In vitro fertilization (IVF), is one of the most widely performed fertility treatments. The IVF process oversees all stages of conception to address common causes of infertility and increase the likelihood of a successful pregnancy.
IVF has a proven record of success among individuals experiencing a wide range of fertility problems. However, success is not a guarantee. Fertility specialists at the Center for Fertility and Gynecology, which serves the Los Angeles, Tarzana, and Bakersfield, CA, areas, teaches patients about the factors that could negatively impact IVF success, so that they can do their part to optimize the chance of pregnancy through IVF treatment.
Various studies have shown that weight can impact IVF success rates. Women who are significantly overweight or significantly underweight are likely to require more IVF cycles before a successful conception. Ideally, women should be within their ideal weight range (based on body mass index, or BMI), or within five to 10 pounds of that weight range. It is not a good idea to diet or make severe changes to a diet and exercise plan immediately prior to IVF treatment, but women who are considering IVF in the future should take steps to lose or gain the weight necessary to get them within a healthy weight range.
Just as when women are trying to conceive naturally, nutrition plays a large role in the success of IVF treatment. Women should pay special attention to ensuring that they are taking in enough iron, folate, and calcium. If sufficient nutrients are not found naturally in the foods that a woman eats, she should consider supplements. A prenatal vitamin is a good option before and during IVF treatment.
The healthier that a person is, the more likely it is that IVF will be a success. Lifestyle choices have a direct impact on general health and well-being, so it is important that IVF patients avoid unhealthy lifestyle choices. We encourage patients to maintain an active lifestyle, eat a balanced diet that is high in nutrients, and refrain from smoking and excessive alcohol consumption.
Emotional well-being can be just as important as physical well-being when it comes to IVF success. Increased stress and anxiety can negatively impact IVF success rates. It is difficult not to be stressed when struggling with infertility and going through IVF treatment. However, there are practices that can decrease stress to promote IVF success. These include yoga, meditation, deep breathing, therapy, and getting enough sleep each night.
Among the factors that can affect IVF success which are beyond a woman’s control are egg and embryo quality. Egg quantity and quality, and embryo quality are primarily impacted by age and genetic factors. Our doctors perform a thorough fertility evaluation prior to IVF treatment. If there are concerns regarding egg quantity and/or quality, we may suggest that patients consider undergoing IVF treatment with donor eggs.
Sperm factors can also negatively impact IVF success. Sperm count, sperm shape, and sperm motility are all essential to IVF success. As with our female patients, male patients are given a thorough fertility workup prior to IVF treatment. If any potential issues with the quality and/or quantity of the sperm are detected, we may consider alternate IVF techniques, or the use of a sperm donor.
IVF treatment addresses fertility issues to increase the chance of conception. If you are struggling to conceive naturally and would like to know if you are an ideal candidate for IVF treatment, we invite you to schedule a consultation at the Center for Fertility and Gynecology. To get started, send us a message online, or call (805) 807-1075.