IVF can be a long and demanding journey, and will often be challenging both mentally and physically. There are, however, steps you can take to prepare yourself, to help optimise your chances of a successful IVF transfer, and boost the likelihood of a healthy pregnancy.
How best to prepare for IVF?
It is very important that you and your partner (if you have one) are both mentally prepared for your IVF journey. Taking steps to reduce your stress and anxiety levels before and during the IVF process is essential.
Only you will know how you can best approach this, but looking into what works for other patients is a good place to start if you are uncertain.
Meditation and journaling can be helpful for some when looking at how to prepare for IVF, whilst holistic and complementary therapies such as acupuncture and yoga may work better for some. Sometimes just having someone to talk to who understands can be enough to put your mind at ease and settle any anxieties.
Joining an IVF support group is often helpful, providing the opportunity to openly discuss your concerns with people who are sharing the same journey, as well as those who have experienced IVF success and can reveal what worked for them.
Everyone is different though, so you really must do what works for you.
How to prepare your body for IVF?
In terms of physical health, keeping yourself in good shape will maximise your chances of your IVF treatment being successful.
Ahead of treatment beginning, it is important that both partners show a commitment to healthy living. This may involve giving up smoking or vaping; reducing alcohol intake to within recommended Government guidelines; giving up caffeine, eating a healthy, balanced diet, and following a suitable physical exercise regime.
When considering how to prepare your body for IVF, supplements will also usually be recommended for the female partner. Daily folic acid at the recommended dose is important because it helps reduce the risk of a baby being affected by some birth defects, such as spina bifida.
Other recommendations will usually include Vitamins D, B complex, Zinc and L-Carnitine. There is also some evidence to suggest that Omega 3 and Omega 6 supplements may boost fertility.
Your IVF clinic may suggest and provide other supplements for either or both partners, depending on individual needs.
How to prepare for Embryo transfer?
The final step in the IVF process is embryo transfer. This is where the fertilised eggs (embryos) are transferred to the female partner’s uterus (womb).
Advice on how to prepare for embryo transfer is mostly centred on preparing the uterus for successful implantation.
The thickness of the womb lining is incredibly important in terms of IVF success. A thick, receptive, nourishing uterine lining forms the optimal environment for an embryo. If it’s too thin, implantation may fail, or there may be an early pregnancy loss.
Your IVF specialist will measure the thickness of the womb lining before implantation. For your best chances of the lining being sufficiently thick, there are various things you can do, many of which will focus on blood flow.
Improving blood flow to the pelvic regions is one of the most effective ways to encourage growth of the womb lining.
Regular, moderate exercise (not high intensity or high impact exercise) such as brisk walking, light cycling, yoga classes and gentle sessions on a cross trainer or running machine will all help get the blood pumping around.
Eliminating caffeine and nicotine will help boost circulation, and some women find that acupuncture may help, although researchers are still investigating its effectivity.
Nutritional supplements, such as those already mentioned including Vitamin E and L-Carnitine, may also help when it comes to how to prepare for embryo transfer success.
IVF treatment at Hull & East Riding Fertility
Hull & East Riding Fertility is a private fertility clinic founded in 1986. We are East Yorkshire’s only registered clinic providing specialist infertility investigations and personalised treatment, including IVF treatment, both self-funded and NHS. We also offer a range of investigatory and fertility treatment planning services at our satellite fertility clinics in York.
We have highly experienced fertility specialists on hand to help you when it comes to how to prepare for IVF. Please get in touch to let us know how we can help you with your fertility journey.