Nowadays, Infertility has become a common problem in most couples. One among the eight couples is struggling to conceive and start a family. Thanks to the advancement in fertility treatment like IVF, which has made it possible for couples to have their biological baby.

If you’re planning to get pregnant and have exhausted all other fertility options, IVF is often your go-to option to become a parent and this IVF checklist is worthy for you.

IVF is an Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) Procedure

In IVF, eggs are fertilised with sperm outside a woman’s body in a specialised fertility laboratory. The fertilisation gives an embryo either stored or transferred to the women’s uterus, hopefully resulting in pregnancy.

Couples may undergo various emotions from the start of the treatment until the completion of the entire IVF process. Couples may experience anxiety, nervousness, and uncertainty during the IVF procedure as the IVF procedure can be emotionally, physically, and financially demanding.

It may bring a toll on your physical and mental health. A women’s body may undergo several changes during fertility treatment. The 30 days before the treatment are very crucial until the completion of an IVF cycle. So, keeping your body healthy and fully prepared for this reasonably long medical process is essential.

So, we have come up with a complete IVF checklist guide that can fulfil your dream of becoming a parent. If you are planning for IVF treatment or already undergoing it, this guide can make your journey smooth and effective.

Trust your treatment success and follow our 30 days Entire IVF Checklist

First Step in IVF Checklist Procedure

There are several stages in IVF treatment. Most couples need more than one IVF cycle to achieve success. The breakdown of different stages of the IVF cycle with their duration and result are mentioned below:

Preparing for IVF

The preparation of IVF starts 2 to 4 weeks before starting the IVF cycle. This involves making specific lifestyle changes to ensure you are healthy and ready to accept the changes that may occur because of hormonal medications and other treatment procedures.

Sometimes the doctor may recommend fertility drugs and injections to regulate women’s menstrual cycle. This makes it easier to start the rest of the treatment procedure.

The first stage takes a day. The first day of your menstruation is closest to your scheduled IVF treatment. Thus, it is essential to have a tight check on your subsequent periods.

Stage 2 can take from 3 days to 12 days. Here you have been given fertility drugs that help in ovarian stimulation, enabling the ovaries to release more eggs than usual.

At this stage, you will be given a pregnancy hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG). This hormone enables your ovaries to release more eggs. Then after 36 hours of the injection, you will be called to the fertility clinic, where the fertility specialist will retrieve the egg for further processing.

Stage 4 has two parts and takes a day to complete the process. The male partner or the donor will provide the sperm or have already offered it while you are harvesting your eggs.

Then within the following hours, the fresh eggs are fertilised while you will be taking a hormone called progesterone. This hormone helps prepare your uterus for a healthy pregnancy and decreases the chance of a miscarriage.

Within a week after fertilisation, it becomes an embryo which is transferred back into the uterus, and pregnancy begins. The procedure is not painful as this is a non-invasive process.

After a few days, you will be called back to examine the growth with the help of scans. Your fertility specialist may also tell you to do a blood test to check to evaluate your pregnancy hormone levels.

Tips for IVF Lifestyle

The following lifestyle tips will best support your body during and after the IVF cycle:-

1. What you Should eat during the IVF cycle?

It would help if you always focused on eating a healthy and balanced diet during your IVF cycle. Avoid making significant changes during this time, like preferring a vegan or gluten-free diet.

A diet rich in antioxidants and a healthy balanced diet provides a good blood supply needed by both men and women for a successful and healthy conception because the effective oxidants surge with age and are gathered from consuming these foods.

As per research Mediterranean diet may also improve the IVF success rate in women under 35 years of age who are not overweight. This diet contains fruits, beans, cereals, nuts, fish, and unsaturated fats like olive oil. It also affects sperm health. A healthy and balanced diet is essential for both men and women. So, follow the following diet pattern: –

  • Add vegetables and fruits to your diet.
  • Add lean proteins like poultry and fish.
  • Prefer low-dairy fat products.
  • Have healthy fats such as extra-virgin olive oil, nuts, seeds, and avocado.
  • opt for whole grains like farro, quinoa, and whole-grain pasta.
  • Add in legumes, including lentils, beans, and chickpeas.
  • Avoid red meat, refined grains, sugar, and other highly processed foods.
  • Avoid salt and food flavoured with herbs and spices.

2. Work Out During IVF

Balanced exercise and a healthy diet are essential for getting a high IVF success rate. Regular workout helps enhance fertility, boost immunity, and aid in hormone balance, blood circulation, weight management, and metabolism.

But it is essential to understand how much workout is good for fertility. You can get advice from your fertility specialist.

You should keep doing what you have been doing, especially if you already have a consistent fitness regimen. You should keep exercising if you have a healthy body mass index (BMI) and a healthy womb.

However, we recommend that all women undergoing IVF keep running to no more than 15 miles per week. Because running is more disruptive to our fertility than any other exercise, replace your long runs with light jogging, spinning, and the elliptical.

