For the average couple, the chances of getting pregnant are approximately 20% in any given month but couples who face fertility issues may have less than a 5% chance of conceiving without fertility treatment. Fertility treatments such as IVF (in vitro fertilisation) have become very popular as they can increase the chances of conceiving to as much as 40% of people who cannot conceive.IVF involves the extraction of eggs which are then fertilised with sperm in a specialised lab and the resultant embryos are then transferred to the woman’s uterus. There are several ways to increase the success rate of IVF treatments so that you get it right on the first go.
Natural MethodsTo Ensure High IVF Success Rates
Repeated IVF cycles are very stressful and can become quite a financial burden which is why fertility experts often recommend that couples take steps to increase their chances of a successful IVF cycle. Here are 8 simple ways to increase your chances of conceiving through IVF.
The Mediterranean diet is famous for its many health benefits including improved cardiovascular health, decreased cognitive decline, and prolonged lifespan. However, a recent study indicated that the Mediterranean diet can increase a couple’s IVF success rate. A Mediterranean-style diet would include plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables along with whole grains, olive oil, and fish. Fertility experts say that this is the best diet for IVF success as it eliminates processed foods that are high in chemical additives and instead increases antioxidant intake which improves the quality of a woman’s eggs and protects the lining of the womb which increases the chances of a successful IVF cycle. It was observed that starting this IVF diet 6 months before an IVF cycle offered the most benefits.
IVF is an effective infertility treatment but the procedure involves blood tests, daily hormone injections, egg retrievals, and multiple cycles which can be a source of emotional upheaval and stress, especially for the woman. However, high levels of stress can reduce fertility levels as studies show that women with high stress levels have a 2-fold increased risk of infertility and would therefore have lower IVF success rates as compared to other women. It is not possible to completely eliminate the stress of infertility and IVF cycles but reducing stress levels will go a long way in increasing the chances of a successful IVF cycle. Fertility experts generally recommend that women put aside a certain amount of time on a daily basis to de-stress, especially around the time of their fertility treatments. Meditation or simply relaxing while listening to soothing music for 30 minutes at the end of the day will help to lower stress levels and can improve IVF success rates.
Obesity and weight gain have been linked to several health problems including lower fertility levels. Studies show that the probability of pregnancy is reduced by 5% per unit of BMI exceeding 29 kg/m2 while animal tests show that obesity could cause a decrease in pregnancy rates of up to 60%. Excessive body weight disrupts a woman’s hormonal balance which increases her chances of irregular periods and reduces her fertility levels. Fertility experts also point out that obesity raises a woman’s risk of premature delivery, miscarriage, and stillbirth which is why it is best to have a healthy body weight before starting IVF treatments. A woman should follow a healthy diet and exercise routine and aim for herideal weight for IVF success – which is between 19 and 25.
Light exercise on a regular basis can help to improve fertility levels but strenuous or heavy exercise can reduce fertility levels. This is why fertility experts warn women to avoid high intensity workouts while they are undergoing IVF treatments. Studies show that women who indulged in 4 hours or more of high intensity exercise over a prolonged period are 40% less likely to have a live birth. Furthermore, women who exercise that much are also twice as likely to have an implantation failure and so doctors advise women undergoing IVF treatments to switch to low-intensity exercises such as walking or yoga.
Ideally, both partners should give up alcohol completely. Even moderate amounts of alcohol can affect fertility while excessive amounts have been proven to negatively affect sperm quality. Consumption of just 4 alcoholic drinks a week has been associated with a decrease in IVF live birth rates. The odds of a live birth are reduced even further if both partners consume alcohol regularly. This also applies for people who smoke or consume tobacco products.
The benefits of acupuncture have been the source of scientific debate for decades and it is only in recent years that researchers have proved that it could be effective as an adjunct to conventional treatments for various health issues. A research panel recently collated evidence from relevant well-conducted studies and found that acupuncture can increase the chances of pregnancy by up to 65% for women undergoing fertility treatments such as IVF. Acupuncture increases fertility levels by reducing stress, balancing the endocrine system, and increasing blood flow to the ovaries and uterus which improves egg health and increases the chances of pregnancy through IVF.
Yoga for IVF success has gained recognition only within the last decade. Studies show that yoga increases the success rates of ART (Assisted Reproductive Technology) treatments such as IVF by improving the physiological and psychological states of both partners. Practising yoga on a regular basis reduces depression, anxiety, and stress and can also help to increase blood flow to the reproductive organs, thus improving the chances of a successful IVF cycle.
Men are advised to refrain from sexual intercourse and masturbation for approximately 3 days before their semen sample is required. This can help to increase sperm count and increase the chance of a successful IVF procedure. Men are not advised to abstain from ejaculation for prolonged periods as studies show that this can impact sperm health and reduce the mobility of sperm.
Fertility rates and IVF outcomes are also affected by unhealthy lifestyle choices such as smoking and drinking. If is important for both partners to abstain from such habits in order to optimise their chances of a successful IVF cycle.
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