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Fertility Consultant Shares 8 Tips To Prepare Your Mind & Body For The Best Shot At IVF Conception

Expert Talk: Ways To Physically & Mentally Prepare Yourself To Boost The Chances Of Conceiving Through IVF

Infertility has significantly strained many relationships, especially those involving long-term partners. Before planning parenthood, couples should maintain their fertility by taking care of their physical, sexual, mental health, and reproductive health, because this can increase their fertility potential substantially.

The Channel 46 caught up with Dr Preeti Mahawar, Fertility Consultant at Nova IVF, Kolkata to understand the causes of infertility, and how couples can physically and mentally prepare themselves to boost their chances of conceiving through IVF. Here’s everything you need to know.

Causes Of Infertility In Men & Women

Fertility is a complex process and can be affected due to several reasons. While most people focus on women’s reproductive health, infertility is something that can affect both men and women and therefore both partners should get tested before trying to conceive.

Male Infertility

  1. Low sperm count as it decreases the chances of fertilisation
  2. Low motility of the sperm as it results in the inability of the sperm to reach and fertilise the egg.
  3. Poor morphology of the sperm such as head and tail defects affect the ability of the sperm to reach and penetrate an egg.
  4. Being overweight can cause infertility.
  5. Heavy consumption of alcohol/smoking can affect sperm quality.
  6. Medical conditions such as hypothyroidism, diabetes, and tuberculosis.
  7. Retrograde ejaculation, because then the semen enters the bladder instead of emerging out of the tip of the penis.
  8. Other conditions such as swelling of the veins around the testicle areas
  9. Infections that may affect sperm quality or may interfere with sperm production.
  10. Medications such as chemotherapy and tricyclic antidepressants.
  11. Drugs such as marijuana and cocaine 

Female Infertility

  1. Sexually Transmitted Diseases as they can damage the reproductive system.
  2. Heavy use of alcohol.
  3. Smoking cigarettes.
  4. Medical conditions such as uterine fibroids, pelvic inflammatory disease, premature ovarian failure, endometriosis, or PCOS.
  5. Uterine factor conditions like polyps and fibroids.
  6. Ovarian factors like premature ovarian failure and chocolate cysts.
  7. Tubal factors like tubal block and hydrosalpinx

What Is IVF Treatment?

In-Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) is a procedure that consists of assisted reproductive techniques which help in completing the family. In this process, a woman’s eggs are collected from the ovary and fertilised with a man’s sperm to form embryos. The embryos are monitored in the laboratory and are either placed in the woman’s uterus or can be cryopreserved or frozen for future use.

In-Vitro Fertilisation is a challenging process to undertake as it takes a toll on a person’s physical, emotional, and mental health. To make this process easier, here are a few essential tips one should implement to achieve an ideal lifestyle while undergoing the treatment:

How One Can Prepare Themselves Physically While Going Through The IVF Treatment:

  1. Dietary Measures: Intake of lean protein-rich foods such as fruits, vegetables, fish, and whole grains like whole grain pasta and quinoa. Try to switch to low-fat dairy products and avoid salty foods.
  2. Body Exercises: A bit of light jogging and advised exercises might do wonders for a healthy womb if you have a healthy body mass index.
  3. Avoid Chemicals: It is advisable to refrain from the use of nail polish, creams containing retinol, a few acne creams, skin-lightening creams and hair dyes.
  4. Medications: If one is on any particular medication, the concerned doctor should be informed about it to prevent any unwanted complications during the procedure. For example- steroids, antidepressants, or pills for simply a health condition like asthma. 
  5. Good Sleep Cycle: Getting a proper amount of sleep (7-8 hours) is necessary for an individual to cope with the IVF journey. Sleep and fertility have a strong correlation as per medical reports. Good sleep will not only reduce mental stress but also boosts reproductive hormones.
  6. Cut Off Unhealthy Habits: Smoking and drinking alcohol can be risky during pregnancy as it holds adverse effects that are harmful to the unborn child. Quit such addictions to avoid any complications during the pregnancy.
  7. Reduce Caffeine Intake: While cutting down on caffeine might be difficult for coffee lovers, one going through IVF trying to conceive should be advised not to consume more than 1-2 cups of coffee per day to avoid dealing with any withdrawal symptoms later on. 
  8. Avoid Stress: IVF is a demanding process where a person may experience stress. It is beneficial for a person undergoing IVF treatment to start meditation in order to take care of their emotional health and reduce their stress levels.

How One Can Prepare Themselves Mentally While Going Through The IVF Treatment:

  1. Connect With Support Groups: A lot of people are unsure of taking up the treatment because they lack proper information and suspect the reliability of the treatment. Therefore, one is advised to talk to people who can act as a support community for the couple. One can communicate with couples who have undertaken the treatment to get motivation and input while undergoing the IVF process. Seeking information is right however comparing your own journey with another can be discomforting. 
  2. Talk To Your Partner: IVF is a complicated fertilisation process and should be agreed upon by the consent of both partners as it is a big step in both their lives. So, having a word with your partner will greatly help.
  3. Seek The Consultation Of The Experts: Every person’s treatment is distinguished and unique from the others. So, one should consult a fertilisation expert about the right choices for an individual’s treatment. 
  4. Decide On The Most Important Activities: Since IVF is a time taking process, it will involve a lot of clinical appointments, check-ups, and blood tests. So, one should revise and reconsider daily activities by prioritising the most required ones to balance health and life. 

In the end, IVF is an effective procedure for couples facing difficulty to conceive a child however this process is intensive and requires patience. A person undergoing this process may undergo an array of emotions that may impact their physical and mental health. In these cases, it is important to consult your fertility specialist and get their valuable input.

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