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How to improve your chance of IVF success

How to improve your chance of IVF success

Kourtney Kardashian and Travis Barker have recently announced that they are done with IVF, bringing fertility into the limelight once more. If you are wondering what gives you the best chances of IVF success, read on to find out more.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) estimates that 1 in 7 couples have fertility problems. That’s a considerably large proportion of people. When you’ve been trying to get pregnant for some time, it can really take a toll, not only on your relationship and lifestyle, but also your mental health.

There are many types of assisted reproductive technology (ART), but one of the most popular is In-Vitro Fertilisation (IVF). This is because IVF is generally considered quite successful. The latest (2019) figures provided by the Human Fertilisation and Embryo Authority (HFEA), the governing body in the UK show that for women using their own eggs and partner’s sperm, 32% of women under the age of 35 and 25% of women 35-37 will have a live birth from IVF treatment. Generally speaking, the younger the women, the better chance of success. Visit the HFEA to see the latest success rates.

Despite being popular, IVF is a costly option, and it’s normal to want to do all you can to ensure your IVF cycle is a success. Below you will find some practical tips for how to improve your chance of IVF success.

Tips for the best chance of IVF success

Here are some scientifically proven techniques that can help you:

Review your diet

Food alone cannot determine if you will get pregnant or not through IVF, however, it is widely understood that a varied diet, rich in vitamins and nutrients can help ensure your body has everything it needs to function well, produce healthy eggs, and support an embryo. You may have heard of the Mediterranean diet which involves eating lots of fruit, vegetables, wholegrains and legumes, and plenty of whole, single foods instead of processed meals. The anti-inflammatory properties of the Mediterranean diet can help improve chances of IVF success.

Manage your weight

We are all aware of the impact weight has on our general health. Unfortunately, being overweight or underweight can also impact how successful your IVF cycle is. Research supports that women with higher BMI have worse IVF outcomes than those within the normal range. According to the NHS, a BMI of between 18.5 and 24.9 is considered healthy.

Take steps to improve sperm health

In around a third of infertility cases, the underlying issue is a problem with the male factor. This could include low sperm count, and issues with motility and morphology. If you live in the Greater London area or the home counties you’ll find your doorstep packed with top tier fertility specialists. A good fertility clinic in London will offer in-depth semen analysis testing and be able to uncover any potential issues that are preventing you from getting pregnant.

Cut back on smoking

It’s no secret that in the UK we Brits often struggle to get the amount of vitamin D we need. So much so that the Government advises we take 10 micrograms daily from September to April. Unfortunately, vitamin D deficiency is a risk marker for reduced fertility and adverse pregnancy outcomes. It is important to ensure that you’re taking the daily recommended dose of vitamin D from autumn to spring to achieve a good baseline level.

Reduce alcohol consumption

A glass of rum and Coke may go together perfectly on a night out, but alcohol and IVF just don’t mix. As few as four alcoholic drinks a week is associated with a decrease in IVF live birth rates and 48% higher risk of failed fertilisation. Our advice? Lay off the alcohol for a while to boost your chances of IVF success.

Time-lapse imaging

Time-lapse imaging is an optional add-on for IVF treatment. Usually, in IVF, once the eggs have been extracted and implanted with sperm, the embryos are removed from the incubator every day to be checked on. But this means that the embryos are exposed to temperatures that may not be ideal. Time-lapse imaging allows the eggs to be monitored but kept at the optimal temperature. It utilises a built in microscope which takes photos of the embryos every 10-20 minutes, allowing your embryologist to gain more detailed information about the progress of the embryos so that the strongest can be selected for implantation back into the womb.

Reduce stress

Although the jury’s still out on whether stress does or does not impact an IVF cycle, it can’t hurt to take steps to reduce stress. After all, we know stress has a negative impact on other aspects of health.

Choosing the right IVF clinic

Of course, finding the right fertility clinic can feel overwhelming and it is difficult to know where to start. When it comes to choosing the right IVF clinic in London, there is more than just success rates to consider, including:

  • Your fertility doctor: An experienced doctor can diagnose any issues and offer most appropriate treatments for your individual needs.
  • The support team: It’s not just your fertility doctor that you’ll be dealing with – you’ll likely have contact with nurses, embryologists and more, so it’s important to ensure you feel comfortable.
  • Patient reviews: Nothing gives you a better idea of what a clinic is like than speaking to previous patients for honest insight.

Consider all the points above to help you feel confident in your choice of fertility clinic. We wish you the best of success with your IVF cycle and journey to expanding your family.

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