Health Considerations Before You Start IVF & Fertility Treatment

29th September 2017 in Advice

This information was correct at the time of publishing. It may not reflect our current practices, prices or regulations.

Are you really fit and ready for your IVF journey? You may already be reducing your chances of pregnancy before you’ve even started fertility treatment, because of your lifestyle choices and health.

If you’re considering starting IVF, it’s important to honestly look at your lifestyle to see if there’s anything you could improve first. We’ll do everything we can from a medical point of view to get you pregnant – but you’re also responsible too for making sure you’re healthy and ready to start your journey.

BMI IVF limits

If your BMI is very high, you’ll be prevented from starting IVF, and be advised to reduce it first. We do treat women with a BMI up to 35, but we’ll always aim to help you get this to 30 and below before fertility treatment starts.

If you’re underweight with a low BMI, you’ll also be advised to increase this.

We do this not to make your journey harder, but to give you the best chance of pregnancy.

You may not be aware, but your BMI and weight not only affects your own natural fertility but how you respond to ovarian stimulation needed for IVF and your risk of side-effects. Women with a higher or lower BMI have poorer IVF outcomes compared to women in the normal BMI range.

Lifestyle impact: IVF success

Smoking, drinking, taking drugs – all of these things affect not just your fertility but that of your partner too, negatively affecting his sperm quality and count – even the DNA of sperm. Making it much harder to achieve pregnancy even with the help of IVF or ICSI.

So if you’re getting fertility fit and ready for IVF, make your partner look at his lifestyle too. It’s so important you’re both on board because success isn’t the responsibility of one partner – it takes good quality sperm and egg to make a baby!

Making positive changes before IVF starts

The good news is that if you’re both prepared to make changes in the months leading up to IVF, you can start treatment with the confidence that you’ve done everything you can to give yourself the best start to IVF and pregnancy.

Even small changes can make a difference. If you can stop smoking for at least three months and cut back on alcohol for example, this gives your fertility chance to recover and will benefit sperm and egg quality by the time your IVF starts.

If you need specialist help to reduce or raise your BMI, or just want to improve your diet, our fertility nutritionist Jeannette Jackson can formulate a tailored fertility diet and nutrition plan for you both to help you reach your goals.

Private fertility treatment & IVF in the North West

At Manchester Fertility we take a ‘whole body’ approach to your fertility treatment, considering your lifestyle and health to identify any factors that could influence your chances of pregnancy.

If you have any questions or would like to start your treatment with us, call 0161 300 2737, or self-refer. We offer free, private non-medical one-to-one appointments with our friendly and knowledgeable Patient Advisors as a first step, so you can learn more about us and our approach.

Last updated: 28th September 2017