How to Prepare Your Body for In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)
Getting pregnant can be difficult for many women and when they have to go through alternative means to do so it is even a more stressful experience. In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) has become a popular method for women to get pregnant. For those who do not know what IVF is it occurs when the eggs are surgically removed from the ovary and mixed with sperm outside the body in a Petri dish ("in vitro" is Latin for "in glass"). After about 40 hours, the eggs are examined to see if they have become fertilized by the sperm and are dividing into cells. These fertilized eggs (embryos) are then placed in the women's uterus, thus bypassing the fallopian tubes. The IVF description I defined above is from the American Society for Reproductive Medicine
IVF has received a great deal of media attention since its introduction in 1978, but it actually accounts for less than 5% of all infertility treatment in the United States. It also is a very expensive process if you don't have great insurance coverage averaging about $12,400 in the US. IVF also requires a series of testing before a fertility specialist can decide if this method is bevst for you and your partner to conceive.
I wanted to offer some valuable information to help women prepare their body for IVF. So, for those women who have already consulted with a fertility specialist I wondered what the key areas were to focus on to ensure the body is in an optimal state.
I did some research and found that the three key areas to focus on are nutritional, physical and emotional (mental). I will review important tips below on how to prepare your body in each of these areas.
- Choose a good quality pre-natal vitamin with Folic Acid (400 mcg)
- Make sure your body is absorbing Essential Fatty Acids which can be found in foods and vitamins containing DHA
- Drink at least 8-12 glasses of water a day
- Eat a healthy diet free of junk food, processed foods, caffeine and alcohol
- Eat enough healthy proteins such as eggs, beans and whole grains
- If you're overweight or underweight do your best to get to a healthy body weight by figuring what your BMI (Body Mass Index) is. Check your BMI here: http://www.nhlbisupport.com/bmi/.
- Avoid smoking
- Exercise Regularly
- Get Acupuncture on a weekly basis which will help improve blood flow
- Get adequate rest. Do not overtire your body and make sure to relax.
- Implement relaxation techniques into your daily routine such as pilates, yoga or meditation
- Sleep when you're tired. Rest is important!
- Communicate with your partner regularly about how you're feeling so that you can relieve some of the pressure.
- Try your best not to worry. Instead spend some quality time doing something with your partner that you both enjoy.
For more free tips and fact sheets check out the American Society for Reproductive Medicine