Womens Health

What Do I Have To Do?

In Vitro Fertilization & Smoking

The decision to have a baby is a big one.  For many people, the only way to become pregnant and have a successful delivery is through IVF, in vitro fertilization. There are many factors which can affect the success of IVF and sometimes lifestyle changes are necessary in order to ensure the success of the treatments.  Smoking is perhaps one of the most important issues to address, even before any attempt at IVF is initiated.  Smoking does a number of things to the chances of pregnancy, including reducing the quality of a man's sperm and increasing the incidents of reduction of eggs in the ovaries of a woman.

Eat, Drink And....

Studies made on the effects of obesity and conception show subtle hormonal changes, which can eventually lead to infertility, are common in women who are obese.   Obese women are nearly a third less likely to deliver a child after IVF than their counterparts of normal weight.  And, if you consider the additional weight of pregnancy on top of body mass, then it's very advisable to lose those excess pounds before becoming pregnant.  The other part of the meal, what you drink, is also a consideration.  While there is not sufficient data concerning the effects of moderate drinking of alcohol on IVF, there are studies about heavy drinking and of course, the effects are not good.  Drinking alcohol during IVF treatment means there are fewer eggs to collect and the chances of a miscarriage, should conception take place, are greatly enhanced.  Coffee, in moderation, doesn't seem to be a big problem.  Many women experience heartburn and stomach related discomfort by drinking coffee during pregnancy.  There is some indication that drinking coffee may lead to an increase in miscarriage, but these reports are unconfirmed.

To Stress or To Rest - That's A Question

Stress.  What isn't affected by stress?  The immediate effect of stress upon a woman's reproductive system shows up in the function of the ovaries.  In extreme cases of stress, there may even be an interruption of ovulation.  The effects of stress on IVF treatments are not as well known.  The fact that the treatment itself can be very stressful leads to the thought that anything effective to reduce stress would be a good thing to do.

While some have held the view that bed rest after IVF is important, current studies show that more than 24 hours of bed rest after IVF could lead to problems.  It's best to resume life as normal after IVF treatment.  Too much bed rest could prove to be detrimental to the success of the treatment.

Staying Active Without Overdoing It

Sport activities and working out can affect sperm and ovulation.  Overtraining and dieting can cause a woman to have amenorrhea or to stop ovulating.  Sperm quality can be greatly affected by deep sea diving.  However, normal activities done in moderation have not been shown to negatively impact IVF.  By considering the current life style and being willing to make some adjustments if necessary, a couple can enhance their chances of a successful IVF treatment and reap the fruit of doing what is necessary to ensure pregnancy.

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