12 Tips For Couples For A Successful IVF Treatment

12 Tips For Couples For A Successful IVF Treatment

Before starting IVF, treatment taking care of your body will increase your chances of pregnancy. When you hold your beautiful, healthy baby in your arms, you will be happy that you and your partner do your best to create the best quality eggs and sperm and preparing your body for a fertile environment.

Successful IVF Treatment

Taking three to six months to prepare your body for IVF is ideal. The reason for that is because it takes three months or more for a follicle to mature. The quality of your egg is therefore a direct representation of the fertile environment in your body during the previous few months. This is also true for sperm health as today’s sperm is produced 72 days before.

Several lifestyle-related modifiable risk factors have been shown to negatively impact the outcomes for patients undergoing IVF, specifically higher body mass index (BMI),obesity, diabetes, smoking and overnutrition, high lipids, including micronutrient deficiencies.

In IVF treatment these lifestyle factors cause chronic low grade oxidative stress which causes in women:

  • Low ovarian reserve (AMH low, FSH high),
  • Low oocyte number and quality,
  • Low ovarian function.

while in men;

  • Lower sperm density, 
  • Lower sperm motility number,
  • Lower sperm total count,
  • Increased sperm DNA fragmentation.

As a consequence in IVF treatment;

  • Lower fertilization rates,
    Lower IVF pregnancy success,
  • Higher risk of pregnancy loss,
  • Higher risk of spontaneous miscarriage risk,
  • Lower live birth rate per cycle,

Here Are Some Tips To Prepare Your And Your Partner’s Body For Ivf

  1. Healthy weight
  2. Optimize sperm health
  3. Take your vitamins
  4. Quit smoking and drinking
  5. Eat fertility-enhancing foods
  6. Exercise
  7. Reduce your stress
  8. Use breathing exercises
  9. Improve sleep
  10. Lifestyle changes
  11. Check your medications
  12. Partner with an excellent doctor and embryology laboratory.

1- Healthy Weight

Being overweight or underweight can affect your chances of conceiving. Too much or too little body fat can make you have irregular periods or stop them completely, which can affect your ability to conceive.

In a recent study, the pregnancy rate in women with higher BMI consistent with being overweight or obese was found to be significantly lower than women with normal BMI undergoing IVF treatment.

How BMI Affects Your IVF Treatment Success

2- Optimize Sperm Health

It takes about 3 months for a sperm stem cell in the testis to turn into a mature sperm. In general, maintaining a healthy weight, use of multivitamins, staying physically active and eating a well-balanced diet could improve sperm quality. Heavy drinking and cigarette smoking can lead to reduced testosterone production, impotence and can decrease sperm count/quality.

Increased scrotal temperature can hamper sperm production. Although the benefits have not been fully proved, using boxers over briefs, reducing sitting, avoiding saunas and hot tubs, and limiting scrotum exposure to warm objects, such as a laptop, might enhance sperm quality.

Men can also be started on vitamins and antioxidants that can help boost sperm numbers and as well could improve quality and they can have a beneficial impact on IVF outcome.

3- Take Your Vitamins

Fertility-enhancing vitamins are lacking in the usual diet. A high-quality prenatal supplement can directly affect the eggs and sperm and improve the fertile environment of the body. Since we know it takes three months for an egg and sperm to mature, ideally, it is better to start supplementing three to six months before to conceive.

Vitamins in IVF Treatment ►

4- Quit Smoking And Drinking

Tobacco smoking and chewing, illicit drug use and alcohol and excessive caffeine consumption can also have a negative influence on fertility and outcome. The American Journal of Epidemiology reports nicotine is ten times more concentrated in the uterine fluid than the rest of your body.

No Smoke Women IVF

Nicotine also ages the ovaries and makes eggs resistant to fertilization. In addition, studies have shown correlations between alcohol consumption and a decreased likelihood of both IVF success and live birth following IVF treatment.

Men who smoke cigarettes are more likely to have low sperm counts and low sperm motility. Some studies have shown that the sperm of smokers has increased DNA fragmentation. DNA damaged sperm may lead to problems with fertilization, embryo development, embryo implantation, and increased miscarriage rates.

There is a risk of increased pregnancy loss with paternal smoking, which is most likely due to spermatozoal DNA damage. Moreover, female smoking has an adverse effect on ovarian reserve and that oocytes exposed to smoking in the past, have decreased fertilization rates. 

Heavy drinking can lead to reduced testosterone production, and decreased sperm production.

5- Eat Fertility Enhancing Foods

Foods with antioxidants like folate and zinc may improve fertility for both men and women. They deactivate the free radicals in your body, which can damage both sperm and egg cells.

Lower carbohydrate diets may help you maintain a healthy weight, reduce insulin levels, and encourage fat loss, all while helping menstrual regularity. Particularly, in PCOS women lowering carbohydrate intake provides beneficial effects on achieving pregnancy.

Besides the amount of carbohydrates also the type is important. Refined carbohydrates including sugary foods and drinks and processed grains, including white pasta, bread, and rice absorbed very quickly, causing spikes in blood sugar and insulin levels. Refined carbohydrates have a high glycemic index. The glycemic show how fast a carbohydrate food will raise your blood sugar and insulin significantly. Consistent elevated insulin can cause the body to produce fewer reproductive hormones that can contribute to a lack of egg maturation and ovulation.

Dairy foods and lactose may impair fertility by affecting ovulatory function.

Diet for IVF  ►

6- Exercise

A study showed that women who exercised more than 4 hours per week had a decreased likelihood of live birth, a more recent study demonstrated that those with higher active living and exercise/sports indices in the past year were more likely to have a clinical pregnancy.

