Providing Support While You Prepare for IVF
Preparing for IVF (in-vitro fertilization) can improve your experience and the outcome of your procedure. This preparation may entail emotional, physical, and medical measures such as joining a support group, making lifestyle adjustments in preparation for pregnancy, and undergoing certain screenings or procedures. Your well-being is our top priority at Los Angeles Reproductive Center and our doctors, Dr. Nurit Winkler and Dr. Marc Kalan, will always provide recommendations and guidance to serve your best interests. Our team is available to you at any of our conveniently located offices in Encino, Bakersfield, Thousand Oaks, and Los Angeles, CA.
There are some lifestyle changes that you may need to make when planning to become pregnant. You should limit your caffeine and alcohol intake, as well as eliminate smoking and recreational drug use. Starting a light to moderate exercise routine, if you do not already work out, can be beneficial for both your emotional and physical well-being. We also recommend that you begin taking folic acid prior to conception. You may also want to begin incorporating prenatal vitamins into your daily routine as they can help create the best environment for your fetus.
While maintaining a healthy diet during pregnancy is beneficial, it is important not to undertake any restrictive diets before starting IVF. You may want to discuss foods that are beneficial prior to and during pregnancy with your doctor or nutritionist. Typically, the optimal diet for your pregnancy is high in leafy greens, fruits, vegetables, calcium, and protein.
Medical Screenings and Procedures
In preparation for IVF, there are a variety of medical procedures that may be required. You and your partner will likely need to undergo various screenings, such as:
- Ovarian reserve testing: This test will determine the quantity and quality of your eggs by analyzing the concentration of the follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), estradiol (estrogen), and antimullerian hormone in your blood.
- Infectious disease screening: Both you and your partner will be screened for infectious diseases, including HIV.
- Uterine cavity exam: Before you start IVF, your doctor will examine your uterine cavity. This process may include a hysterosalpingogram (HSG), sonohysterography and an ultrasound, or a hysteroscopy.
- Semen analysis: Your doctor will test your semen for sperm count and mobility, volume and morphology. Sometimes, more extensive sperm testing is indicated.
Your doctor might also conduct a mock embryo transfer to determine the depth of your uterine cavity. This procedure helps decide which technique for placing the embryos is most likely to be successful.
Trying to become pregnant can be a stressful experience for many couples. There a several ways you can prepare yourself before beginning IVF to help you manage this emotional process. Becoming informed on what to expect can help you form realistic expectations for your treatment. Our doctors are happy to answer all your questions. Being aware of the possible risks, such as miscarriage, low birthweight, and multiple births, can also help you throughout the process.
Your well-being is our top priority and our doctors will always provide recommendations and guidance to serve your best interests.
Having a strong support system in place is very important during IVF. This system may include your spouse, family, or a support group. Another way to minimize emotional turmoil is to avoid significant lifestyle changes that will increase you stress during this time. It is important to maintain a sense of normalcy during the controlled ovarian hyperstimulation of IVF to mitigate stress on your body.
Serving Your Best Interests
You may still feel unprepared when it is time to begin your cycle. That feeling is very normal. Some patients never feel completely prepared, but our fertility specialists at Los Angeles Reproductive Center are here to help every patient feel as comfortable as possible at every stage of treatment. Learn more about preparing for IVF by calling us at (818) 946-8051 or contacting our office online.