You’re starting an in vitro fertilization (IVF) cycle and maybe you’re feeling overwhelmed. While you might be feeling hopeful and excited, IVF can also be full of uncertainty and anxiety. The good news is, you can arm yourself with tips in order to have the best possible chances of success, along with maintaining your own mental health and well-being. Here are our top five tips for a successful IVF cycle.
1. Get your body healthy
Let’s be honest, when you’re undergoing IVF, it’s easy to put your general health to the side to focus on your monitoring appointments and remembering to do your injections. But doing basic things to improve your health such as getting enough sleep, reducing your stress levels, moving your body, and drinking enough water can all help you have the best chances of success.
2. Ask questions
When going through fertility treatments, it’s crucial to be an advocate for yourself. If there’s something your care team says that’s unclear to you, clarify anything you need to so that you have a good understanding of your treatment plan. It might be helpful to bring a list of questions when meeting with your provider and take notes during your appointment. If an issue comes up at home, whether you have a concern, or are confused about how to take your medications, get in touch with your care team promptly. This is your body and your treatment cycle, so you deserve to have as much knowledge about the process as you desire.
3. Make sure your partner has a work-up as well
It’s easy when you’re the female constantly being monitored and tested to forget about your partner. But sperm quality and overall male health are important when it comes to having a successful pregnancy. In fact, 35% of fertility issues involve both the male and female. Sperm quality, hormone levels, genetic conditions such as Klinefelter’s syndrome, or structural issues of the reproductive system, such as varicoceles in the testicles, can all have an impact on fertility. That’s why it’s important for your partner to be tested too.
4. Give yourself realistic expectations
While IVF is a deeply scientific process, it unfortunately doesn’t always work the first time. This can be surprising for some people to hear, but there are many factors that go into an IVF cycle. Your egg quality, underlying medical conditions, and how your body responds to the medications all need to be considered when coming up with a personalized treatment plan. While you should go into your cycle with confidence, know that if it doesn’t work out, it’s not due to anything that you did. If your first cycle wasn’t successful, oftentimes, your plan will need to be adjusted.
5. Find support
IVF, and infertility in general, can feel isolating. It’s important to surround yourself with people who understand and support you. If you don’t know anyone around you who has gone through IVF, or you aren’t ready to share with your friends and family about your treatments, you can find support online or with in-person support groups. Many groups are available on social media or by searching hashtags such as #IVFjourney on Instagram. You may also want to consider additional support from a licensed therapist who specializes in fertility struggles. IVF can be emotionally and financially difficult, but you don’t have to go through it alone.
Infertility is a complex process but you can seek out help and prepare yourself for the road ahead. If you have questions about the process or want to start IVF, we recommend talking to a CCRM Fertility specialist. Contact us today!