10 Most Useful IVF Tips for Success and How It Works
There are many underlying emotional, financial, and obviously, practical factors involved in In-Vitro Fertilisation (IVF). Sometimes, it is a couple’s only chance at becoming a family; sometimes it is backup option for genetic screening necessitated by previous traumas and is always financiallydaunting.
If you’re gearing up for this exciting and albeit anxious journey of parenthood through IVF, be sure to check out these tips and facts for a more confident and peaceful start.
Different stagesin the process of IVF: One ‘Round’ of IVF treatment includes several steps occurring over a distinct timeline:
|Stages||Action Item||Expected duration|
|Preparation||Consult your doctor to make realistic lifestyle changes (diet, exercises, meds etc.) to prepare your body at the best condition for the beginning of the first round.||Depending upon your current health and other medical factors, this stage may last from 2-4 weeks before the start of first round.|
|Stage 1||It’s the first day of your menstrual cycle closest to the scheduled treatment date. Your doctor may prescribe drugs to align it with the schedule and your hormonal balances.||1 day|
|Stage 2||Take fertility drugs to boost your ovaries in increasing egg production.||3 – 12 days (as your doctor recommends)|
|Stage 3||Injecting Pregnancy hormone (human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG)) to release the developed eggs and retrieve them after the wait period.||36 hours wait period (since the injection)|
|Stage 4||a) Egg fertilisation in the labs by your partner’s sperm
b) Intake progesterone to ensure minimum risk of miscarriage later
|Stage 5||Transfer of embryo to your uterus||5-7 days since fertilisation|
|Stage 6||Undergo tests to confirm successful embryo implant in your uterus.||9-12 days|
IVF in numbers:Let’s take a look at a few facts and figures regarding IVF to soothe your stress.
- The world’s first IVF baby today is a healthy woman of 40+ and a mother of two kids.
- More than 8 million IVF babies have been born world-wide since then, as per the International Committee Monitoring Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ICMART)
However, it is always better to keep your expectations realistic.
- In the US, IVF success rates are 38.3% for women under 35, 32% for women aged 35-37, 23.1% for those aged 38-40, and 10.4% in women over 40.
- In the UK, these rates are 29% for women under 35, 23% for women aged 35-37, 15% for women aged 38-39, less than 10% for women over 40 years.
- In India, the rates tally with the international statistics more or less. It ranges between 30%-35% (40% on a good run), as confirmed by Dr Alka Kriplani, head of obstetrics and gynaecology at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi.
Tips for success: Many IVF components are actually beyond your control. However, check out these tips for a higher probability of success:
- Do not wait until it’s too late to opt for IVF. Your age is not a favourable factor here.
- Research your IVF centre, your doctors and the financial impact thoroughly before starting.
- Discuss openly with your doctor about your previous pregnancies (if any) and detailed medical history. IVF may not be your only solution medically and your doctor may suggest other avenues.
- Get dietary guidelines from experts to know what to eat and what to avoid.
- Don’t do heavy exercises. Your body is already going through a lot during the procedure, so get plenty of rest.
- Practise meditation and yoga designed for mothers-to-be. These activities will prepare your body to handle thepregnancy better.
- Avoid sudden lifestyle changes that induce physical/mental stress to you. Staying calm, relaxed and restful throughout the process results in higher success rate.
- Stay away from caffeine, alcohol and smoking.Follow every medical advice your doctor prescribes before, during and after the procedure.
- Don’t let the stress of the process get to you, even if you need more than one round. Talk it out with your partner, family and even seek professional counselling if required to maintain optimum emotional health.
- Finally, never self-medicate during or after the treatment.
Own your decision of choosing IVF and stay strong — these tips will help you through the process.