What’s on our minds this week: “I am doing IVF…here is the 411”
I recently sat down with one of my former patients to talk about life and fertility. Over small sips of freshly brewed coffee she mentioned something very poignant:
“Suzie, I never thought that once I started and IVF cycle it could be canceled before a harvest.”
Really? I had to ask out load. Did we never review the potential pitfalls of IVF and all the realities that come with it? Of course we did, but this statement really stuck with me.
Unfortunately, there is no guarantee with IVF. Although we live in modern times with modern medicine, there is no 100% promise to get or stay pregnant via IVF. At most clinics across the United States, the IVF success rate is 50% and that number decreases with age.
Before you start your IVF cycle, here are some of the things you need to know:
Stay on track
Make sure you get a calendar from your IVF team to help you track your medication doses and follow-up appointments. Medication dosages can change daily based on your results from the blood work or ultrasounds, so keep up with the changes and write them down.
Make sure you have the medication you need and check that you have your trigger shots before starting IVF.
This is one that a lot of people forget. Get a medication checklist from your nurse that you can take home, and use as a check off when your medications arrive to your house.
Prepare your body and mind
Take your BINTO prenatal vitamin daily! Choose one that has at least 400mcg of folic acid. If you are not taking this already, start taking a probiotic. During IVF your body will start to bloat from the hormones you are injecting. Probiotics help with the bloating, your overall gut health and your vaginal health (did we mention they help with mood and stress, too!).
Mentally exhausted by the added stress of fertility treatments? You are not alone! Talk to a therapist or a supportive friend, meditate, or do something that helps you clear your mind. It is really important to remember to take care of your mental health while navigating your fertility journey.
Understand the realities
Again, just because you are doing IVF does not mean that you will make it to egg retrieval or a successful embryo transfer. But don’t let that make you lose hope! Set realistic expectations for yourself. This helps you handle the ups and downs of IVF and any fertility treatment!
Go for it
Once your team has come up with the protocol for you, and you have completed your IVF work-up and testing, you and ready to start.
Embrace the journey and all that might come your way!