By Dr. Megha Tuli, Gynaecology
In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) is becoming more and more common among women who are unable to conceive children naturally. To explain the process simply, IVF is a method through which the egg and the sperm are fused, i.e. fertilized in a laboratory dish and then the embryo is planted in the uterus. It is often found that more than one attempt is required for a successful pregnancy through IVF. Once the embryo is planted, the woman may experience some side effects such as constipation, bloating, cramping or fluid discharge. However, it is absolutely essential to take some precautions when it comes to pregnancy through IVF.
The precautions are as follows:
• Have a proper diet: First of all, it is essential to maintain a healthy diet before and after IVF pregnancy as this upholds the overall health of the mother. Diets consisting of nutrition that enhances blood supply and provides essential elements like protein are needed at this period of time. Some women also opt for vitamin and mineral supplements in their diet in order to give it a boost.
• Ensure that your body gets the right amount of exercise: Physical activity should be kept at a moderate level. While it is not advisable to become completely sedentary and take bed rest during IVF pregnancy, it is also not ideal to engage in more than four hours of vigorous physical exercise during that time.
• Stay away from stress: Eliminating mental stress is a very important factor. A lot of times, IVF pregnancies can be unsuccessful because the mother is overly anxious and stressed about the entire process. This is harmful to her psychological and physical health, in turn affecting the pregnancy. Activities such as yoga, meditation can help to counter stress and bring about relaxation.
In addition to the above you can take the following precautions as well:
- Take adequate sleep: For a relaxed mind and body
- Have appropriate liquid diet: Drinking 3-5 liters of water every day can prevent OHSS
- Try Acupuncture: Improves blood flow in female’s reproductive parts. It also enhances follicle development and egg quality.
- Avoid alcohol: Improves conception chances by 50%
- Avoid caffeine: Caffeine doubles your miscarriage chances
- Avoid smoking: There are 13% increased chances of women who smoke to have infertility
- Don’t consume fish: Has high-level mercury content
- Communicate with your doctor: Feel free to discuss any problems you are facing. Avoid taking medications without doctor’s permission
- Take a break from sexual activity: Refrain from sexual activity for the time being