Successful IVF Treatment
IVF success!! You are now one of the many people who can celebrate pregnancy as a result of successful IVF treatment. Without a doubt, this marks the start of some of the happiest days of your life. Despite this, it is not uncommon for couples to feel anxious at the beginning of the pregnancy. The IVF success rate, as an average amongst all age groups across all fertility clinics; both private and NHS, is around 30%. Some clinics have a much higher IVF clinical pregnancy rate compared to others. Also, certain patient groups will have a much better chance of successful outcome, such as younger women or those who have had successful pregnancy previously.
Early Stages of Pregnancy
Now that you have passed the initial hurdle, your focus should be on looking after yourself well in the early days of pregnancy. There are many do’s and don’ts about what one can and cannot do after having taken a positive pregnancy test. There is little scientific evidence in support of many of these pieces of advice that are rife in the media. However, in my experience, most women would be willing to do anything to avoid any remote possibility of affecting the wellbeing of the pregnancy. Many would wish to avoid having anything to blame themselves for if they were to suffer miscarriage.
Maintaining a Healthy Lifestyle whilst Pregnant
Once you have taken a positive pregnancy test, make sure that you still maintain healthy a lifestyle. Some women may experience morning sickness. In such cases, make sure that you are well hydrated and try frequent small meals. It is best to ensure that you can maintain as much food and fluid intake as possible. Others may have food cravings or avoidance for certain food products. Most of the time, it is best to eat as you desire whilst making sure that you are consuming adequate calories and addressing nutritional needs. If you find you are struggling to keep anything down, then you should seek help from your doctor or fertility specialist. During early pregnancy, you should also avoid undercooked or raw meats; and soft cheeses such as brie, camembert or blue veined cheese. Other healthy lifestyle measures such as avoidance of smoking, alcohol or use of recreational substances should of course be maintained. It is best to restrict caffeine consumption or consider decaffeinated drinks.
Light Exercise for Pregnant Women
Even when pregnant, you should keep up with light exercise such as walking. You should also speak to your personal trainer or fitness instructor about the exercise that may be allowed in early pregnancy. If you have experienced previous early miscarriages, then it will be reasonable to avoid exercise. If you are feeling anxious, then do consider mindfulness or meditation. Adequate rest is helpful and you should strive for six to eight hours of sleep every night.
Taking Medications during Pregnancy
If you have been through IVF treatment, then you should continue with the medications advised by your IVF specialist. All pregnant women should take folic acid. You can take 400micrograms of folic acid every day up until the 12th week of pregnancy. There are many supplements available over the counter. There is no evidence to suggest that taking extra supplements would change the course of pregnancy. Also, inform your GP and arrange to see a midwife to initiate the prenatal care. If in doubt, you should speak to your doctor or fertility specialist at your IVF clinic for further advice.