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Guide To IVF
|How Can I Improve My Chances Of IVF Working?
There is much you can do to prepare your body, both physically and mentally for IVF treatment. Doing so can increase your chance of success and minimize the side effects of infertility drugs. Ideally start to prepare 3 months in advance of your treatment, or at a minimum one month in advance. If you have already been through one IVF cycle, allow at least one month to pass before trying again to give your ovaries a chance to recover.
1. Detoxify The Body
Follow a liver-detox program for about 10 days to clear out your system. This will help your body deal with the fertility medications you need to take. In fact, you should do a detox between each IVF cycle. Most detox-programs will give you a list of foods you can and can't eat. Foods you will be able to eat include fruit, vegetables, herbal teas and water. White meat, eggs, potatoes and nuts can be eaten in moderation. Foods to avoid include alcohol, dairy products, caffeine, non-organic foods, red meats, wheat, sugar and orange juice.
2. Check Your Weight
If you are overweight (or seriously underweight) for your height, improve your diet and try to lose (or gain) weight. Doing so will help to improve your hormone levels and improve your chance of success.
3. Improve Your Diet
As a general rule, try to avoid all chocolate, processed foods, salty snacks, coffee, tea, sugary foods, carbonated drinks and alcohol in the run up to IVF. They can deplete the body of vitamins and nutrients.
4. Take Supplements
Invest in one of the best multivitamins that you can afford. It should contain selenium, magnesium and zinc. Some female infertility problems have been linked to zinc deficiency, usually caused by taking the contraceptive pill for long periods of time. Also consider taking a vitamin C supplement (500 mg a day) to support your ovaries; there is some evidence that it may also help prevent miscarriages. A vitamin B-complex is also worth taking because it will help your body cope with the stress of IVF procedures.
Read also, how can I improve my fertility naturally?
5. Drink Water
Water is one of the most important components in our body, it makes up 73 percent of our muscle and 83 percent of our bone structure. It is essential for flushing toxins out of the body and for transporting hormones around the body, as well as aiding egg development. Our body loses about 1.5 liters of water a day through urine, breathing and perspiration. Alcohol, coffee and tea can cause us to lose more water. In fact, most people are dehydrated and don't realize it. To avoid this problem, aim to drink 2 liters of water a day - ideally filtered or bottled water. If you prefer, you can spice up the water with herbal teas.
6. Sleep Lots
In the weeks approaching your IVF cycle, try to sleep as much as possible to buildup your reserves of energy. You are going to need it!
7. Alternative Therapies
Lymphatic Massage: Lymphatic drainage involves the use of light pressure massage which assists the flow of toxins out of the body through the lymphatic system. It is particularly good to combine this with a detox diet in the weeks prior to beginning your cycle.
Reflexology: Reflexology is a foot massage which stimulates the nerves throughout the body. It can be used as diagnostic tool for locating blockages in the system, and as a healing tool to free up and rebalance the system.
Osteopathy: Osteopathy involves the manipulation of joints and muscles with massage, pressure and stretching techniques. An upset in joints, ligaments or muscles can cause dysfunction of the ovaries or uterus. An osteopath will take your complete medical history, check your weight and posture and propose a treatment plan.
Acupuncture: A 2002 study by the journal Fertility and Sterility reported that when IVF treatments were combined with acupuncture, they significantly increased IVF success rates. 42 percent of those who used acupuncture became pregnant compared to 26 percent of those who did not. Of course, all these therapies will need to be factored into your budget when planning your total IVF costs.
8. Exercise Moderately
Regular exercise when you are trying to become pregnant (like any other time in your life) is always good, but you need to be moderate. Avoid aerobic activity with lots of jumping around, instead opt for something like walking, yoga, swimming or cycling. Some doctors recommend keeping your heart rate under 140 beats a minute.
9. Relaxation Techniques
Explore relaxation techniques to find one that suit you, whether this is yoga, meditation or tai chi. As little as 10 minutes of conscious relaxation practice a day during your IVF cycle can aid pregnancy.
10. Visualize Your Success
When you start treatment, spend a few minutes a day visualizing your ovaries looking healthy, your eggs developing and your body becoming fitter and stronger. Some natural therapists believe that really believing you are going to have a baby will make it happen in reality. The mind is a powerful tool and has the ability to manifest illness as well as health. Write positive affirmations on a card and repeat them several times a day.