IVF Treatment: How to Boost Chances of a Successful Pregnancy
Happy success stories! More than 8 million babies have been brought into this world by couples who had difficulty conceiving using Assisted reproductive techniques. The IVF technique was first introduced in 1978 and the first baby to be born through this type of treatment was Louise in the United Kingdom. Louise is now over 40 years of age and has children of her own. The IVF treatment has brought hope and joy to thousands of couples who were longing to be parents. But how high are the chances of success for you? Is there anything YOU can do to boost chances of a successful pregnancy with IVF treatment?
Let’s take a look at some of the data. Statistics show that younger women under 35 have a higher success rate of IVF treatment peaking at around 60%. Women above 35 may need more IVF cycles to succeed but generally success rates in such cases can be optimized using best treatment strategies during ovarian stimulation as well as in the IVF lab. However, with advancing science and technology, reproductive techniques continue to get better and are yielding significantly better results. At Xenith we specialize in IVF treatment where patients have experienced recurrent IVF failure and cases where the maternal age is advanced. You are in good hands here.
Apart from age, success rates can depend on a number of factors such as:
- How long a woman has been infertile
- The type of infertility (primary and secondary)
- Quality of sperm, egg, and embryo that is being used
- Endometrial development
- Luteal phase post transfer
- The reason for infertility
Our panel of doctors will conduct the necessary tests to determine whether couples are the right fit for IVF treatment. There is no one-size-fits-all option for IVF treatment. Individualization is the key to success and it involves more than just what drugs are used for stimulating the ovaries. Hence after a detailed assessment we will suggest the best possible technique that is right for you as a couple, most likely to give the highest favorable outcome. But there are things you can do to increase your chances of success during an IVF cycle. Here are a few steps you should take:
Maintain a healthy weight – generally a higher Body Mass Index (BMI) has been associated with the risk of unsuccessful IVF. In men, higher BMI is generally associated with low sperm quality. It is advisable that women, especially, reach an optimal weight before proceeding with IVF treatment.
Eat foods that enhance fertility – about two to three months before the IVF cycle, women should increase their intake of fruits, vegetable, whole grains, and healthy fats. Maintain a wholesome diet. Avoid coffee, processed foods, artificial sweeteners, refined sugars, and alcoholic beverages. Consult with our nutrition specialists for a more complete list of foods to eat and foods you should avoid during IVF treatment.
Reduce stress – stress can interfere with IVF success and your overall health. Practice yoga or whatever works to bust stress in your life. It could be hobbies like painting or taking an evening walk. If you hold a high-stress job, consider reducing your working hours or finding ways to de-stress by taking time to relax and recharge. This also includes getting enough sleep.
Get enough fresh air and sunlight – about 10 to 15 minutes in the morning can help synthesize Vitamin D in your body. Fresh air has benefits – it can help you clear your lungs, give you more energy and mental focus, and is good for overall well-being.
Exercise moderately including deep breathing exercises – these exercises can promote circulation in the body and are helpful in maintaining a positive attitude.
Choose the right technique – today, there are newer techniques available that can yield higher success rates for IVF. These can include:
Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) – this technique involves the injecting of a single sperm into the cytoplasm (interior) of the egg. This is used in cases of severe male infertility as well as in cases where there is a need to maximize normal fertilization.
Blastocyst Transfer- the embryos that are developed in the laboratory can be inserted back into the uterus at different stages of development, such as the four cell, eight cell or the blastocyst stage. Culturing embryos up to the blastocyst stage allows for choosing the most viable embryo increasing success rates. Except in certain situations where transferring the embryo at an earlier stage may prove beneficial, we mostly do blastocyst transfers for our patients.
Individualizing embryo transfer- it is important to analyze when a fresh embryo will provide good success rates and when one needs to resort to freezing all the embryos and transferring at a later date. This technique of freezing embryos and transferring them to the woman’s body at a later stage has been to provide higher success rates, in cases where women are at risk of hyper ovarian stimulation, poor endometrial development or suboptimal implantation conditions. Individualizing cases is important.
Assisted hatching & Preimplantation Genetic Testing for Aneuploidy (PGT-A) – these are techniques used under certain circumstances that can help increase pregnancy rates. Correct selection of patients for whom these should be applied is necessary. A laser is used to create a small hole in the zona pellucida (a protective jelly coat surrounding the embryo) during assisted hatching and a few cells are taken and subjected to choose a genetically normal embryo for transfer in PGT-A.
IVF Lab related- Modular IVF labs with excellent quality control protocols and dedicated in house experienced embryologists, are key to superlative IVF success rates, both of which are present and strictly monitored at Xenith.
There are several more techniques that can help you achieve higher chances of success. At Xenith, our panel of expert doctors will work with you to choose the best option for you depending on your individual case.
Be patient – lastly, but not the least important! IVF cycles can be a bit of a stressful process requiring couples, especially hopeful mothers, to have a great deal of patience and persistence. Our doctors will help you every step of the way to provide the comfort and counseling you need during this time.
If you have been trying to get pregnant and are not seeing results, consult with us at Xenith and explore your options. We have years of experience, have walked hundreds of couples through the process and have had the joy of seeing countless happy couples holding their baby in their arms! Book an appointment to know how we can help you!