When you’re in the midst of your IVF journey, it can feel like you’re constantly having to wait around for somebody else to tell you what you need. From out-patient appointments to waiting for test results, so much of your fertility treatment sits outside of your control and it can be a frustrating and long process.
It’s important to remember that whilst you can somewhat prepare for what to expect during your IVF journey, no two journeys are fully identical. As such, you should talk to your healthcare provider and clinician before making any radical changes to your lifestyle, but there are a few things that you can do to reclaim some of the power and take control of your journey.
If you’ve been trying to get pregnant for a while, you’ll probably already know that you should be taking adequate amounts of two vitamins: folic acid and Vitamin D. Folic acid is a B vitamin that helps the body make healthy new cells and is found in leafy vegetables, citrus fruits, beans, and whole grains, although most of us don’t get the required amount through diet alone so supplements can help. Often called ‘the sunshine vitamin’, we get vitamin D from sunlight, but studies suggest that up to 90% of women have low vitamin D levels and supplements are advised during the autumn and winter months.
Eating a healthy, varied, and balanced diet means that there shouldn’t be a need for you to take any supplements other than folic acid and vitamin D, but for some women (for example, those following a vegan diet), you might not be getting enough of some key nutrients like iron, vitamin C and calcium. Sometimes, a multivitamin or specialist prenatal vitamin can help to make up for this, but it’s important to talk to your doctor before doing so to make sure you take the right supplements for you.
Similarly, there are supplements and vitamins that your partner or donor could be taking to boost sperm count. One of the most important nutrients for male fertility is zinc, which is essential for the production of sperm, sperm morphology, sperm count, and proper sperm functionality.
Work with a fertility consultant
Your IVF journey is one of the most important paths you’ll ever walk, so finding the right consultant is crucial. Remember, a great fertility clinic doesn’t just give you effective treatment – it should go far beyond that. A great fertility clinic should have compassionate staff, clear pricing, seamless processes, and exceptional emotional support. Ultimately, choosing a clinic is a deeply personal choice and you should go with the one that feels right to you. Things like success rates can be negligible and as tempting as it is, you shouldn’t just go for the clinic with the shortest waiting list. Find a clinic that really understands your journey and takes the time to put you at ease, because the more informed you are, the easier it will be to make key decisions and the more in control you’ll feel throughout the process.
Undergoing IVF can be stressful at the best of times, but learning to manage your stress levels can help with not just your own well-being, but also boosting your fertility. As we’ve already said, working with a fertility consultant will play a vital role in reducing your stress levels as they’ll be able to help you understand your journey fully. But there are many other ways that you can reduce the everyday stresses in your life. From yoga and exercise to meditation and prayer, it’s important that you figure out what works best for you.
Build a support network
When you’re in the midst of your IVF journey, you go through a full spectrum of emotions. There will be days when you feel excited, moody, sad, or anxious, or some days you may have physical symptoms like headaches or hot flashes. As such, it’s important that you have somebody on hand whom you can confide with for support. Similarly, there are support groups that can help you and your clinician will be able to signpost you to the right people if you feel you need extra support. You may also wish to find professional support like a fertility coach or counsellor.
Learn to understand your body
Knowledge is the ultimate power, and by truly understanding your body, you can make an action plan that’s right for you. You can’t argue with facts, and our implantable device, Iris, delivers data about your uterus and body in real-time. By understanding what’s going on inside your body, you and your fertility consultant can tailor your fertility plan to your needs.
To talk to someone about your IVF journey and find out more about how Iris can help, get in touch today.