Lifestyle before, during and after a Fertility Treatment

During a fertility treatment such as in vitro fertilisation – with your own eggs or with the help of a donor – patients go through a rollercoaster ride of emotions. In the hope of achieving pregnancy in the least number of attempts.  And bearing in mind that the success of a fertility treatment and, therefore, of the embryo’s implantation depends on many factors.

During this process, there are many patients who wish to increase the success of the reproductive process and seek advice to improve their fertility both on the Internet and among their closest friends. Not all advice follows scientific criteria, but it has been shown that certain behaviours can positively influence the achievement of pregnancy.

Should I change my lifestyle during my fertility treatment?

Infertility treatment has an impact on all aspects of a patient’s life. Women have to take hormone stimulation medication on a regular basis which is often accompanied by psychological stress. But as a rule, specialists advise that patients should continue to lead a normal life.

They also say that it is not necessary to enter a state of complete rest during this stage. There is nothing wrong with practising regular sports activities during the early stages of the process. This can even be beneficial: sporting activity stimulates the metabolism and contributes to better health.

Moderate exercise also regulates insulin secretion and improves hormone levels. This has some impact on increasing fertility. Couples also do not have to abstain from sex, as well-being improves the physical condition and  your mood.

It is important to inform your personal assistant of all medical examinations and treatments that are not directly related to fertility treatment. This also applies to the use of medicines such as those used for headaches or sleep disorders. This way, the specialist doctors at your fertility clinic can assess whether the medicines are compatible with the assigned treatment plan.

Unhealthy habits during fertility treatment

It is recommended to stop nicotine completely, whether during a fertility treatment or not. In addition, numerous studies have concluded that regular smoking leads to reduced fertility for both men and women. Not to mention passive smokers are also affected by exposure to other people’s smoke and nicotine.

Last but not least, this unhealthy habit leads to a decrease in fertility treatment success rates as the egg maturation process is affected, thus increasing the risk of chromosomal abnormalities. For this reason, women should stop smoking at an early stage prior to treatment involving stimulation and egg retrieval.

Alcohol consumption should be reduced to small amounts and coffee consumption should be limited to one or two cups a day. Small amounts per day would not be a problem. However, according to studies by Danish scientists, consumption of more than five cups a day reduces the likelihood of successful treatment by up to 50%.

Drinks with high levels of caffeine, such as energy drinks, should also be avoided.

What diet should I follow during a fertility treatment?

There are many myths about the need for a balanced diet to increase the success of fertility treatment. Most foods can be consumed without problem and have no proven influence on the success of Assisted Reproduction treatments. It is true that specialists recommend maintaining a diet rich in vitamins and fibre, avoiding the abuse of dairy products, wheat and ultraprocessed products.

Before embryo transfer

The day of the embryo transfer has arrived; it is without doubt a key moment in fertility treatment. And it is inevitable to be nervous about this day which is so important for the success of the treatment, a date which brings us a little closer to our desired baby.

When you get up you can have breakfast as usual, remember that the ideal is to follow a balanced diet.

Although it is impossible not to think about it, perhaps you should arrive at your appointment with plenty of time. In fact, in the instructions provided by the IVF-Spain clinic, it is recommended that you arrive twenty minutes before your appointment so that, for example, a traffic jam does not influence your mood at this time.

Then, it would be a good idea to bring a book in case the wait is long and you avoid having to think about it. In addition, we recommend dressing in comfortable clothes that help you change easily.

Another indication is the need to come without makeup or perfume, since the transfer is done inside the operating room, where a sterile environment is maintained to avoid contamination of the material or samples.

A necessary recommendation is to come with a half-full bladder or one that empties once you are in the clinic, where we will also ask you to drink two glasses of water. The idea is that the bladder is full during the ultrasound scan that accompanies the transfer of the embryos.

The alternative to releasing tension before the transfer, can be a type of external service offered by some clinics such as Acupuncture or Reiki treatments. These therapies can help increase general well-being and relieve pain.

This is also when the nurses will give you the prescriptions and all the information you need about the medication you should take until the twelfth week of pregnancy.

After embryo transfer

The embryo transfer has been carried out and now, with your embryo(s) inside you, you are now waiting for the results. This is an emotionally charged moment, as patients tell us it is a difficult period in which you observe every part of your body for evidence of pregnancy. Perhaps it’s a good time, during those ten long days of waiting, to continue reading, travelling or looking for something to entertain your mind.

It’s important to know that having no symptoms doesn’t mean you’re in danger of successful treatment. If you need support during this stage, you can consult your personal assistant or call the emergency phone number if you notice any warning signs.

After the embryo transfer it is recommended that you take a series of minimum precautions so as not to endanger the embryo. For example, when doing sports, it is best to avoid high impact sports and those involving heavy lifting and even more so if you have not done so before the fertility treatment. You should also avoid saunas or treatments that raise your body temperature extremely or change your body pressure such as scuba diving, as this can affect the embryo.

Remember to maintain the healthy lifestyle habits we have already mentioned in this article and continue to avoid unhealthy ones.

Mens sana in corpore sano

Most of the instructions before and during fertility treatment are easy to follow and do not represent any break with normal routine. In general, a healthy lifestyle is recommended, both for women undergoing hormone treatment and for their partners.

Trying to stay calm and entertain your mind during the process, this can help add a bit to this high mountain. And we won’t tire of saying this, if you need help or have any questions before, during or after your fertility treatment, don’t hesitate to contact us.