If you’re about to embark on infertility treatment you’ll want to ensure that you’ve done everything you can to give yourself the best chance of success. So is there anything you can actually do to help boost the chances of pregnancy, or is it out of your hands?
Actually yes, there are certain things you can do which may help you before you start treatment, whether you’re paying for private treatment or are receiving an NHS funded cycle of IVF:
Make sure you’re in the best health
It may seem obvious but certain lifestyle choices can have an adverse affect on your fertility. Various studies have shown that too much alcohol, being significantly overweight and smoking can indeed affect your fertility, so it makes sense to quit smoking, cut down on alcohol and make sure you’re eating healthily before you start any form of treatment. It’s why many NHS PCT’s refuse to fund IVF for people who smoke or who are obese, because it’s been shown that these things may affect your chances of the treatment working for you.
Try to relax
Some studies say stress doesn’t affect whether IVF works, others say it does. Stress affects us all in different ways, and making sure you relax has obvious benefits - it’s why some couples who have been trying for a baby find they suddenly conceive when they’re on holiday. Obviously if you have a medical reason why you can’t conceive going on holiday won’t help, but trying to keep stress to a minimum will help your emotional wellbeing as you go through treatment, which in itself is an emotional rollercoaster. Remember that everyone is different and everyone’s treatment path is personal and individual. What hasn’t worked for one person may work for you, and vice versa.
Seek help sooner rather than later
If you’ve been trying for a baby for a year or more without success, and you have ensured you’ve timed intercourse for when you’re ovulating (ovulation test kits can tell you when you’re ovulating for the best chance of pregnancy), then don’t hesitate to seek help from your GP. The chances of success from IVF treatment is greatly increased the younger you are when you begin your cycle, simply because your eggs are better in quality the younger you are. Don’t wait to get help. Fertility MOT tests can give you a good indication of your fertility status, whether you want a baby now or in future. More details can be found on these simple tests for both you and your partner here.These can be done privately without needing to see your GP and you‘ll get a full consultation about the results.
Last updated: 20th January 2020