If you're struggling with infertility and thinking about using IVF as a possible means to getting pregnant, you aren't alone. Thousands of couples each year decide to try IVF to get pregnant, and many of them are eventually successful. However, IVF can be a very expensive way to create a baby, so you want to use all the IVF help you can get to maximize your chances of success with each IVF cycle. There are several different things that you can do to help your chances of having a successful IVF treatment.
Stress and Infertility
Although the links between stress and infertility aren't yet understood fully, several recent scientific studies have shown that women with higher levels of stress are less likely to become pregnant, even if they use IVF. A study in Therapy Today linked lowered levels of cortisol - a hormone that signals a stressed-out body - with higher rates of pregnancy in women, and the Indian Journal of Medical Research showed that men who are stressed out may have lower quality sperm. This means that one approach to enhancing IVF success is to do whatever you must to keep your stress levels low, whether it means exercising, taking long bubble baths, or joining an infertility support group.
Eating for Better Fertility
Food and fertility don't yet have clear links either, but it's certainly true that how you eat affects your fertility in many ways. Being healthy in general is a good way to start, as both men and women with a healthy body weight will be more fertile, but there are also things you can focus on to enhance fertility through your diet. For one thing, your diet should incorporate healthy carbohydrates like whole grains, which are full of nutrients, in healthy amounts. Unsaturated fats, such as olive oil, help boost fertility, but you should avoid trans fats, which can increase your chances of developing ovulatory infertility. Focusing on getting enough protein can also help boost fertility, as can enjoying two servings of full-fat milk products each day.
Living a Healthy Lifestyle
While making a baby can seem pretty simple, it actually depends on a chain reaction of tons of hormones and regulatory systems in your body, so the healthier you are overall, the more likely you are to be fertile, which can seriously enhance your chances of having a baby through IVF. Key lifestyle changes include incorporating light exercise into your daily routine, maintaining a healthy body weight, not smoking, and consuming alcohol only in small quantities, or better yet, not at all.
Acupuncture and Soft Tissue Massage
These days, even many infertility clinics that specialize in IVF are incorporating Eastern-style healing techniques into their packages for infertile couples. One treatment, acupuncture, has been shown to seriously enhance pregnancy rates for couples undergoing IVF; in fact, women who have acupuncture right before and right after eggs are implanted are about 40% more likely to get pregnant, and the rates of miscarriage for women who use acupuncture alongside IVF are much lower. While no one is sure yet why this works, the evidence that it does work is certainly available.
Another alternative technique to enhance IVF is soft tissue therapy, also known as the Wurn technique. The Wurn technique basically involves a well-trained massage therapist who gently works with abdominal tissue, releasing adhesions - tissue abnormalities from scar tissue - by gently stretching and working the soft tissue. This cost-effective treatment has basically no side effects, and it has shown very promising results as a pre-IVF treatment.
While just about any form of exercise can help you become healthier and, thus, more fertile, moderate, calming exercises like yoga and qigong may be particularly helpful. For one, these exercise techniques often focus on relieving stress, which, as has been pointed out, increases the success rate of IVF. In one study, couples who practiced a mind-body class involving yoga became pregnant within a year at an astonishing rate of 50%, and this study didn't even use yoga alongside IVF.
As you can see, there are many ways to enhance the whole IVF experience and to help your body become more ready for pregnancy, and most of these treatments are relaxing, healthy, and inexpensive.