Help yourself: How to Improve your IVF Success Rate
For men and women
- Take all medication prescribed by your fertility specialist. Notify or consult your doctor about any health or lifestyle changes and seek advice regarding any need to change medication.
- Have all necessary medical tests done before undergoing IVF at a clinic of your choice.
- If possible, stop taking any medication that is not critically necessary. Continue taking critical or live-saving drugs but discuss any medication you take with your doctor before undergoing IVF.
- Talk to your doctor about the dose of folic acid you need to start taking before undergoing IVF.
- Limit visits to saunas and hot baths 2-3 months before the procedure.
- Stop smoking! Regardless of gender, smoking reduces the chances of conception, increases risks of miscarriage, and can lead to various health problems for the child. It is highly recommended to stop smoking at least 2-3 months before the procedure.
- Minimize alcohol consumption. Not drinking at all is ideal.
- If a man shows symptoms of a viral infection, with an external manifestations of the disease, you should immediately notify the doctor before and during the IVF procedure.
- Exercise before the procedure, but don’t go overboard. If you haven’t exercised in the past, avoid strenuous exercise. A 15-20 minute, fast-paced walk every other day is enough for women. Women should also focus on exercises that improve blood circulation in the lower pelvis. Men should avoid cycling. During IVF, both partners should only engage in moderate physical activity.
For women in Particular
- Believe in yourself, be positive, and relax! Research shows that relaxation and positive emotions during the IVF process significantly increase the chances of conceiving. Stress on the other hand is a factor that causes negative impact.
- Start taking Vitamin D before undergoing IVF. Even better — take a trip to a sunny beach. Your body produces Vitamin D in the presence of sunlight and can have a positive influence on the success of IVF. Just don’t overdo it!
- Get tested for rubella antibodies. Not having any antibodies is a good reason to get a vaccination 2- 3 months before the intended IVF start date.
- Pay attention to your weight. Your BMI should be between 20-25. Being overweight or underweight can reduce your chances of getting pregnant.
- Limit coffee consumption before undergoing IVF. Patients should not consume more than 200 mg of caffeine on a daily basis. Drinking large amounts of coffee can hurt your chances of getting pregnant.
- If you have any chronic illnesses, put them into remission before undergoing IVF.
- Don’t start any new diets or weight loss drugs during the IVF process. Instead, maintain a healthy, balanced diet.
- Don’t have sex 3-4 days before egg retrieval or during the days after the transfer. Continue abstinence until you have had your ultrasound, meant to confirm the pregnancy. Consult your doctor about the proper course of action following the pregnancy confirmation.
- On the day of the embryo transfer, having sex with an orgasm can help to increase circulation to the uterus. This is considered to be beneficial and promotes successful implantation.
- Doctors recommend about 30-40 minutes of bedrest right after the embryo transfer. Recent studies have not found any connection between physical activity after the transfer procedure and IVF success rates. Still, to minimize any existing risk, it is better to rest.
- After the embryo transfer and consultation with your doctor, drink more fluids (2.5-3 liters per day) of water, tea with milk, or juice (excluding apple, plum, or grape). Drink the majority of liquid before noon.
- Stop wearing tight jeans or underwears and start sleeping naked 3 months before the procedure.
- Stop carrying your mobile phone in the pocket of your pants or using laptops/tablets on your lap 3 months before the procedure. Many studies have proven that radiation from electronic devices negatively affects sperm quality.
- If your body temperature rises or you feel even a little unwell during the IVF process, inform your doctor immediately.
- Refrain from sexual activity at least 3 days (but no more than 7) before sperm collection.