If you’re doing in-vitro fertilization (IVF), you probably have many questions. If you have been trying to get pregnant for a while, you may have reached this step of your infertility journey and are wondering how best to prepare for it.
At its simplest, in-vitro fertilization combines one or more of your eggs with sperm in a lab, and the eggs are then inserted into your uterus. But it’s a lot more complicated than that. Dr. Edward J. Ramirez of The Fertility & Gynecology Center - Monterey Bay IVF explains more about what to expect from the IVF process and how to prepare for it.
Make an appointment
The first step is to make an appointment with Dr. Ramirez for a preconception consultation. He will review your overall health, including any medications you regularly take.
He’ll also ask about any exercise you’re doing regularly to determine if it’s too risky to continue. In most cases, exercise is still recommended when you’re trying to conceive. It can even help you conceive. But some forms of exercise are too stressful for your body. He’ll let you know whether this applies to you.
Stay — or get — healthy
You’ll also want to be honest with Dr. Ramirez about your regular lifestyle, including any use of illegal drugs or alcohol. This isn’t for the sake of judging you; we just want to make sure your body is as healthy as possible before you try to conceive — especially if you’re undergoing procedures like in-vitro fertilization.
Reduce your stress
Life is stressful in normal circumstances, but sometimes even the process of trying to conceive can be stressful. It’s a good time to learn some techniques to help get your stress under control.
You may want to try prayer, meditation, yoga, or journaling to help reduce your stress. Managing your stress levels will make life with a new baby easier to handle.
Commit to healthy sleep habits
Getting a good night’s rest is always important. But it’s extra essential when you’re trying to conceive. Your body will be rundown if you’re consistently short-changing yourself on sleep. Aim to get 7-8 hours a night.
You may want to create rituals to wind down for bed if you don’t already have them. Limit caffeine (which is advised during pregnancy, anyway), read, meditate, or write in a journal.
Eat a healthy diet
If you’ve gotten a bit lax on your diet recently, it’s easy to do. But it’s important to eat a nutritious and varied diet, especially while you’re trying to conceive. You want to consume a lot of nutrients and vitamins, which you can get from a variety of healthy foods.
Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean sources of protein, and drink plenty of water. Taking a prenatal vitamin is also a good idea to ensure that you’re getting all the vitamins you need — especially folic acid, which can prevent certain birth defects.
If you’re looking to get started with IVF, it’s important to manage your physical and emotional health. Call Dr. Edward J. Ramirez at The Fertility & Gynecology Center - Monterey Bay IVF in Monterey, California, or request an appointment online.