Infertility treatments tend to be a lengthy process, often stretching over several weeks.
In order to prepare your body for this stressful and emotional time, there are a few simple steps you can take to help improve your chances of successfully conceiving.
IVF and other infertility treatments affect us physically, mentally and emotionally. Hormone injections and medications as well as various blood tests and ultrasounds can make the whole process quite a gruelling one. Combine this with potential financial stressors and the fact that successfully conceiving is not guaranteed, it pays for women to prepare for their treatment as best they can.
In the six to eight weeks leading up to the beginning of your cycle, a healthy balanced diet high in protein is important. Protein helps your body to produce eggs, and the more eggs you produce, the greater your chances of a successful outcome. Fish, lean meat and lentils are a great source of protein. Avoid processed foods, fatty foods and those high in sugar. Keeping hydrated by drinking two litres of water a day is also important. It is recommended to start on a daily multivitamin supplement to ensure your body is receiving all the necessary nutrients.
Reaching and maintaining a healthy weight is very important, as being overweight or underweight can reduce the likelihood of you conceiving. Regular light exercise, such as daily walking or yoga, is ideal for maintaining optimal physical health. Strenuous exercise should be avoided. Not surprisingly, cigarettes should be eliminated completely and alcohol and caffeine should be kept to a minimum. Many women find massage and acupuncture beneficial in promoting physical wellness and preparing for IVF.
The mental strain that couples experience when going through infertility treatment can leave them feeling stressed, confused and alone. The main aim during this time is to keep a positive attitude and look to the long-term goal. Although they may mean well, not everyone understands what you are going through. Therefore, it pays to give yourself space to process the many emotions that you are likely to experience. Find someone who you trust to talk to, take advantage of the counselling offered by the fertility clinic and be sure to communicate openly and honestly with your partner. Some women find meditation or positive visualisation helps them process their feelings during this time.