When you decide to undergo fertility treatment, there are a few things to be mindful of in addition to following your treatment plan. Your health and daily habits can either help or hinder you in your fertility journey. Read on to learn our recommendations for things to do to help make IVF and other fertility treatments successful!
What NOT to Do During Fertility Treatments
DON’T Exercise for Weight Loss
On the list of things to do to make IVF successful, maintaining your weight is close to the top, especially if you’re the one that will be getting pregnant. This is because weight loss plans often place high stress on the body. This is in addition to a diet that doesn’t quite line up with fertility diet recommendations. When you’re undergoing fertility treatment, especially IVF, you’ll want your weight to be stable. This is why we recommend any plans for weight loss be completed prior to your fertility treatment.
DON’T Consume Alcohol, Smoke, or Vape
Another health-conscious decision to make ahead of undergoing fertility treatments is to avoid alcohol, smoking, and vaping. Not only do these habits impact your overall health – something you want to protect if you’re wondering how to improve IVF success – but alcohol, smoking, and vaping also all specifically impact fertility health. Studies have shown that your chances of getting pregnant likely will decrease if you’re drinking more than four alcoholic beverages in a given week. Smoking also has a well-documented impact on fertility, with infertility rates among smokers being twice the rate of non-smokers for both men and women.
DON’T Stop Being Intimate
Even though you’re working with a fertility specialist, you shouldn’t stop being intimate with your partner. It’s a fertility journey for both of you, and there are likely to be highs and lows. Lean on each other, because regularly connecting emotionally and intimately is definitely one of the things to do to make IVF successful.
Now, depending on what fertility treatment plan you’re following, your fertility specialist might recommend holding off on unprotected intercourse during certain times. For example, in the days leading up to egg retrieval in the IVF process, multiple mature eggs may be present. So, if you were to engage in unprotected intercourse with your opposite-sex partner, there is a chance multiple eggs will be fertilized at once – leading to twins!
DON’T Continue if Your Health is Suffering
Surprisingly, this one can be the hardest for some people. Whether it’s because your fertility journey hasn’t gone the way you had hoped, other life responsibilities requiring more time, or changing lifestyles making it difficult to maintain your health, there are a variety of reasons to take a break from fertility treatment. It can feel like giving up, but we assure you it’s not. There is no shame in stepping back and taking a break from fertility treatments in order to replenish and reconnect with yourself. It is by only prioritizing your own health that you can be the best parent for your future child.
What TO Do During Fertility Treatments
DO Prioritize Your Health
Speaking of prioritizing your health, that should be the number one thing on your fertility treatment and IVF preparation checklist. Eating nutrient-dense foods and ensuring you’re getting the right prenatal vitamins sets you up with a good foundation for a healthy pregnancy. Also, some good news? As long as you keep your consumption in moderation, there’s no reason to skip your morning coffee – there’s little chance it will affect your pregnancy rate.
As mentioned above, exercising for weight loss is not recommended for those undergoing IVF. However, regularly engaging in light to moderate movement is key to maintaining your weight and cardiovascular health. So, work out to celebrate everything your body does for you!
DO Manage Stress
Stress is more than a feeling, it’s a physiological response in your body. Sustained stress, whether it’s caused by physical or mental triggers, impacts almost every aspect of your health, including fertility. As emphasized earlier, your physical and mental health are not only paramount in your fertility journey, but to your own happiness.
Before you decide to undergo fertility treatment, make sure you have a good grasp on what triggers your stress. You also want a solid management plan that you can tap into when you (almost inevitably) become stressed at some point in your fertility journey. Stress management looks different to each person, but we recommend at least one of your stress management tools be a creative outlet. Creative activities like using a coloring book, baking, or even singing or dancing in your room can be one of the best ways to give your body rest and get your mind working in a different way to stop thinking about whatever has stressed you.
DO Rely on Your Support Network
Lastly, you’re going to want to lean on your support network. While not directly related to your health or treatment plan, building and actually relying on a robust support network while undergoing fertility treatment is one of the more important things to do to make IVF successful. Having your partner, friends, family, and even designated support groups or a mental health professional ready to support and guide you has a greater impact on your fertility journey than many people realize!
By following this simple list of dos and don’ts for your fertility journey, you give yourself the best foundation to improve IVF success to help start your path toward pregnancy. Avoiding damaging habits like excessive alcohol or strict weight loss plans can protect your fertility health. Meanwhile, incorporating light to moderate daily movement and stress management improves upon it to set yourself up for a healthy pregnancy.
If you’re looking for things to do to make IVF successful, partnering with a top fertility specialist is a great first step. Schedule an appointment with Red Rock Fertility Center and start your fertility journey today.