Are you facing any difficulty in giving birth to a baby? Do you have a problem in fertilization, or suffering from a genetic issue of reproduction? This article will address all related concepts that will help prepare you for a successful IVF treatment.
What is IVF Treatment?
In vitro fertilization (IVF) is a convoluted series of methods and techniques implemented to help with fertility or prevent genetic concerns with the conception of a child. It is the most well-accepted form of assisted reproductive technology (ART). IVF works by leveraging the combined technique of medicines and surgical procedures to enable sperm to fertilize an egg. In modern medical science, in vitro fertilization (IVF) treatment has practically become a household buzzword. In the easy method of artificial insemination, the sperm gets placed in the uterus & conception takes place naturally. On the other hand, IVF involves the blending of eggs & sperm outside the body in a lab. It is done artificially under the supervision of doctors and researchers. Once the fusion creates an embryo or embryos, doctors place them back in the uterus of the body.
Stages of IVF Treatment
The IVF treatment has been around for a few decades, and we got to know about it from our previous paragraph. Uniting egg and sperm outside the human body is a technique and a culture. But there are different phases to IVF happening during that process. Let us take a closer look at the IVF processes.
- Boosting egg production by superovulation: The female will be given fertility drugs that ultimately begin the process called stimulation. They are also called superovulation. Such a boosting process provides follicle stimulating hormone that will address the body to generate more than one (which is the normal process) egg per month. This process lies on the principle that the more eggs female produce, the more chances she has to have successful fertilization during the IVF treatment
- Egg removal process: After performing a transvaginal ultrasound plus blood tests regularly, the IVF process checks the ovaries and observes the hormone level within the female. After a few days before your eggs are scheduled to be retrieved from your body, she receives a hormone injection, which aids in maturing the eggs quickly. To remove the egg gently, a minor surgical procedure will take place called the follicular aspiration.
- Sperm collection from the male partner or donor: Meanwhile, when the doctor removes the eggs, your partner has to supply the sample sperm. Even a donor can provide the sperm for further research or carrying out the IVF process. The sperm are then positioned via a high-speed wash and spin-cycle to extract the healthiest ones from the rest.
- Uniting sperm and egg: Here comes the most common and obvious part of IVF. This process of IVF is familiar to most of us, where merging the best sperm with your best eggs takes place. This phase is called insemination. This process takes a few hours for a sperm to merge or fertilize with an egg. Doctors may even inject the sperm straightway into the egg also, called the intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI).
- Transfer the embryo(s) into your uterus: The last phase of IVF is where the transfer of embryos takes place. But before will receive the eggs are collected, the woman will receive yet another medication. This medication will help prep the lining of her uterus for receiving the embryos transferred back in her. After about 3 to 5 days of fertilization outside the body, doctors will place the embryo(s) into her uterus using a catheter.
Diet is very important –
Doctors do not have to be specific with any special diet chart while going for an IVF treatment. However, they recommend having a nourishing and balanced diet. Furthermore, one should also avoid making any significant altercations in their diet during any IVF treatment phase. For example, suddenly turning vegan or adopting a gluten-free diet during such a period is not advisable to any IVF-treating person. Whatever food style you are following, you should continue that routine, excluding junk food. Here is an easy list to gain nutrition and keep your diet normal.
- Fill your bucket with fruits and vegetables.
- Having lean proteins like fish is recommended.
- A patient can have whole grains, like farro, quinoa, and pasta.
- Legumes such as chickpeas, beans, and lentils are preferable.
- It is always better to switch to low-fat dairy products.
- An IVF patient should avoid sugar-coated items, red meat, refined grains, or other processed food.
- Reduce the amount of salt and spices.
Exercise can play a good role –
According to experts, it is good to hold back different intense-training sessions. But completely stopping the exercises is not recommended by doctors. Some studies propose that exercising before an IVF cycle enhances the rates of clinical pregnancy. However, if you take too much stress into physical activities, it might harm you by diminishing the chances of getting pregnant. Overall, we can say that a good lifestyle with proper diet and light exercise, keeping all the behaviors normal, can change your odds and will help you in IVF treatment.
Which Chemicals in products to avoid?
Various products come with a lot of chemical components that we use on a daily basis. For a general person, they harm to some extent; but for an IVF treated patient, they might cause huge trouble. Here is a list of products that one should avoid as they are rich in toxic chemicals that harm a patient during IVF.
- Avoid consuming food and drink wrapped in plastic
- Avoid thermal receipts
- Avoid cigarette smoke
- Avoid exposure to car exhaust
- Avoid cosmetics
- Avoid pesticide exposure
- Avoid exposure to newly applied paint
Which type of Medication to avoid?
It is always a good practice to consult your IVF doctors before taking any medication. Make sure to detail everything, even the most basic medications. Some medications could potentially interrupt the fertility drugs, can imbalance the natural hormonal actions, or make IVF treatment less effective. Here is a list of medications to flag out or avoid during an IVF treatment.
- Avoid taking steroids that help in the treatment of asthma or lupus
- Avoid taking anti-depression, anxiety pills, and medications related to mental health conditions like antidepressants
- One should not take anti-seizure medications or thyroid medications
- Skin products, especially those having progesterone or estrogen should be avoided
- A strict no to chemotherapy drugs
Helpful supplements during IVF –
The woman can take prenatal vitamins during pregnancy that will help support the growth and development of the fetus. Two major supplements commonly recommended by doctors that help older women (over 35 years of age) and those with low ovarian reserve enhance their likelihood of pregnancy are Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) and DHEA. Some other supplementary antioxidants that help fertility are vitamins A, C, and E, folate, Myo-inositol , zinc, and selenium.
Know about IVF Symptoms
After a 2-week wait from an embryo transfer to a pregnancy test feels like a long time. As this phase passed by, many women keep a close watch on any positive symptoms that may reveal a successful embryo transfer. Here is a list of all the possible symptoms that you can keep an eye on to ensure positivity if the IVF treatment.
- Spotting on the underwear or light bleeding is the first sign of pregnancy.
- Cramping is another sign that shows “Aunt Flow” is on its way. It is also a symptom that the IVF treatment with embryo transfer was successful.
- Some people also experience soar breasts. Women’s breasts tend to go swollen or tender and hurts when you bump them.
- Many women felt tired, which is a typical symptom that occurs right from day 1 of pregnancy to delivery.
- Another symptom you can experience is when you will blame the increased progesterone levels with extra bloating around your belly. It does when the lady is pregnant or taking fertility drugs.
Self-care is best care during IVF
Self-care is always important in any phase of life. But when it comes to IVF treatment, many get lost amidst the process. During IVF, an intense test and treatment followed by medication can change the fluctuation of hormones. Every bit of the schedule revolves around IVF treatment and bringing anxiety at its peak and might degrade the diet and other health conditions. That is why self-care becomes a significant part of the IVF process. Silence your inner critic, pay attention to yourself, and be mindful of what daily habits keep you normal and healthy at the same time.
How a male partner can help?
There are a few points through which men can support their wives during IVF treatment.
- The male partner can provide physical and emotional support during the wife’s IVF treatment.
- Women going through an IVF treatment usually went through mood swings. That is where the male partner can express admiration for her.
- The male partner can also help around with all household work and keep all her nearby environment clean.
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