Plan an acupuncture treatment on the morning of transfer and one for the afternoon, this is the most important part of your acupuncture treatment. Studies have shown that women who had acupuncture before and after embryo transfer had a 44% success rate per cycle compared to 29% amongst those who did not. Book a session for five days after your transfer and then five to seven days after that session. Other therapies such as reflexology, hypnotherapy, yoga, or massage can also help
Step 4 – Continue having Sex:
The feel-good factor and endorphin buzz produced by regular sexual intercourse can really help to alleviate stress, it can help you as a couple to communicate in the stressful week coming up to your IVF. All too often sex is the first thing to go on this journey, its so important to keep the fun in your relationship.
Step 5 – For Women:
Take a good quality multi-vitamin and mineral supplement which contains vitamins A, B, E and C complex, zinc, magnesium, selenium, iron and Co-enzyme Q10 which play a vital role in the fertilisation and implantation process. Essential fatty acids are vitally important Wheat Grass to keep your FSH in check and Royal Jelly to nourish your egg quality. Finally Folic acid, make sure you are getting enough folic acid in your everyday diet as research shows this prevents neural tube defects, such as spina bifida.
Step 6 – PLAN FOR THE 2 WEEK WAIT
With everything thats going on during your IVF, we sometime forget what we are going to do after transfer. The dreaded 2 week wait. WELL. We have a different angle. Are we right. We’ love to hear your thoughts….
Step 7 – For Men:
Keep your man cool. The testicles should be a couple of degrees below core temperature, so refrain from jacuzzis, hot baths, steam rooms and long distant cycling. All have been shown to lower sperm quality. Get him drinking water, lots of water, up to 2 litres a day. Dehydration is one of the big culprits that effects sperm quality.
A good multi vitamin is really important to ensure he has all the nutrients required for good quality sperm. Speaking with a qualified nutritionalist would be preferential, however here are a list of some of the common supplements advised, if your partner is on medication it would e important for him to check these with his doctor.
Anti-oxidants -Free radicals (which float around the body and damage other cells), said to be responsible for 40 percent of sperm damage.
Amino Acids – The building blocks of life. Necessary for egg and sperm production.
Vitamin A – Essential for the production of male sex hormones.
Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) – Together with zinc, B6 is essential for the formation of male sex hormones
Vitamin B12 – Low levels can cause abnormal sperm production, reduced sperm counts, and reduced motility.
Vitamin C – An antioxidant that prevents damage from free radicals.
Vitamin E – may help the sperm penetrate the egg.
Selenium – It is needed to properly shape sperm and to maintain count.
Manganese – Deficiency may cause testicular degeneration, congenital malformations, sterility, low sex drive, low sperm count.
Zinc – It is needed for testosterone metabolism, testicle growth, sperm production, motility, count, reducing excess estrogen in male reproductive tissue.
Coenzyme Q10 – Important for energy production. Fertilization rates may rise when taking this supplement. It also improves blood flow.
Step 8 – Exercise
Exercise is an important factor during the IVF Cycle, A woman’s body mass index (BMI) should ideally be between 20 and 25. If it is too high its going to have an effect on your hormone levels. Exercise is a wonderful tool to manage stress. You have head from the clinics that IVF stands a better chance of working if you’re not seriously underweight. Speak to a nutritionists or fitness therapists and see how they can help you lose weight slowly and gradually.
Once you have started the IVF cycle avoid strenuous exercise, keep it nice and gentle. No Pilates or Push ups as these can sometimes effect the lining of the uterus. During Down Regulation your reproductive system is shutting down to prepare for IVF. It’s very important to rest the mins and body during this time.
Step 9 – Talk to each other:
You don’t need me to tell you how men just can’t communicate how they feel. It’s a fact. But believe me they do feel as much as you feel on this journey. Whereas we like to express our feelings men will suppress. One of my male patients once told me that sometimes when he came home he felt his wife would be waiting for him like an emotional freight train at the door, she’d get it out, he’d run to the garage or computer room to his man cave to have a think about it and come back to her 20 minutes later and try and talk about it.
And each time she’d say that was 20 minutes ago, I’m fine now. Men need time to process and sometimes they may look like they don’t care or seem distant but they do care, they have to go to their man caves to process the emotion. However for us, we express and it leaves us. So the next time your darling husband goes to his man cave to process, let him be, and when he comes back, engage in what he has to say. You’ll be shocked at what you will hear.
Step 10 – Smoking and Alcohol
Smoking has a very serious impact on your reproductive health. For men it reduces the sperm count and affects quality of the sperm, having a big impact on conception. Studies show it may also be a cause for miscarriage
For women smokers, the effect ages the eggs and affects the womb lining, reducing the chances of pregnancy and increasing the risk of miscarriage.
Ideally both partners should avoid alcohol completely. Alcohol in excessive amounts effects sperm quality. Studies have shown a lower pregnancy rate for couples where the man drank more than 10 units per week. And do remember, hydration is so so important for you body, as the medication you are taking is very strong. So give you body a chance to deal with it.
Step 11 – Egg Collection and Transfer Day
Keep your abdomen nice and warm up to and before egg collection. Eat warm nourishing foods, like soups and porridge in the morning. Rest as much as you can and get to bed early. This really helps to keep the cortisol levels down. And yes there are some amazing meditations in the MindfulIVF app for this time in the cycle.
After transfer, rest for a minimum of two to three days. Implantation take 2-3 days to complete so give your embryos every possible chance to implant. Don’t feel guilty about taking time off, everything will still be there in two weeks.
Here is a talk I did recent for ‘improving the chances of an IVF Cycle working’ to Doctors. All my knowledge in 15 minutes… 🙂 And do let us know if we can help in any way.
In Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture the Kidneys are key to conception and they are most active between 5pm and 7pm, so try and relax around these times during the IF Journey. The Kidneys also support your baby during pregnancy so its important to continue taking it easy during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.
Try to spend 10 minutes every morning and evening visualising what is happening inside your body, visualising the transferred embryos and all of the amazing work happening in your body.