Answer from: Raúl Olivares, MD
I would say that there is not a real standard way of preparing yourself for IVF implantation. That depends a lot on things like how you feel, what you think is necessary. Some patients can handle this situation while leading a completely normal life, and that’s even better for them. They prefer to keep their mind busy and continue with all the things that they usually do. Some patients prefer to be isolated from the environment and focusing on this. This is going to make them calm and will help them deal with this.
In terms of things that can improve the outcome, try to be as healthy as possible, and this means eating healthy, doing exercise, avoiding toxins, and things like that. From a psychological point of view, you may need to find the right moment to do this. I am pretty sure, though, that stress is not so relevant for these kinds of treatments. I always say that these treatments are stressful regardless of your situation because all the different steps you have to go through are stressful. First, we need to check your ovaries are how they are going to respond, the quality of the eggs, the fertilization rate, how many embryos we will get. Also, what is their quality, if the transfer is going to go well if the embryos are going to implant, if the outcome is going to be positive if you’re going to miscarry, and so on. You can get an idea of how stressful the process is itself, therefore, you must find the right way to cope with all these kinds of things. For some patients, it’s going to be leading a normal life, going to work, and dealing with their business. For some others, it may be making things easier, and being isolated.
Answer from: Alpesh Doshi
Again, there is nothing you can do per se. My advice always to our patients is that not just in the cycle of treatment but essentially three months leading to an IVF you should really as a couple adopt some very healthy nutritional advice as well as lifestyle advice. The good thing at IVF London is that we have fertility coaches and nutritionists that actually provide this hand holding for our couples and patients who kind of guide them in the month preceding the IVF or even two months preceding the IVF. Let’s get your lifestyle in perfect control, let’s have some incredible diet plans which give you the right nutrition that you need. Ultimately, we all say we are what we eat so our body and the quality of the eggs and the quality of sperm also relies on the nutrition and the toxins that we potentially ingest, so smoking is a total no-no, of course both for the man and the woman, alcohol in very moderation, diet wise just plenty of proteins, lots of leafy vegetables, try and reduce the complex carbohydrates, if possible. Apart from that, just a very healthy lifestyle. Again, not too intense from an exercise perspective – just a very comfortable level of exercise.
Answer from: Harry Karpouzis, MD, MRCOG, DIUE
Generally, during IVF and before embryo transfer, it is very important not to be stressed. It has been proven that stress, via different mechanisms, can affect the chances of implantation. And this is why, at our unit, anything that can be stress-relieving is advised. For example, acupuncture can work as a stress-relieving mechanism and can help with the chances of implantation at the time of the embryo transfer.
Melatonin is a hormone that is associated with good sleep and it is sometimes also associated with fertility. We advise having at least 7-8 hours of good sleep before the embryo transfer and at the time of the ovarian stimulation. It has been proven in some studies that it can help.
Generally, I recommend a healthy lifestyle and diet about which I was talking in another video. Aerobics and exercise can also help the body be healthy and fit which also plays a role in the implantation. In regards to exercise, it is important not to exaggerate this, so for example, a lot of running during ovarian stimulation can have the opposite results. Also, every woman who is going to have an embryo transfer needs to take folic acid. It is important to ensure that her thyroid gland is checked and working properly and also to make sure that she has the right levels of vitamin D.
Answer from: Anna Voskuilen, MD
What we do know that can affect the implantation rate and the outcomes of ART techniques is the body mass index. In these patients, we know that it can have an impact on the implantation rate or it could have an impact on the miscarriage rate. It is also very important to try to control the body mass index during pregnancy to help avoid risks that could be related to weight. And on the other hand, it’s also important to try to control it before the delivery because it’s also implicating in high-risk deliveries, so that would be the first point of all that.
On the other hand, we always recommend changing habits before the preparation to try to have a healthy lifestyle, try to avoid sedentary life, all these are before – changing habits is actually good because we will be following this during the pregnancy. In terms of exercising, it is also important to do a little bit of exercise, it is not necessary to do extreme exercise that is very intensive or things like that; it is just to avoid a sedentary life. And also because exercise can help manage stress which actually we don’t know if it is related to low implantation rates, it’s not demonstrated actually but we know that people that are doing ART techniques have a lot of stress and exercise can also help them to manage all this stress that they have.
On the other hand, if you have a medical condition or a medical problem, for sure it is very important to have it under control before becoming pregnant and before you have your transfer it is very important. And also if you are taking some medications, probably you would need some changes in medication before the pregnancy or at least at the beginning of the pregnancy.
And at last, it is also important to take into consideration your TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone) levels and your Vitamin D levels that could have an impact on the outcomes, it’s something that we normally look at and if it’s necessary we give some supplements.
How to prepare for implantation?
The best thing you can do to prepare for the implantation is to follow all directions from your clinic, doctors and find out about what to expect on the day of the transfer as much as possible. What tips can I consider for maximizing success? How can I prepare myself for the implantation?