1. Mind the vices
As with natural conception, certain behavioral choices during IVF treatment can work against fertility goals. While couples don’t need to completely cut out alcohol before the start of the cycle, drinking in moderation should be a priority. Experts recommend avoiding more than 4 drinks a week for both men and women to optimize success rates. Meanwhile, other lifestyle actions like smoking should be ceased entirely. Before heading into IVF, consider enrolling in a smoking cessation program to protect the health of both mom and baby.
2. Get moving
Pregnancy is a major life and health event. As such, women should consider aiming for 30 minutes of moderate activity every day. Along with aiding in reducing stress, regular physical activity can reduce some of the common aches and pains a woman can experience during pregnancy if an IVF cycle is successful. Common discomforts like backaches, constipation, and poor sleep can be mitigated, and the risk of gestational diabetes may be reduced. However, speak with a fertility specialist to ensure the intended exercise is safe to continue during treatment.
3. Diet and prenatal vitamins
A healthy diet is essential at any stage in a person’s life. However, during pregnancy, the added responsibility of growing and nutritionally supporting a fetus can lead to vitamin deficiencies if a woman isn’t getting enough nutrients through diet alone. Opting for a good prenatal vitamin ahead of IVF helps to pave the way for better outcomes if IVF is successful. Look for a supplement that contains the recommended amounts of iron, folic acid, calcium, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), vitamin D, and iodine.
4. Don’t forget self-care
Undergoing IVF can be an incredibly stressful time in a couple’s life. While simply saying don’t stress is unrealistic, learning how to deal with anxiety constructively can aid in improving outcomes. Consider incorporating techniques like meditation or yoga to lower stress levels. Additionally, a licensed therapist can help patients work through any emotional stress that might arise during fertility treatment.
Prepare for the road ahead
In vitro fertilization is a stressful process capable of taking a physical, emotional, and financial toll on women and couples. While no expert can predict actual outcomes, individuals can boost potential success rates by making any necessary modifications ahead of undergoing an IVF cycle. Preparing for fertility treatments by making healthy choices can help IVF participants have the best opportunity to get pregnant.