The IVF journey is an emotional rollercoaster, to say the least. Self-care can help during this difficult time, and it’s important to be conscious of the ways that can help or hurt your chance of success. During IVF treatment, there are several things to steer clear of that can impact your reproductive health. Don’t go through IVF without knowing them!
The Do’s And Don’ts Of IVF
As you embark on your IVF journey, it’s important to take care of yourself. Here at Carolinas Fertility Institute, we want to ensure you are educated on certain things that you should avoid during IVF. By taking control of your health and overall well-being, you can better support yourself during IVF treatment.
1. Caffeine And Alcohol
During IVF, it is important to steer clear of substances such as alcohol and caffeine. Alcohol, specifically, should be completely removed from your diet. One study suggests drinking four or more drinks per week prior to an IVF cycle is associated with a 48 percent higher risk for failed fertilization. Caffeine, on the other hand, does not have as severe of effects. Experts suggest drinking no more than two cups per day and opting for decaf, if possible.
2. High-Intensity Or Aggressive Exercise
When it comes to exercise and fertility treatments, doctors agree that women should avoid high-impact workouts or aggressive exercise during a treatment cycle. Workouts like heavy weight lifting, running, interval training, or other high-impact activities redirect blood circulation to the muscles instead of to the uterus, ovaries, and eggs. While you shouldn’t be engaging in high-intensity and high-impact activities, you shouldn’t be sedentary either. Aim for light or moderate-intensity activities for short periods of time, such as yoga (with no inversion), tai chi, walking, and swimming (with no flip turns while doing laps).
3. Certain Foods
Understanding a proper IVF diet can help you make the right food choices that may help your body respond to treatment in a better way. Similarly, knowing what foods can be harmful to your success is equally as important. Foods to steer clear of during IVF include
- Eggs in raw form
- Artificial sweeteners
- Refined sugars
- Certain cheeses (brie, bleu, camembert, etc.)
- Saturated fats
The foods listed above should be avoided due to possible negative side effects, such as the increased risk of contracting certain infections like salmonella or listeria. If you have more questions about your diet during IVF, don’t hesitate to reach out to your provider.
4. Harmful Substances And Medications
During IVF, there are several harmful substances and medications that can hinder your chances of success— some of which may surprise you! Some substances to avoid during IVF include nail polish, some antibacterial soaps, fire retardants, mercury, non-stick chemicals, and plastics. Certain medications may also disrupt your IVF journey, including NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) like Motrin, Advil, and Aleve.
5. Neglecting Self Care
There are plenty of external things you should avoid during IVF. One of the most important things to avoid is neglecting to care for your body and mind during this journey. During this time, ensure that you are taking the necessary steps to look after your physical and mental health. Some great self-care activities include breathing work, light yoga, having a bath, sleeping properly, acupuncture, or finding a fertility counselor.
At Carolinas Fertility Institute, we are dedicated to helping you build your family with personalized care and attention, including during the IVF journey. We provide the latest and most technologically advanced treatment options for fertility. If you are considering IVF, we can work with you to devise a personalized treatment plan. Call us at (336) 448-9100 to make an appointment in the Triad or (844) 686-2233 for our Charlotte office.