From the economic cost to the potential emotional and psychological impacts, there is a lot riding on the success of IVF for couples that choose this type of fertility treatment.
What can you do to improve your chances of a successful transfer? Here are some things you can do while getting ready for IVF, as well as during the actual process.
- Use fresh embryos instead of frozen ones if possible. Frozen embryos tend to be less expensive and less invasive for a woman because superovulation (drug-induced production of multiple eggs) and egg retrieval is not needed. However, Mayo Clinic reports that “the live birth rate is lower when frozen embryos are used instead of fresh embryos.”
- Put down the cigarettes. Smoking has been shown to reduce the number of eggs retrieved during IVF. According to Mayo Clinic, “smoking can lower a woman’s chance of success using in vitro fertilization by 50 percent.”
- Make diet and exercise a priority. Based on a study published by the journal Fertility and Sterility, experts are suggesting that “for overweight and obese women trying to get pregnant, even a little bit of weight loss helps.” While weight is not the sole determining factor, it appears that there may be a link between extra weight and worse IVF outcomes.
- Don’t forget folic acid. Folic acid is a B vitamin and is found in leafy vegetables, citrus fruits, beans (legumes), and whole grains. However, eating these foods does not guarantee a sufficient amount of folic acid, so your best bet is taking a vitamin pill every day. Read the label to make sure that the vitamin you selected contains 400-800 mcg of folic acid.
- Cut down on the coffee. A definitive link has not yet been established between caffeine and IVF success. However, based on existing research, some experts suggest that “drinking more than five cups of coffee a day reduces a woman’s chances of becoming pregnant with IVF treatment.”
- Avoid alcohol. According to Dr Brooke Rossi, who led a Harvard study on the relationship between IVF and drinking habits, men and women who each drank six or more units of alcohol per week “significantly reduced their likelihood of pregnancy.” The study showed that women at these consumption levels were 18% less likely to have an IVF baby.
- Don’t wait! According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “birth rates resulting from a single cycle of IVF using women’s own eggs are about 30% to 40% for women age 34 and younger, then decrease steadily after age 35.”
Our therapists have over two decades of experience improving female fertility, both natural and prior to IVF embryo transfer. Learn more about our drug-free pre-IVF therapy.