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food and drink advice on IVF

(31 Posts)
Moomin Sat 08-Jan-05 16:09:26

Dh and I are due to start iui (and then ivf next month or the month after if iui doesn't work). I know quite a bit about nutritional advice when ttc naturally (having done so for two years now!) but i wondered if there are any major no-nos or solid advice before embarking on ivf? ta x

ladymuck Sat 08-Jan-05 16:32:00

Can't think of anything unusual. Are you on baby aspirin too? I know it was suddenly a big thing a couple of years back (and have to confess that the cycles where I took it I did conceive).

There was also some theory flying around which seemed to indicate that the embryo "sensed" whether the mother was nutritionally up to coping with a pg, and didn't implant if not... But everything I was told was to carry on life as normal (but keeping alcohol low and cutting out smoking if possible).

As an aside, during my last IVF I shared a room with a couple who were very worried about Dh's sperm count. They had had a cycle the previous June, where, on the day, Dh's sperm count was abnormally low (he'd previously also been normal). This had thrown them as they ended up with ICSI and didn't conceive. This time round the sperm count was much better. It appeared that that dip had been caused by alcohol imbibed during the World Cup!!! Must admit, given what the woman has to go through in terms of drugs etc, I would have been furious to have been let down like that!

Good luck btw!

Moomin Sat 08-Jan-05 20:46:18

thanks ladymuck, that's very interesting. I've long had a bit of a thing about dh and his alcohol consumption. Not that he drinks a lot, mind, but when he does go out with his mates(maybe once or twice a month)he does tend to drink a fair bit. I think this is worse than drinking say a glass of wine, every night or two, as it constitutes binge drinking, doesn't it? but he makes me feel guilty when he's about to go out (when this was an issue at times when we've been very consciously ttc) by asking what i want him to do that night in terms of drinking or not - like i'm some kind of all-powerful deity. all i want is for him to use his common sense and take it easy!!!!!!!!! sorry, didn't want this to become a rant. i guess i'm getting a bit nervous about it, which i didn't want to do, as we got ourselves in a state after months and months of not conceiving and i felt very uptight.

anyway, the baby asprin thing was interesting too. How much and when, etc? if you don't mind me asking, ladymuck, how many rounds of ivf did you do and which were successful? hope you don't mind me picking your brains.

ladymuck Sun 09-Jan-05 09:09:53

Getting dhs to be as serious about it is difficult. DH has a lousy diet so I did want him to take a multivitamin during the run-up to IVF - you would hve thought that I was asking him to have the daily injections.

Baby Aspirin (ie 75mg aspirin) is available over the counter. It was one tablet a day from the start of down-regging through to the end of the first trimester. I think it is meant to improve blood circulation, which helps the drugs to do their thing and gives you a nice thick womb lining etc.

I have had 4 attempts at IVF with attempts 3 and 4 resulting in ds1 and ds2 respectively.

My other tip would be to look at it as a course of treatment - My hospital, the Lister always recommended that women mentally prepared themselves for say 4 or 5 attempts (and according to their stats, around 80+% would have a baby). It also takes a bit of pressure off any one cycle. On our 4th cycle I had a negative pregnancy test, and tbh I wasn't that disappointed, I just thought, well we'll fit in another cycle before Christmas. As it was the hospital had asked me to test too early....

Moomin Sun 09-Jan-05 09:21:02

that's great, thanks for that info and advice. I was on an ivf board last night but it was mostly a US/canadian one and i got a bit frightened in the end about all the nutrition advice - it seemed really daunting. one of the things that really stressed us out when ttc was all the restrictions we put on ourselves and how tense that made us feel. we actually have a very healthy diet (me more so than dh who pigs out on cakes & biccies at work) and we don't really drink too much but we've discussed it and decided to lay off completely while this is going on. tbh, i think dh is shit-scared if we fail, i will blame him unless he's led a saintly existence!! two things that struck me on this website was that everyone seemed to be drinking/taking wheatgrass, much for the same reasons you give about baby aspirin. they also said that soya products are a big no-no, as is certain fish/shellfish. I'm a semi-veggie, in that i eat fish but no meat and i eat some soya products, although i've switched to quorn mostly. is this 'evil' as well?

Part of me thinks that i'll get much more stessed out if i start worrying about everything that passes my lips, rather than if i just cut our caffiene and alcohol, which i think i can do, and generally look after myself, with the odd treat.

Good advice about the 'course of treatment' as well, thanks so much x

DelGirl Sun 09-Jan-05 09:27:25

moomin, good luck with the treatment. I've had 5 lots of iui and am now 25 weeks pg and all going well. It's difficult but try not to get too hung up over the food you eat etc although I agree, it's best to cut down or cut out alcohol. wrt the baby aspirin, I hope Ladymuck won't mind me saying but this is something you should really discuss with the consultant's and or gp as everyone is different. I think it has the effect of thinning the blood so the embryo can burrow into the uterus easier but if you already have thin blood it can cause problems with bleeding so i'm told. Not trying to alarm you or disagree with ladymuck, just that it's worth checking before you decide to take it. Best of luck. If you need any more info, just shout. Do you know what drugs you're going on yet btw?

