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Preparing for IVF

By Vicken Sahakian, M.D. on August 10, 2018

IVF patients meeting with a doctorIn vitro fertilization (IVF) is an effective fertility treatment that can help qualified patients improve their chances of having a baby. At Pacific Fertility Center Los Angeles, we assist patients during each phase of IVF treatment so they know what to expect.

Although the IVF cycle begins on day one of the menstrual cycle, there are things that patients must do to prepare for treatment. In this blog post, we provide patients with a general list of the things they should do to prepare for IVF. Read on to learn more, and then contact our Los Angeles, CA practice to schedule an appointment with us.

Testing

Before patients undergo IVF, several tests must be performed. Blood tests will be performed on the male and female patient to check for any diseases or abnormalities, along with blood type.

In addition, the female patient will undergo a blood test around day three of her menstrual cycle to test the hormones FSH and estradiol, which help measure ovarian reserve.

The female patient will also undergo a mock embryo transfer so one of our doctors can determine if the embryos can be transferred to the uterus.

Finally, the female patient will undergo a baseline ultrasound before beginning any fertility drugs so we can measure antral follicle count, ovarian reserve, and the fluid instillation inside the uterine cavity.

Additionally, the male patient will undergo a semen analysis to measure sperm count, motility, and other male-related fertility factors.

Diet

IVF patients want to be in their best possible health going into their IVF cycle. That is why we recommend that patients adopt a healthy lifestyle that includes a diet rich in leafy greens, whole grains, lean meats, and other healthy food items.

Patients should limit unhealthy choices such as refined carbohydrates, fried foods, soda, and alcoholic beverages.

Patients should be sure to drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.

Exercise

Exercise is almost always a good thing. However, if you exercise excessively, it could negatively affect your ability to get pregnant.

In the months before IVF, we recommend that patients get regular, light to moderate exercise. Going on walks, yoga, and stretching are all great examples of exercise options going into IVF.

Running long distances, heavy weight training, and more strenuous exercise is not recommended at this time. In addition, once the IVF cycle begins, patients should refrain from exercising until approval by the IVF doctor.

Smoking

Smoking is not recommended during pregnancy. In addition, we ask that patients not smoke in the months before the IVF cycle.

Smoking can decrease the ovarian reserve, affect egg quality, and reduce the thickness of the endometrial lining, all of which can have a negative impact on getting pregnant. In order to get the best possible results from your IVF cycle, it is best not to smoke.

Stress

It is ideal for patients to reduce stress in the months before and during IVF treatment. Try de-stressing techniques such as meditation, yoga, or walking outside to address your stress. Do what you can to limit stress in your life.

It is also important to get regular, adequate sleep. Try to go to sleep at the same time each night and sleep until you are rested. Getting a good night’s sleep can minimize stress and improve your overall health.

To learn more about preparing for IVF, contact Pacific Fertility Center Los Angeles today.

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