How can you make an IVF more successful?
I think this is a question that every patient ask to give themselves the very best chance of getting pregnant following an IVF treatment. There are many things that you can do here and to give yourself the very best chance. Specifically, there are some lifestyle factors have been associated with the implications of the outcome.
If you have any history of smoking, it is important that you give up smoking completely. This is relevant to you and your partner. Because we do know that the quality of the eggs is influenced, the response to the stimulation drugs can be affected, and this can, in turn, affect when we may be able to put the embryos back.
On the same note, heavy alcohol consumption or binge drinking can affect both male and female infertility. Also, drinking during pregnancy can give rise to foetal alcohol syndrome. Therefore, it is important that when you are preparing for a treatment that you abstain or restrict the intake of alcohol (woman 1-2, Men 3-5 units a week). But generally, at London IVF & Genetics Centre we recommend patients to abstain entirely from alcohol at least three to six months before starting treatment.
Excess Caffeine consumption should also be addressed. The general advice is to either totally abstain from caffeine or consume it in moderation. The caffeine consumption has been associated not only with infertility but also with increased risks of miscarriages.
Further on a healthy balanced diet is very important to make a fertility treatment more successful. To give yourself the very best chance, the diet should be rich in macronutrients, micronutrients, trace elements and minerals.
Particularly for men, it’s important that the diet also contains zinc, selenium, lycopene, vitamin A and vitamin C.
For women, it is important that they consume enough oily fish to maintain a healthy ratio of the omega-3 to omega-6. Because this is considered to have more anti-inflammatory properties and therefore might improve the success rate. Again the evidence is not robust, but these are some of the early studies that are being associated with different outcomes.
Maintaining a healthy BMI is very important because we do know that patients with a body mass index of more than 35 can have reduced implantation potential of the embryos but can also have reduced simulation response.
Therefore, to ensure that the optimum numbers are collected as part of the treatment and we are then able to do a day five blastocyst transfer it is best that you start working on the weight management strategy.
On the other hand, patients with very low BMI can also have an erratic response and are predisposed to certain complications such as Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome. So if you have a BMI, which is less than 19, we would not recommend starting the treatment until you brought your BMI to 19 or 20.
Overall besides factors mentioned earlier, stress management is an important part. So if you feel that you might be exposed to high levels of stress, or you are stressed about the future treatment, then it is best to take counselling support. All patients going through fertility treatment can seek fertility counselling services at no extra cost at London IVF & Genetics Centre either before during or after the treatment.
We believe that it is quite important to manage stress when patients are going through treatment. Also, you can on your initiative consider practising meditation or mindfulness to help you through the treatment.
These are some of the factors that you can do. I would also suggest that you start taking the folic acid supplements all the pre-pregnancy if you are starting the treatment.