Here are some simple dos and don’ts for the pre-cycle period, during the IVF cycle and post procedure, which will make the process simpler to navigate and increase the chances of success.

The process of In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF) can be a daunting one for many couples – it takes a toll on them physically, emotionally and financially. Here are some simple dos and don’ts for the pre-cycle period, during the IVF cycle and post procedure, which will make the process simpler to navigate and increase the chances of success.

Before starting treatment:

Understand the process

It is imperative to discuss your medical condition with the infertility specialist to know the options available and the line of treatment, which will be followed for you. The likely setbacks must also be laid out clearly.

Reduce stress

Stress has a direct impact on hormones, which are at the core of the reproductive system. Any kind of stress has a direct impact on fertility of both men and women and must be avoided. Try meditation and yoga to keep stress at bay.

Achieve the right weight

Maintaining a healthy Body Mass Index (BMI) improves chances of conception. Eat a high protein and low carbohydrate diet to lose weight and a high protein and high carbohydrate diet if you are on the lean side. Junk and processed foods must be avoided.

Get good exercise

At this stage, all forms of exercise are advised to stay healthy and for weight loss if that is required to achieve the optimum BMI. Sleep is very important too and both partners must get 7-8 hours of rest every day.

Medications and supplements

Both the male and female partner must start antioxidants and vitamin supplements and also take Omega 3 fatty acids. Any other over the counter medication must not be taken without consulting a doctor.

Smoking and alcohol

While smoking is a complete no for both the men and women, drinking in moderation – defined as no more than 60 ml of alcohol twice a week – is permitted. Intake of carbonated drinks should also be controlled.

Highlight pre-existing ailments

The couple must alert their fertility expert about any pre-existing ailments such as diabetes, hypertension or cardiac problems. They would need a fitness certification from an expert before IVF treatment can be commenced. Most clinics carry out a surgical profile for the woman and a semen analysis for the man before starting the process.

During the IVF cycle:

Follow instructions of the doctor

It is critical to take the required medications at the right timings as prescribed. The right temperature should be maintained for injections. One needs to be mentally prepared for the treatment – there will be 4-5 visits to be hospital for scans and one day admission. The timing is absolutely critical.

  • Healthy Diet

Both the male and female partners must eat a balanced, healthy diet while the IVF cycle is going on. It is also important to stay hydrated. Intake of alcohol, drugs and smoking must be completely avoided.

  • Go easy on exercise

While the process is going on, the woman must not bend or do any intensive cardio exercise. Light walking is recommended, along with yoga and meditation for mental health to keep stress levels down.

  • Say no to intercourse

Physical intercourse must be avoided during the 10 days of IVF to prevent any complications.

  • Medications

Supplements started in the pre-IVF stage are continued during the process. Couples must tell the doctor about any existing medication that they are taking as it could affect the process of IVF and embryo implantation. Blood thinners, for instance, must be stopped before the procedure.

Post procedure:

  • Watch out for red flags

After the process of embryo transfer is completed, the woman can resume normal activities right from the next day. But one should immediately come back to the doctor in case of any pain, burning sensation in urine, fever or fullness of abdomen.

  • Eat a healthy diet

Eat a balanced diet containing fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and sources of calcium and protein. Junk food must be avoided and as far as possible, stick to home-cooked food prepared fresh. Drink lots of water and low in sugar drinks like coconut water and keep the system well hydrated.

  • Exercise must be avoided

For the woman, any form of exercise must be avoided for the first 10 days after completion of the IVF cycle. Bending can cause twisting of the ovaries so it’s a complete no-no. Only walking at a moderate speed for 10-15 minutes is recommended.

  • No smoking and alcohol

Smoking and alcohol continue to be red-flags. Even passive smoking is harmful for the baby and women must watch-out for it.

  • Destress and get enough rest

Get adequate sleep and try to relax as much as possible. On an average, 7-8 hours is recommended and taking additional power naps during the day will help recharge your energies. Listening to music, medication and practicing a hobby will help keep stress away.

Yours Truly,

Dr C Jyothi Budi

Dr C Jyothi Budi is Founder and Fertility Expert, Ferty9 Fertility Center.

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