If you have been unable to become pregnant naturally, you might be considering in-vitro fertilization, or IVF, in order to conceive. IVF has helped many, many couples have children, but it does come with some risks, such as miscarriage. Luckily, there are some things you can do to decrease your risk of unwanted outcomes and increase your chances of success.
1. Eat Well
As soon as you know you're going to try IVF, start paying closer attention to your diet. Make sure you get plenty of folate and iron in your diet, specifically. Folate helps reduce the risk of neural tube defects during pregnancy, and iron helps keep your blood supply healthy, which will make your uterus a more hospitable environment for your embryo. Eat plenty of fruits and veggies, and take a multivitamin intended for pregnancy.
2. Relieve Stress
Stress can increase the risk of miscarriage and other unwanted outcomes. Find a stress-relief technique that works for you. Some people enjoy doing yoga or meditating. Others find that walking or running for a half hour a day helps thwart their stress. If you are having trouble managing stress on your own, consider seeing a therapist. Talking to someone who is paid to listen once a week can make a huge difference, especially when your stress is due to interpersonal relationships that you can't discuss with friends or family members.
3. Maintain a Healthy Weight
If you are overweight or underweight, you may have a harder time getting pregnant, even with IVF. Ask your doctor whether your weight will be an issue as you try to conceive. If they feel it may be, then you might want to put off IVF for a few months while you work to get your weight back into a normal range. See a personal trainer and a dietitian, if needed, for healthy weight loss guidance.
4. Don't Drink or Smoke
Tobacco and alcohol both contain toxic substances that can not only harm a fetus once you are pregnant, but also make it harder to get pregnant in the first place, even with IVF. Some doctors may tell you that it's okay to have a half a glass of wine or so every couple of days when trying to conceive, but if you think drinking this small amount will tempt you to drink more, just stay away from alcohol entirely.
If you have any additional concerns about the risks involved with IVF and how to minimize them, talk to your doctor.