( 14 OCT 2017 )

How to Make IVF Cycle Successful?
In vitro fertilization (IVF) has lately emerged as a boon for infertile couples who want to have a baby. IVF provides them with an increased chance of starting a family as compared to other conception methods. During IVF, the egg and sperm are brought together under laboratory circumstances, and the egg is then fertilized by the sperm inside a test tube. This is why IVF babies were earlier referred to as test tube babies as well. Through the process of IVF, you can choose any possible combination of your own eggs and sperm or even use donor eggs and donor sperm if there is an issue with your own eggs and sperm.
Once the process of fertilization is completed, one or more fertilized eggs are then implanted into the uterus and then it is given a chance to grow into an embryo. Now, how many fertilized eggs actually implant and a healthy conception thus takes place is what matters the most in this process. In order to make sure that your IVF cycle is successful and that the implanted egg actually develops into a healthy embryo, there are specific steps you can take.

1. High Quality and Healthy Food
It is essential to maintain a healthy diet during this time period in your life. A diet rich in whole grains and low glycemic index foods is recommended, along with healthy fats such as olive oil, foods high in polyunsaturates like seeds and nuts, etc. Uncontaminated salmon is also an excellent option to boost your fertility.

2. Evaluate your Uterine Cavity
You need to ensure that your uterus is ready for receiving a baby. Have the uterine cavity examined by a doctor through an ultrasound, a hysteroscopy that checks for fibroids, possible scar tissues, or even polyps (all factors that can prevent a potential implantation), and even an X-ray. Only after the results of all these tests are positive and clear, should you proceed with the IVF cycle.

3. Get your Fallopian Tubes Checked
Often women do not spare a thought towards their fallopian tubes. You need to understand that if there is fluid accumulation in your fallopian tubes, then this lowers your IVF success rates by nearly 50%. If the fluid is present, the doctor will go ahead and block the tubes or else have them removed entirely before starting the IVF cycle.

4. Having a Good Ovarian Reserve of Eggs
Having a functional reserve of eggs is crucial for the success of your IVF cycle. Before starting your IVF cycle, doctors will carry out two tests to determine how many eggs you will get for the cycle. These are a blood test that is carried out on the second or third day of your cycle, and it analyzes your level of FSH, or follicle stimulating hormone. The second test is an ultrasound that determines an actual follicle count. Only if the doctor finds the egg count to be sufficient will they proceed with the IVF cycle.

5. A Sperm Analysis Also Matters
The success of an IVF cycle does not only depend on women. It is necessary to have a sperm analysis done of your partner as well. The quality of the sperm needs to be compared to the quality that is necessary for achieving success in an IVF cycle. If the quality is found to be low, then the doctor can suggest some nutritional changes to boost the quality of sperm, or a sperm donor can also be used as an alternative.

6. 7-8 Hours of Sleep is Essential
You might not pay much thought to your sleeping patterns. However, studies after studies have shown just how important sleep is to each and every cycle in your body. Getting at least seven to eight hours of sleep every night has shown to increase your chances of having a successful IVF cycle.

7. Leave the Bed after Embryo Transfer
It is a common myth that you need to be on complete bed rest after embryo transfer. In fact, a research study done in Egypt concluded that women who were on bed rest for the 24 hours immediately following embryo transfer were less likely to have a successful implantation. Women who returned to their regular routine had an increased success rate. Even a short period of bed rest (such as about 10-15 minutes) is also not recommended.

8. Stress Impacts Fertility
The higher the levels of stress hormones in the body, the higher are the risks of developing infertility. Women with higher levels of cortisol were found to be twice as likely to develop fertility problems. Stress is also the number one reason why many couples drop out of ongoing IVF treatments. Therefore, to boost your chances of having a successful IVF cycle, try to keep the stress levels as low as possible.

9. Acupuncture May Help You Conceive
Acupuncture might increase your chances of having a successful IVF cycle as it increases blood flow to the uterine area. Increased blood flow is known to help with embryo implantation. Furthermore, acupuncture also brings down your stress levels, making you feel more optimistic and relaxed.

10. What to Eliminate?
Cutting out processed foods from your diet is necessary to keep your body healthy. Furthermore, avoid smoking and alcohol consumption during the time you are preparing for your IVF cycle as this can significantly lower your chances of conceiving successfully. Do inform your doctor if you are on some medications that might interfere with the IVF cycle.
Similar to how we prepare the soil before planting the seed to ensure healthy growth of a plant, you need to take care of your body before the IVF cycle takes place. By preparing your body for IVF, you will be able to provide the best possible environmental support to your hormonal and reproductive systems. Think of the body and your uterus as the soil and provide a nutrient-rich environment that is ideal for the implantation of an embryo. Thus, by following these suggestions above, you will be able to get your body ready to accept the embryo implantation during the IVF process and boost your chances of ensuring success in the first cycle itself.