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What diet to take during IVF?

In any treatment that one undergoes one has to follow diet regime and same applies to IVF Advanced treatment as well. Although there is no specific diet prescribed according to American Pregnancy Association yet, it has been observed that certain intake of specific nutrients does help the fertility process and retains fertility a well.

What IVF foods to take and what to avoid?

The IVF diet helps the women to conceive at the time of IVF treatment and also retain her fertility as mentioned earlier. The intake of certain nutrients helps enhance the rate of fertility which has been observed based on appropriate research conducted.

Why is proper IVF diet necessary?

Much of the fertility treatment depends upon the good quality of eggs produced as well as on the sperm. There is sufficient evidence that shows that certain foods and also required changes in lifestyle do impact the fertility condition of a patient and the process of conception. It is also advisable for the all-round development of the baby in the womb. In other words, a healthy pregnancy much depends upon the diet the woman patient takes or even the man involved.

Foods to Eat During IVF:

Here are few common foods that can be had during IVF treatment:

More Water:

The common myth is that water does help to increase the rate of the fertility. This must be taken before one drinks or consumes anything at the given room temperature. Most people do fail to realize that their own body is dehydrated. The fertility experts recommend that people should drink 8 full glasses of pure water on a daily basis.

Fat Content

Experts are of the view that one must avoid consuming foods that are quite rich in the saturated fats. On the other hand, it is the unsaturated fats that are actually good for the body. They help in the digestion of the nutrients that are present in the food in one’s body. Some are of the view that saturated fats are only required for the proper functioning of one’s body. This debate does raise many doubts.

Protein Rich Foods

One must include protein-rich foods in one’s IVF diet. They are required for the body to produce the required hormones as well as the eggs that are needed for one’s reproduction process. One is required to eat at least 65 grams of protein every day from the foods such as eggs, flax seeds, fish and lean meats. The vegetarian must eat more of the nuts, beans, soybeans, legumes and the other sources of proteins.

Natural Food Diets

One must eat a well-balanced diet that consists of fresh fruits, nuts, vegetables, organic foods, and seeds. One can also consume different varieties of the fresh as well as organic food products that will be able to boost up the health of one’s reproductive system. These do contain all the required nutrients that are very essential for the functioning of one’s body and also one’s reproductive system of the body.

Carbohydrates Rich Foods

Excessive carbohydrates are not good. It comprises unhealthy diet. But in the case of in vitro fertilization treatment, the intake of the healthy carbohydrates is essentially required as a source of energy for many daily physical activities. The consumption of the fruits are in plenty and the whole grains and eggs will thus provide the body with sufficient energy for performing difficult tasks that one comes across in the day.

Foods Rich in Zinc

The zinc does play an essential role in the IVF diet. Foods rich in it are added to the main course of food. The pregnant women or the women trying to conceive by the IVF method are suggested to have about at least 20 mg of zinc every day in order to enhance the health of their respective reproductive system of the body. The zinc does help in maintaining the levels of the male as well as female hormones, so foods that are rich in zinc like nuts, whole grains, lean meat, beans, potatoes and dairy products must be consumed in rather large quantities.

Foods to be avoided

Cheese

The cheese must be avoided during IVF treatment. The ones to be avoided are mold-ripened soft cheese like the brie and camembert cheeses and blue-veined varieties of the cheese like the Stilton or Danish blue cheeses as they contain lots of risks the listeria infection. The pregnant women must also avoid drinking the unpasteurized milk during pregnancy.

Coffee

One must not have more than five cups in the day. If one consumes more, then the chances of getting pregnant get affected during IVF treatment.

Alcoholic Beverages

Alcohol must b avoided at all cost as it will result in ovulatory dysfunctions. The chances of abortion are also there. And impairment of fetus and the overall development of a child in womb get affected.

Refined sugar

Sugar burns quickly and causes spikes and fluctuations of the sugar levels. The functions of the sugar from carbohydrates are different. The changes occurring in the levels of one’s insulin can also result in the resistance of the required insulin thus having a negative effect on the rates of one’s fertility.

Artificial Sweeteners

Artificial sweeteners in coffee and tea must be avoided.

Eggs that are Raw

The raw eggs contain a bacterium known as salmonella, which causes food poisoning. The foods that be avoided are eggs, Caesar salad and cookie batter.

So, one must be careful of one’s diet during IVF treatment. It is essential to have a healthy diet.

Menstrual Cycle and Fertility

Conception much depends upon one’s menstrual cycle and on hormonal imbalances and ovulation.

WHAT IS A MENSTRUAL CYCLE?

It refers to a series of changes that take place in a woman’s body each month whereby the ovary does release an egg and the uterus does prepare for pregnancy. The cycle can be actually be divided into two phases: the follicular phase as well as the luteal phase.

The first day of one’s menses – or period – is day 1 of one’s cycle and the start of the follicular phase. During this phase, follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), a female sex hormone, is indeed released from the brain to stimulate the development of a single dominant follicle which does contain one egg. During its maturation, the follicle releases estrogen which actually stimulates the growth of the uterine lining. The follicular phase does conclude at the start of ovulation. The length of this phase may indeed vary, thus resulting in most variations of total cycle length.

The luteal phase rather starts with ovulation and also continues until the onset of menses. During this phase, the ovary actually releases progesterone which does mature the uterine lining and also prepares it for the implantation of an embryo. If pregnancy does not take place, the progesterone level does drop and thus it causes bleeding. The luteal phase averages 14 days.

DOES THE LENGTH OF A MENSTRUAL CYCLE MATTER?

