By the time you and your partner make the decision to pursue IVF treatments, it’s likely that you’ve already weighed all the pros and cons and learned all you possibly can about the process.
IVF therapy is a complicated process in which you’ll be given a series of medications to prepare your body for egg production. Once your eggs are ready to be harvested, they’ll be collected, fertilized with your partner’s (or a donor’s) sperm, and incubated for several days. Then, the fertilized embryos will be implanted back into your uterus.
Once your eggs are harvested, there isn’t a lot you and your partner can do to improve your chances of getting pregnant. However, there is a way to maximize your chances of conception before your eggs are harvested.
Causes of Unhealthy Eggs: The health of your eggs (and their ability to become healthy embryos) is based on a lot of different factors. Some factors, like your age and family history, are not in your control. But others, like your overall health, diet, and lifestyle, are firmly in your control.
Symptoms: Unfortunately, you won’t have any symptoms to alert you to the health of your eggs. The only way to know if your eggs are truly viable is to become pregnant and hope for a successful pregnancy. That’s why it’s so important that you maximize egg health before you move forward with IVF therapy.
Treatments: If you are preparing for IVF, here are some things you can do to increase the health of your eggs and give yourself the best possible chance of IVF success.
Avoid stress: Prolonged stress increases cortisol levels, the stress hormone. Increased cortisol levels lead to poor quality eggs and weight gain. At AFCT, we urge our patients to minimize stress and make healthy lifestyle changes through diet and exercise. This is the first recommendation before you begin IVF therapy. We are proud to offer you a 6-week program, Fertile Mind & Body Experience™ to reduce the stress of IVF. The program offers practical and effective tools to lower stress and create inner calmness. It is also a great way to connect with a community of people experiencing infertility or undergoing IVF therapy.
Eat healthy fats: A study at the Harvard School of Public Health found that foods high in monounsaturated fats (like avocados, olive oil, sunflower oil, nuts, and seeds) may significantly raise IVF success rates. Other foods that boost fertility and improve egg quality include foods high in antioxidants (blueberries, strawberries) and omega-3 fatty acids (salmon, mackerel, walnuts).
Avoid pollutants: Pollutants like smog, household cleaning products, and pesticides can harm your eggs and make them less likely to become healthy embryos. As much as possible, avoid areas of heavy traffic congestion. It’s also a good idea to switch to natural cleaning and beauty products while you’re trying to get pregnant.
Focus on low-impact exercise: High-impact exercise like running and weight-bearing activities can cause unnecessary stress on the body, which may negatively impact your egg quality. Stick to 30 minutes of walking, swimming, or yoga (for example) 3-5 days every week.
Benefit from LLLT (Low Level Laser Therapy): LLLT increases blood flow, strengthens the uterine lining and supports a healthy uterus function. LLLT is a non-invasive treatment that helps increase implantation rates.
Choose anti-inflammatory foods: Anti-inflammatory foods like omega-3 fats and plenty of antioxidant-rich foods help boost blood flow and lower inflammation. Consider Nitric Balance, a special formula developed to boost antioxidant support and lower inflammation to aid in fertility.
To learn more about how to prepare your eggs for IVF or to learn about our holistic approach to fertility and IVF treatment, contact us at (713) 467-4488.