Every one entering the IVF journey wants each cycle to go really well. After all, the best way to save money on the enormous cost of IVF in the US is to have the first cycle result in a positive pregnancy.
For some, success on the first "go" is unlikely; but there are many stories of positive outcomes. The challenge is that you won't know how your body will react to the process until you have gone all the way through the full cycle. If you can not control the outcome, you can at least prepare optimally so that you have the best prospect. This short article details that preparation, putting the tips into 3 large categories to make each step actionable, and the whole thing a little less overwhelming. We want you to give yourself the best possible chance of a positive outcome on the first try.
1. Get Fit Physically.
The first step you'll want to take is get fit physically. The reason why you need to do that is so that your muscles are strong, supple and can support you with as much stamina as might be necessary. You'll also want to know which aches are simply muscle strain and which are something you might want to pay more attention to. With this first step, keeping away from any foods that your body finds hard to process might be a step to consider, and perhaps moderate your caffeine intake. Your routine for falling asleep also becomes very important. You want to be able to fall asleep anywhere, anytime - even if only for a power nap!
You'll want to execute this initial step as fully as you can. If you can't, then at least start a regular walking routine or begin a yoga class, so that you are on your way to learning your body's rhythms and offering it a positive workout for any upcoming emotional stress.
2. Get Fit Financially.
Your 2nd step will be to get fit financially. Unless you have total insurance coverage, the cost of IVF here in the US is quite substantial, and will require quite a bit of planning. You need to clean up any outstanding debt you might have in credit cards, college loans, etc. Avoid adding more debt (in medical loans or a home equity loan) and escalating anything that might cause you additional stress. There are a number of different options to finance fertility beyond loans; there are shared risk programs, clinical trials and grants you can apply for. Your body needs to be stress-free when undergoing IVF, which is why folks turns to acupuncture so frequently. Acupuncture has now been proved to regulate two stress producing hormones (cortisol and prolactin) neither of which help in any way when you're trying to get your body produce good quality eggs and then a receptive uterus.
3. Get Fit Emotionally.
Your third and final step is to get fit emotionally. This step can be an important one considering that the process of IVF is unfamiliar, unnerving and worrying for some ~ all the tests, injections, physical examinations...doctors! No matter how kind, calm and professional those folks are, it can up the stress level for many women. With this final step it is going to be important for you to know how to alter your mood. More than just relaxation, how can you cheer yourself up, calm yourself down, re-focus onto something that you can control or just put yourself into a different state? Having particular music on hand, funny DVDs, luscious lotions with great aromas, candles, games, stress relief toys, the phone number for a really good masseuse/pedicurist/whatever your thing is! This is an excellent time to take up a hobby or craft that is particularly engrossing. Another tip might be to learn how the To Do list function on your mobile phone works and get good at checking things off!
When you take action on each of the 3 steps, you will start to feel calmer and more optimistic about your upcoming IVF journey. Steer clear of naysayers and downers; they may think they're being realistic for you, but honestly, you don't need that kind of help.