The length of a menstrual cycle is actually determined by the number of days from the first day of bleeding to the start of the next menses. The length of one’s cycle, while not of course on any form of birth control, can be a good key indicator to hormonal imbalances and whether or not the required ovulation is occurring in a regular manner. Hormonal imbalances can rather affect if and when ovulation does occur during one’s cycle. Without ovulation, pregnancy cannot take place.

The normal menstrual cycle is 21 to 35 days and regular cycles do indicate that ovulation has occurred.

Cycles of a normal length do suggest regular ovulation and that all of one’s sex hormones are balanced in order to support natural conception.

A shorter menstrual cycle is less than 21 days and it is possible that ovulation may not have occurred. Shortened cycles can indicate that the ovaries do contain fewer eggs and that menopause can be approaching. If blood work does confirm this to be the case, natural conception can indeed be more difficult.

As a woman ages, her menstrual cycle shortens and as the number of the eggs available in the ovary tends to decrease, the brain does release more follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) in order to stimulate the ovaries to develop a follicle. This results in the earlier development of the follicle and earlier ovulation and therefore shortened cycles. In addition, sometimes bleeding can also occur even when ovulation does not occur, and this may appear as shortened cycles.

In the case of long or irregular menstrual cycle, the cycle goes on for 35 days. And it is possible ovulation as either not occurred or is occurring irregularly. Longer cycles indicate that ovulation is not occurring or at least not in a regular manner which can make conception very difficult.

Longer cycles are due to lack of regular ovulation. During a normal cycle, it is the fall of progesterone that does bring upon bleeding. If a follicle does not mature and also ovulate, progesterone is never indeed released and the lining of the uterus does continue to build in response to estrogen. Eventually, the lining becomes very thick and unstable and eventually falls and thus bleeding occurs. This bleeding can indeed be unpredictable and often at times very heavy and continue for a prolonged period of time.

WHAT IF I NEVER MENSTRUATE?

Menstruation occurring rarely or never indicates that ovulation is not occurring. The patient will most probably find it difficult to conceive.

In case a woman does not have a period, it could be on account of not ovulating. Underweight women experience this problem. The body indeed does require a certain amount of body fat for reproduction as well as menstrual cycles to occur, and many women who are unable to gain weight will see the return of their cycle.

Weight is not the only cause for menstrual problems, as there could be a problem with the normal development process of one’s the uterus or the vagina. For example, if a woman had menstrual cycles previously, but then it stopped, this could be on account of a problem with the uterus itself, like scar tissue inside one’s cavity, or may be due to premature menopause. If the uterus has not formed or if menopause has occurred, pregnancy is not possible. If the absence of menses is caused due to scar tissue inside one’s uterus, then this scar tissue will need to be removed as it can interfere with implantation.

Conclusion

Any woman who happens to be less than 35 years of age with normal cycles and has been unable to get pregnant after a year of trying should consult an infertility specialist. In case one is 35 or older with a normal menstrual cycle and have been trying for 6 months to conceive but has failed to do so, should seek medical attention. Normal menstruation indicates that one is ovulating yet there may be other reasons for not getting pregnant, and one must seek medical advice. In case one is not having normal monthly menses, even if one as spending a lot of time to conceive needs to consult an infertility expert. It is important to know that irregular or no ovulation does make conception very difficult without intervention.

How to cope with the emotional crisis of infertility?

Infertility is not just merely a medical problem but does affect one emotionally as well. One has to earn to cope up with the crisis as one comes to know that one cannot bear child normally.

Every couple is eager to have a child of his or her own. It is a universal dream. Infertility can be emotionally distressing. Infertility is similar to chronic illness and involves a lot of finances as well as emotional strain.

What emotional responses one faces due to infertility?

The individual responses do vary. Much would depend upon their coping levels emotionally. One must be well prepared for these distressful moments and have much emotional support as well as mental preparation to reduce the potential pain of suffering from infertility.

Realizing one has an infertility problem

The news of being infertile is always rather unexpected and couples find it difficult to swallow.

Shock: Difficulty in accepting the health issue.

Denial: One finds it difficult to accept the situation that one will not have a child at all by the normal process.

Denial tends to be unhealthy if it continues for a prolonged period. One should accept the reality.

Fantasizing:

One tends to fantasize when faced with denial. They are of the view that their problems will get solved if they get pregnant. They tend to lose touch with reality and every time they go for treatment, they feel they will conceive. They are much disappointed when they do not.

Guilt:

Guilt is a common response to infertility. Some individuals tend to feel that they are being punished for past sexual activities or an elective abortion. Often infertile partners do feel that they are actually depriving fertile partners of the opportunity to have children. Family expectations of having a child are also not met. The latter can cause such stress.

Bargaining:

Religious pursuits are undertaken such as believing in God, fasting, penance, offer money, being good for the rest of one’s life if one gets pregnant. Couples visit “holy men” and visit temples and perform “yagnas” and “tapasya”.

Blame:

Couples blame each other for not being able to conceive. One tends to become resentful

Sadness and Depression:

Infertility can cause depression and make one feel sad. One’s dream is not fulfilled as one cannot bear a child. Relationship with partner, family, and friends gets affected.

Hopelessness: One feels hopeless.

Loss of Control: One feels the loss of control over one’s life. One suffers from a feeling of failure in life.

Anger: One tends to get angry and loses one’s temper as they feel irritable about not being able to conceive.

Isolation: Infertile couples feel isolated and lonely. People often make insensitive remarks.

Infertility does cause much distress and one has to learn to cope up with. It is indeed a devastating feeling to be told that one cannot bear a child the normal way. One tends to react negatively and therefore infertile couples have to work hard in controlling their emotions.

Relationships with family and peer group get strained as infertile couples often feel sad and feel that they are “different from others. They find it difficult not to be able to conceive normally.