3. Endocrine Disruptors and Chemicals to avoid during IVF

Endocrine disruptors such as fire retardants, plastics, and cosmetic products are considered harmful to IVF patients because these may affect the mela and female hormones, prenatal development, etc. So, IVF patients need to stay away from these EDCs. Here are the chemicals one should avoid: –

  • Formaldehyde: – Nail Polish
  • Parabens, Triclosan, and Benzophenone: – cosmetics, Moisturizers and Soap
  • BPA and other Phenols: – food-packaging materials
  • Brominated Flame Retardants: – Furniture, Clothing, Electronics, Yoga Mats
  • Per Fluorinated Compounds: – stain-resistant materials, non-stick cooking tools
  • Dioxins: – Meat, Dairy, Art Clay
  • Phthalates: – Plastic, medication coatings and cosmetics with fragrance

4. Medications you should Avoid During Fertility Treatment

It is essential to inform your fertility doctor about the medications you take, like allergy medicine, over-the-counter supplements or ibuprofen, etc., because some medications could interfere with fertility drugs, lead to hormonal imbalances, or make the IVF treatment less active.

Following are the medications one should avoid during fertility treatment: –

  • Steroids
  • Antiseizure medications
  • Thyroid medications
  • Skin products containing estrogen or progesterone
  • Chemotherapy medications
  • prescription and OTC nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, Midol), and naproxen (Aleve)

5. Important Supplement You Should take during IVF

There are certain supplements that one can consume to support their pregnancy. Start taking a vitamin for 30 days or several months before you plan for the IVF cycle. This helps enhance your folic acid and protects the spinal congenital disability and brain in the growing fetuses.

The prenatal vitamins also improve the male partner’s overall fertility health and boost sperm production. IVF experts recommend fish oil to enhance and encourage embryonic development.

Vitamin D supplements are also vital if you have a low level. On the maternal side, if there is a low level of vitamin D, it may lead to autism.

6. Sleep Needed During an IVF Cycle

There is a close connection between fertility and sleep. So having a proper amount of sleep is essential for your IVF cycle. Studies also show that person who slept longer has a higher pregnancy rate than those who slept for a shorter duration.

Following are a few ways to make a healthy sleep: –

  • Take a hot shower just before you sleep.
  • Cool your bedroom temperature to 60 to 67 degrees F.
  • Should not take caffeine at least four to six hours before sleep.
  • Eat at least three hours before bedtime
  • Listen to slow and relaxing music.
  • Diffuse lavender in your bedroom.
  • Avoid using phones, computers or watching tv at least half an hour before bedtime.

7. Dos and Don’ts of IVF Sex

Having sex while you are on your ovarian stimulation is completely fine. However, it is very challenging to have sex during the IVF cycle. Because the ovaries are expanding and getting more significant, listen to your body; if you don’t feel discomfort, then go for it.

But after the embryo transfer, avoid sex until the final pregnancy test.

Reduce Symptoms During IVF Treatment

Every woman is distinct, and so is every cycle. There is no method to know what consequences you will encounter. Following are some ways to manage or reduce the side effects of fertility drugs: –

1. If Bleeding or Spotting

  • Call your doctor immediately if bleeding or spotting takes place during the cycle.
  • After egg retrieval, light bleeding or spotting is normal, not heavy bleeding.
  • Avoid using tampons.
  • And for other symptoms, talk to your doctor and get the best-suited medicines for yourself with the correct doses.

2. If GI and Digestive Issues

  • Try taking medications like tums, a stool softener, gas X, etc., to treat digestive issues.

3. If Bloating

  • Take more fluids like coconut water, low-sugar electrolyte drinks or tablets, and liquid IV to relieve bloating.

4. If Nausea

  • Try taking an anti-nausea medication if natural remedies are not working, such as Emetrol, Dramamine, etc.

5. If Headache and Pain

Some OTC remedies for pain relief include:

  • Acetaminophen (Tylenol)
  • Ibuprofen (Motrin)
  • Heating pads
  • Before taking any OTC drugs, ask your doctor about the best dosage.

6. If Exhaustion and fatigue

  • Get sleep about 7 to 8 hours every night.
  • During the day, take 30- to 45-minute naps.
  • Don’t over-book or over-commit. Say no to things if you are not free.

7. Stress and Anxiety

  • Practice a slow, restorative breathing regimen.
  • Use the vertical app for support and healthy ways to cope.
  • Use the Headspace app for meditation.
  • Practice yoga. Here’s our definitive guide.
  • Continue your exercise regimen.
  • Stick to any specified routines and programs.
  • Get plenty of sleep.
  • Take warm showers or baths.
  • Visit a therapist.
  • Have sex to release feel-good hormones.

8. If Hot flashes

  • Wear light, breathable clothing.
  • Stay in air-conditioned spaces.
  • Have a fan on your bedside or desk.
  • Stay hydrated with cool water.
  • Avoid smoking, spicy foods, and caffeine.
  • Practice deep-breathing exercises.
  • Do low-impact activities like swimming, walking, or yoga.

Conclusion

If you are having a fertility issue or are not able to conceive naturally, opt for IVF. It has a high success rate and helps many couples have a baby. Follow our 30 days before the treatment IVF checklist and increase your chance of success.