You may be nervous about your upcoming IVF treatment, but there are methods to prepare for IVF to ease your anxiety and increase your chances of success.
Getting ready to undergo IVF treatment can be both an exciting and a nerve-wracking experience. While you are excited at the prospect of having a baby, you are probably feeling anxious about whether the procedure will be successful, worried about potential side effects and a little overwhelmed by everything that is involved.
Know the Process
Your reproductive endocrinologist (RE) has likely already met with you to discuss the steps involved in IVF. You probably even had a meeting to go over the many medications and injections. Still, it can be helpful to review each of the steps in the process so you can keep focused on where you are and what is coming next.
Prepare Yourself for Some Discomfort
There is some discomfort that goes along with IVF treatments. The shots are not particularly painful, but the ones in your hips can cause knots. You can use a warm compress on these. You may also experience some bloating, especially as your follicles are growing. The best way to manage bloating is to stay hydrated.
Both egg retrieval and embryo transfer can cause some mild pain. If you are struggling to deal with the discomfort that goes along with IVF, just remind yourself that it’s all in service of helping you have a baby.
Eat a Healthy Diet
Eating healthy foods gets your body ready for pregnancy. Try to eat lots of fruits and vegetables. You should also begin taking a prenatal vitamin. If you drink alcohol or caffeine, make sure to reduce your intake. You should also quit smoking.
Get a Good Night’s Sleep
You may constantly be worrying about your IVF procedure from whether it will work to how you will manage all of the needles. It may even be keeping you up at night. Research has shown that stress can have a negative impact on infertility and restful sleep can help lower stress. So, try not to worry and make sure you get plenty of rest in the weeks leading up to your procedure.
Decrease Your Stress
It’s easier said than done, but try not to stress out too much. Stress is counteractive to the IVF procedure and fertility in general. There are many ways to alleviate stress, so you will need to pick what works best for you.
Many people have had success with yoga or acupuncture. Light exercise can also help with stress, but if you are an avid runner, try to cut down your mileage and intensity. Sometimes it can help to just watch a funny movie or spend time with friends to get your mind off the upcoming procedure.
As you prepare for IVF, you will be injecting yourself with a lot of hormones. These hormones can cause some reasonably intense mood swings. Between the mood swings and the stress, you may feel like an emotional wreck.
Try to keep yourself as calm as possible. Do some deep breathing exercises. If you are involved in a stressful or emotional situation, try to remove yourself from it. Remind your partner to be supportive and understanding of your moods during this time. Do not be afraid to ask for help when you need it.
Sometimes visiting an online forum can be helpful. It is good to find others in similar situations.
Plan to Get Some Rest after the Procedure
There are a few reasons to relax after your embryo transfer. First, you are not going to feel up to doing much activity. You’ll likely be given a mild sedative and maybe some pain relievers. These may make you feel a bit sleepy and perhaps a little nauseous.
Additionally, since you are waiting for the embryo to implant, you want to take it easy for a couple of days. You don’t have to lie in bed after the first day, but you don’t want to do heavy exercise either.
With the right mindset and the proper physical methods to prepare for IVF, you can increase your chances of a successful procedure. A few lifestyle changes can really make a difference.