IVF success rates are a funny thing.
They can vary wildly depending on the woman and there is so much misinformation about what can make a difference, and what does not.
So what’s a girl to do when weighing up the fact and fiction on IVF success rates? Of course, you want to do as much as you can to improve your chances, not just because each IVF cycle is expensive but because it can be so emotional and stressful to go through the process. We want to help you, so we’ve done the hard yards in research and brought together what we’ve learned right here. Consider this your user guide, it’s the facts and fiction of IVF success rates.
1. Bed rest after transfer.
It is a mistaken belief that following your embryo transfer, you need to be on bed rest. Life doesn’t pause when IVF happens, it’s just one step on the journey, and there’s no need to treat it as anything other than that. Following embryo transfer, women should just get back into their lives and their routine, not chain themselves to the bed. Believe us, the studies say that regardless of the length of the rest, it makes no difference.
2. Herbal remedies are key.
Some people make a lot of money on the idea that herbal remedies are the key to IVF success, but the studies are not on their side. In fact, some herbal remedies may actually worsen a woman’s chances of falling pregnant. The reason for this is that doctors aren’t always sure what specific herbs make up the remedies, or where the ingredients are coming from. The key thing to remember is that if you’re taking herbal remedies, or you’re planning to take them, tell your doctor everything.
3. Specific diets will help.
Although you would think this is correct, science says that no specific diet necessarily results in a higher IVF success rate. However, that’s not to say that you should be chowing down on pies, chips and booze. Doctors recommend a balanced diet during both the time prior to IVF implantation and during the process. Now, a balanced diet includes fruits, veggies, whole grains and lean proteins. Some women choose to add multivitamins, but some supplements do not play with IVF treatments. It’s also important to foster a healthy weight as women who are considerably underweight or overweight tend to have lower success rates.
4. IVF failure is on you.
If there’s one myth we hate to see people perpetuate about IVF is that the failure of an IVF cycle is down to the people involved. IVF might be a science, but it’s far from exact or perfect. Sometimes, IVF works and it’s wonderful, but sometimes, it doesn’t and that’s not because of something that you ‘failed’ to do. A woman could do everything according to the book and still experience an IVF failure, while another could wing it and have a successful implantation. Don’t beat yourself up about an IVF failure, because it’s not your fault in the least.
One of the biggest things that we can tell you about IVF is that preparation is key. Some doctors like to say that the time to start preparing for an IVF treatment is 90 days before it begins, because this is the time to start making sure everything is ready.
You want to know for sure that your body, your uterus, your ovaries, your fallopian tubes and anything else is at peak performance for what is coming. Not to mention there are some things that you can do during the preparation stage which is beneficial, that during the actual IVF process is not. So what can you do to naturally improve your chances of an IVF success? Read on!
Massage can be beneficial to IVF success rates, but only if it’s done prior to starting IVF treatment and by a professional. Now, we aren’t talking about a Thai massage or your partner giving you a foot rub, we’re talking about a fertility massage. A fertility massage is a deep-tissue massage on the reproductive area to improve circulation to the ovaries and uterus. This increased blood flow can be beneficial to hormone balance and egg health.
Now, while the studies on the link between acupuncture and IVF success are still in the early days, what has been released thus far certainly makes a good case to give it a go.
A 2008 study by the University of Maryland School of Medicine found that acupuncture significantly improved pregnancy rates with the procedure apparently decreasing stress, regulating hormones, strengthening the immune system, increasing blood flow, increasing uterine lining thickening and so on.
It’s best to start 3-4 months prior to IVF with acupuncture, and it can be done after IVF has started with your doctor’s approval.
3. Meditate and stress less.
This might seem like a pretty simple thing, or complicated if you’ve struggled with infertility for some time, but studies have shown that a woman’s stress levels can impact on IVF fertility rates. Women with very high levels of stress tended to have correspondingly low levels of IVF success, but the studies are still small so it’s not guaranteed. However, it can be beneficial for your mindset to start a meditation or relaxation habit, even if it’s not necessarily related to the IVF success statistics. Consider it a little holiday for your brain.
When it comes to IVF, the smartest person in the equation is still your doctor, so if you have questions about your success rates, how you can improve them, and what to stay away from, talk to them first.