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How to Prepare Yourself for Fertility Treatment

What should you do in order to make sure your mind and body are in perfect condition to undergo fertility treatment? There are plenty of things you can do to ensure you’re healthy and ready.

February 24, 2021
Charlotte Pearse

How do you go about preparing to receive fertility treatment, specifically IVF, or in vitro fertilization? 

The process can be tough on both your mind and body, so making sure that you’re ready to have treatment is incredibly important, and there are lots of things that you can do to make sure you’re healthy and ready. This way, the treatment will be as simple and as likely to result in a successful pregnancy as possible.

The IVF Process

Before deciding to try IVF treatment, you should look into what it will actually entail so you can prepare accordingly for what that means for you.

There are many steps that both you and your partner must complete before beginning the cycle, such as screenings both relating to fertility and also general medical conditions.

This includes ovarian reserve testing, semen analysis, infectious disease screening, uterine cavity exam, and other examinations if your doctor recommends them.

The results of these tests can determine the circumstances of your IVF treatment, and if a donor or surrogate is needed.

In addition to completing these tests, it’s crucial to know how IVF works before you start upon the journey to have a child this way.

The process usually involves four steps, though they can vary depending on each individual couple’s situation— Ovarian stimulation and monitoring, egg retrieval, fertilization, and embryo transfer to the uterus.

If you are confused or concerned about any step in the procedure, you shouldn’t hesitate to ask your doctor, but it’s also good to do your own research on what each part of the process will entail.

Physical Preparation

Starting IVF treatment can be very taxing on your body, so it’s very important to ensure that you stay healthy.

As far as exercise goes, make sure you don’t overwork yourself and that you are resting when it is recommended to you by your doctor. Yoga and fertility massages are both very good, low-stress options. You should also be sure that you always get a good night’s sleep. 

However, the best thing you can do to stay healthy is to ensure you’re eating enough and that you keep a well-balanced diet, as being overweight or underweight can have a large negative impact on your chances. 

Foods that are low in fat but high in protein will be your best friends, and you can never go wrong with fruits and vegetables. 

You should definitely avoid alcoholic beverages, smoking, and foods with high mercury content, as well as caffeine.

While nothing you eat will magically guarantee your IVF treatment will be a success, there are many foods that have been known to boost fertility, including eggs, nuts, avocados, beans, and whole grains. There are also other methods of enhancing fertility that you can look into.

An image of several dishes on a table, including bowls of granola with fruit, an avocado, honey, and tulips lying beside the food.
There are so many healthy foods that you can eat to ensure your body is healthy and prepared for a potential pregnancy! Make sure to go big on the portions if your treatment is successful, since you may just be eating for two!

Stay away from highly processed foods when possible. Vitamins are also a good idea, though you should always let your doctor know what kinds you’re taking.

They may tell you to take specific fertility enhancing vitamins, or just supplements that ensure you’re getting all your important nutrients. Whatever the case may be, tell your doctor what you’re taking.

Mental Health

In order to properly prepare for IVF treatment, it’s important to make sure you keep your stress levels low.

Make sure to practice relaxation techniques such as yoga, meditation, and breathing exercises. Avoid making big life changes and traveling unless the latter is absolutely necessary, and when you must travel make sure to plan it out very carefully and work around your treatment schedule.

An image of a woman sitting cross-legged, meditating, with a dog sitting beside her on her yoga mat.
Yoga and meditation are both incredibly helpful activities for mental health in general, and as going through IVF treatment may be an incredibly stressful process for both you and your partner, it’s important to make sure that you’re taking the time to take care of yourself.

It’s also important to mentally prepare yourself for the possibility that your IVF treatment may not be successful. It doesn’t always work, and it’s important to keep that in mind.

You should mentally prepare for all unexpected outcomes. You should know how you will cope with the costs of IVF, as well as if you’ll be able to handle a multiple pregnancy should one occur.

Before entering into the treatment at all, you’ll also have to consider whether or not you’re prepared to look into donors or surrogates as options depending on your situation.

Above all, though, it’s important that you and your partner are prepared to be there for and support each other during this physically and emotionally trying time. 

Pregnancy

Whether prior to receiving IVF treatment at all or after your treatment potentially results in a successful pregnancy, you’ll also have to prepare yourself for actually giving birth and being pregnant, which will likely be even more physically and mentally taxing.

It’s important to consider whether or not your vaccines are current, as well as whether you’re taking any medications or supplements that your doctor would need to know about.

You should also think about whether or not you have any medical conditions, have a family history of certain medical conditions, or are at risk of sexually transmitted infection. This is why screenings are so important to do prior to starting treatment and conception.

Talking to your doctor and being open about all of these things is essential for treatment— and the pregnancy that hopefully results from treatment —to go well.

An image of a pregnant woman's bare stomach, with her placing her hands on both sides of it.
It’s impossible to know what to expect when you might soon be expecting, but making sure you’re prepared for IVF treatment is a good head start.

Above all of these things, though they will certainly help, you and your partner have to be prepared to bring a child into the world. Make sure you’re ready for all the challenges parenthood will bring.

Be positive, and look towards the future, because with IVF that future you dream of could become a reality!

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