Having your own children is a bliss that every couple thinks of. Some are blessed with this and have great fertility to give birth to their offspring. However, for some, fertility is a real big issue that prohibits them from conceiving naturally. Fortunately, with medical advancement, treatment methods have been discovered that can help or assist in conceiving. The two most common assisted conception methods are IUI or Intra-Uterine Insemination and IVF or In-Vitro Fertilization.
However, the outcome and fruitfulness of IUI and IVF largely depend on various factors. These are certainly associated with the physical and physiological condition, level of fertility and various other lifestyle factors. In order to be prepared for the process and to make the process useful, here are a few dos and don'ts that you need to follow.
Do's and Don'ts after IUI
- To make sure that the sperm that is deposited goes inside the uterus, the patient is encouraged to lie down for about 20 to 30 minutes. Though the cervix almost immediately closes after the IUI procedure, lying down is quite comforting and beneficial for the success of IUI procedure.
- Returning to usual activities after the IUI procedure on the very same day is not a problem. You can start working, exercising or even run errands almost immediately, if you are comfortable with it.
- Though there is no need for bed rest, travel restrictions or diet maintenance after IUI procedure, however, if you feel the need to rest or if you feel uncomfortable following an IUI procedure, you can take some rest for a few days.
- There is no restriction in having sexual intercourse right after the IUI procedure. In fact, it will only aid in the process and its positive outcome.
- However, in case there is a bleeding while conducting the process, you need to prohibit from having intercourse for about 48 hours.
- Even if there is pain or cramping felt after the process, avoid taking any kind of NSAIDs or pain relieving medicine like ibuprofen. Rather, consult your fertility physician as he or she would be able to prescribe some other medicine such as acetaminophen or buscopan.
- Do not panic about the pregnancy and wait for about two weeks, before taking the test. This is because the implantation of the embryo takes a few days after the ovulation has occurred. Moreover, the increase in the levels of hormones again takes a few days and only when the hormone levels have changed you will get an exact result. Doing the test early may give wrong results.
- To assist in the process of implantation of the embryo, the doctor might give hormonal support. These could be prescribed as medicines to be taken orally or to be inserted through the vagina as suppositories. Whatever the procedure is, it should be followed as per the instructions of the doctor.
- Though there has been no evidence of swimming interfering in the IUI process, still, it is a good idea to avoid swimming for 48 hours, after the IUI procedure.
- In case you are on suppository hormonal medicines, you should ask your doctor, whether you should continue swimming or not.
Do's and Don'ts after IVF
IVF is a more complex procedure that is usually performed, when IUI has failed. Many couple think that IVF is an assured backup or alternative to all other assisted reproduction treatments. However, unfortunately it is not the case. The success of IVF depends on quite a number of factors, amongst which the age of the female partner is very important. If the woman is older than 35 years, the chance of conceiving gradually decreases. Hence, starting as early as possible is the best choice.
Still, in order to make the IVF most successful, here are a few dos and don'ts that one must follow.
- Do not delay in accessing the IVF process. Starting early increases the chances.
- Stress can affect fertility to a great extent. Hence, it is a must that you avoid having any kind of stress, especially the added ones. Trying IVF indeed is a stressful process both for the woman and the man. Added stress like financial or physical or emotional should be avoided as much as possible.
- Acupuncture has been proven to be a very effective therapy in assisting the implantation of the embryo into the mother's womb. Get help from a professional centre that conducts this therapy. When it is done by skilled professionals, especially within a day of the process of embryo transfer, it aids in the success rate.
Along with these factors, there are some other factors also that you need to keep in mind regarding IVF procedure. These might sound unimportant; but they have proven to bring about major changes in the success rate of the IVF procedure. These are –
- Do not be depressed with initial failures of IVF procedure. There are couples, who have succeeded even after 12 to 14 times of trial.
- There are very low success rates of IVF along with increasing age. Always choose a clinic that discusses the real scenario and doesn't give you promises or assured false hopes.
- Seek help from the most efficient, skilled, learned and experienced doctor. The more practiced a doctor is, the higher is the chance that latest technologies and methods and medicines would be given to you for the best outcome.
- Do not give up hope.
- Do not listen to too many stories of other people. Every case is different – be it positive or negative.
- Do not search the internet about this process too much. How much you are likely to conceive and how much you aren't is not known to search engines. It completely depends on your problem and your body; only your doctor can give you an approximate percentage of your success.
Diet and Lifestyle Changes Associated with IUI and IVF
If you are going for the IUI or IVF process, there are quite some dietary and lifestyle changes that you need to follow. Have a look at them.
- Eat as many fruits, nuts and leafy vegetables as possible
- Eat fresh and home cooked food
- Do not eat processed food
- Do not eat fishes which contain mercury too much
- Eat 6 small meals every day
- Include quinoa, brown rice and other complex carbohydrates in diet
- Avoid eating hot and spicy foods, foods that are causing more indigestion. Do not add hing or asafoetida to food.
- Fruits to avoid include grapes, papaya and pineapple as these have a capacity of breaking down the endometrium layer and make you bleed. This can lead to miscarriage.
- Although, there are contradictory views about it, it is best to check with your doctor.
- Avoid smoking
- Avoid alcohol consumption
- Reduce tea, coffee or other caffeine consumptions to about 2-3 cups a day or even less
- Stay away from any kind of radiation and heat
- Avoid sitting on the floor, sudden bending forward or backward, or doing anything that puts pressure on your lower abdomen particularly after IVF.
- In case you need to bend for picking up something from the ground, it is best to bend your knees, go down and get it rather than bending from the waist.
- Avoid carrying anything above 5kgs of weight. Make sure to hold the object near to your body for ensuring that you have a good balance and minimize the risks of fall.
- Avoid climbing stairs to much and in hurry.
- Avoid travelling for more than 2-3 hours at a stretch.
- Get enough sleep – at least 8 hours of sleep is a must.
The period after embryo transfer is very important. Always take enough bed rest. Pre-natal care is very important at this stage. Avoiding travelling is a great way to reduce chances of failing the IUI and IVF procedures. At this stage, it must be mentioned that if IUI or IVF, there is nothing that you could have done to make it successful. No specific diet, alternative therapy or technique or practice could have assured it. Hence, you should not blame yourself. However, following these tips will certainly help you in bettering your chances.