If you do not get much physical activity and are above the fertility zone for weight, daily exercise can help improve fertility. Moderate physical activity can increase levels of powerful antioxidant enzymes, which can help protect egg and sperm.

Low-impact exercises can encourage stress relief. Avoiding high-impact cardiovascular exercise and exercising not more than four hours per week is advised. During certain IVF stages stop exercise completely.

7- Reduce Stress

A prospective study of stress and IVF treatment found that higher scores on positive affect scales were associated with a 7 % lower risk of not having a live birth and lowering stress with group intervention helped pregnancy rates.

Deciding on IVF treatment and the treatment process is an exciting, and stressful period for the couples. Research indicates that lower levels of measurable physiological stress indicate higher IVF success and feeling relaxed favors conception. Any fertility treatment can be an emotional and overwhelming process, but IVF treatment is the most difficult step for many people. It is an important to reduce stress when preparing for IVF because stress can hurt the chances of success.

During this period, couples need to be in contact and understanding each other. It is recommended not to consume products containing nicotine and caffeine.

Slow down your lifestyle pace. Any activity that can change the life dynamic should be postponed to a suitable time after treatment. Thus, it is possible to concentrate sufficiently on the positive results of in vitro fertilization and prevent stress factors.

Try mindfulness exercises, walking and similar activities with meditative effects, yoga, acupuncture, journaling, guided meditation, or a stress-free hobby to take your mind off the process and decrease anxiety. If you think it might help, talk therapy can also be useful to sort feelings out and learn how to deal with them in a healthy way.

8- Breathing Exercises

You can reduce your stress also by breathing exercises. Deep breathing is one of the best ways to lower stress in the body. When you breathe deeply, it sends a message to your brain to calm down and relax. The brain then sends this message to your body. When you are in stress your heart rate, breathing rate and your blood pressure increase. Breathing exercises are a good way to relax, reduce tension, and relieve stress.

Breathing exercises are easy to learn. You can do them whenever you want, and you do not need any special tools or equipment to do them.

Breathing deep into your belly instantly eliminates stress hormones from your body faster than any drug, and you can do it anytime, anywhere. For example, during a doctor visit, ovarian stimulation, egg retrieval or embryo transfer.

Sleeping Woman IVF

9- Improve Sleep

Sleep is essential for both physical and mental health and maintaining an overall healthy lifestyle. Sleep and fertility are intricately connected.

The quality and quantity of sleep influences sex hormones, sperm production, and ovulation.

A study reported that the pregnancy rate for those who sleep 7 to 8 hours each night was significantly higher than those who slept for shorter or longer durations.

Our sleep cycle is regulated by our circadian rhythm. The circadian rhythm is based on the light-and-dark cycle of the sun and controlled by a part of the brain called the suprachiasmatic nucleus, located in the hypothalamus. This circadian rhythm can be affected from several environmental and personal factors, ranging from the amount of light exposure to exercise, and temperature.

Sticking to a routine and trying to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, eliminating alcohol and caffeine helps you fall asleep easier with healthy sleep cycles.

Your bedroom temperature between 15 to 19ºC can make a significant difference to your sleep quality. You should strive to keep your bedroom as quiet as possible by blocking outside noises. Keep your bedroom light levels as low as possible if you like to read in bed before sleep.

Take a warm shower or soak in a hot bath just before bed.

10- Lifestyle Changes

Physical, behavioral, genetic, socio-economic as well as environmental or occupational factors may also affect the success rates of IVF treatment.

Lifestyle factors such as exposures can also have substantial effects on fertility and outcome. Environmental exposure consists of a wide variety of agents, including metals, oregano chlorine compounds, poly-chlorinated biphenyls, dioxin, particulate air pollutants, plasticizers and substances emitted from landfill sites.

Exposure to pesticides, lead, and other toxins can affect sperm quantity and quality. If you have to with these then take utmost cautions. For example, wear protective clothing and equipment and avoid skin contact with chemicals.

11- Check Your Medications

Certain medications can interfere with fertility drugs, cause hormonal imbalances, and make IVF treatment less effective. Calcium channel blockers, tricyclic antidepressants, anti-androgens, and other medications can contribute to fertility issues. Anabolic steroids can have the same effect.

To avoid any adverse interactions, give your doctor a complete list of all medications you take. This should include both the prescriptions you take, supplements, and over-the-counter medications.

12- Partner With An Excellent Doctor And Embryology Laboratory

When searching an excellent doctor in addition to experience and commitment to evidence-based medicine, look for someone with whom you feel comfortable and connected. Your doctor will be with you during this emotional and challenging process, and it is important for you to feel supported and heard.

There are literally dozens of factors that contribute to the success of a given cycle, all of which culminate and converge on the embryo transfer. The embryo transfer procedure is the last step of the in-IVF treatment. No matter how good the IVF laboratory culture environment or how good the embryo quality, a careless embryo transfer can ruin all efforts so far.

There is evidence that transfer technique can influence the chance of achieving a pregnancy and a live birth, and that ultimately live birth rates vary by the doctor who is performing the transfer. For this reason, the experience of the doctor performing embryo transfer has an overly critical importance on pregnancy rates. The entire IVF cycle depends on delicate placement of the embryos at the proper location near the middle of the endometrial cavity-with minimal trauma and manipulation.

The embryology laboratory has an important role in ensuring the absolute best chance of success in an IVF cycle. A superbly designed and run laboratory is a critical component in making sure that there are healthy embryos to put back on transfer day.

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Prof. Dr. Nilgün TurhanIVF TREATMENT ISTANBULProf. Dr. Nilgün Turhan
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