Moomin Sun 09-Jan-05 09:33:31

thanks delgirl - no, not yet. we're sticking with the same consultant we had on the nhs, even tho we're going private. he said because of my age (36) and the fact that my tubes and ovaries now seem clear from the last scan, that iui is a good option to start off with. we have our first private appt in about 4 weeks, sooner if they can fit us in, and i guess he'll tell us all the info then.

can you tell me a bit about iui? also, how disruptive is it likely to be with work, etc? I'm not particularly worried about missing work if i need to but i wanted to see one of my line managers this week and warn them of what may happen. thanks x

ladymuck Sun 09-Jan-05 09:43:17

Oh yes, do talk to the hospital re aspirin/whatever. Never heard of the wheatgrass (thankfully!).

Re your consultant - have you checked his success rates against other local private options - there can be a huge difference. One of my friends locally just continued with her consultant for 2 attempts and then discovered he had a 10% success rate (well actually the rate seems to have more to do with the embryologist than the consultant). As she was in London, she could have got someone with a much higher success rate.

DelGirl Sun 09-Jan-05 09:48:17

the 1st cycle (hopefully that's all it will take) maybe a bit daunting doing the injections and everything but you soon get used to it. I was 36 when I started too but going through early menopause (stress related prob as DH was dying ). So, I had to have a lot of drugs with mine. My usual cycle was taking synarel nasal spray to down regulate for about 10 days from day 21. From day 3 of following cycle I started injections (continued with spray cos it's stops you from ovulating). Then from about day 8 had internal scans and blood tests to check oestrogen levels, usually about every 3 days. I was lucky in that I work flex time and usually had the 1st appt for a scan at 8am so went into work after that, plus hospital is only 10 mins away. On average it would take me up to about day 20/25 for eggs to mature and that's with loads of drugs but on average it's supposed to be around day 14 but stress everyone is different. So, when you're 'cooked' as I call it, you'll prob take another injection at some point in the night to trigger ovulation and then about 36 hours later you have the insemination, which is like having a smear done really though only slightly more unconfortable but not bad. Then 2 weeks of waiting and nail biting until you do the pg test. Hope i've not scared you or put you off, I went through this on my own as DH died 5 days after my 1st insemination. You'll be fine with the support of your DH. anything else? sorry for the long post.

Moomin Sun 09-Jan-05 09:48:37

how do i do that?

DelGirl Sun 09-Jan-05 09:48:50

yes, which hospital will you be at?

Moomin Sun 09-Jan-05 09:53:09

sorry posts crossed - i was talking to ladymuck with my question.

Delgirl, i'm so sorry about your dh. you must have really been through it . i hope your little one gives you some joy after what must have been a terrible time for you.

Moomin Sun 09-Jan-05 09:53:35

the priory in b'ham

DelGirl Sun 09-Jan-05 09:55:14

Thanks, I'm sure he/she will. btw, I will mention that I did actually get pg on 3rd and 4th attempt as well but they sadly didn't make it. Just wanted to let you know that it didn't actually take me 5 attempts iyswim.

DelGirl Sun 09-Jan-05 09:56:27

there is a chart which lists success rates, have you looked at their website?

Moomin Sun 09-Jan-05 10:03:19

yes, there is a link on one of the old ivf threads but it refers to 2000 stats, which i', aware may not be accurate any more as things can change a lot just in one year. I've got a big brochure downstairs somewhere which i'm sure has the more up to date stats. i'm so bone idle i haven't gone to look, but i will now. does anyone have a link to my dining room table?

DelGirl Sun 09-Jan-05 10:10:20


Moomin Sun 09-Jan-05 10:10:52

ah, here it is: dining room table

DelGirl Sun 09-Jan-05 10:13:37

i'd say their stats are pretty good, i'd think they'd be fairly high in the league so that's reassuring

Moomin Sun 09-Jan-05 10:16:04

oh sorry, no it's not. that's just the national averages. that's silly - the clinics are all listed in the booklet and website but no comparitive stats. bum

DelGirl Sun 09-Jan-05 10:19:04

if you go onto the link or website for yours then facts & figs, it's on there. I would think they'd be near the top of the league. sorry, sounds like footy but thats what its called. must go and get some brekky now

Moomin Sun 09-Jan-05 10:20:03

yeah i know it sounds silly when we're talking about our future, but our consultant has been with us all the way along. dh works with him as well at the nhs hospital and he really has bent over backwards to help us - appts at very short notice; talking to dh in the changing rooms, and generally looking out for us. i also like the fact that we can cut out a lot of the initial stuff when we go for our 1st private appt as he will have overseen it all during our treatment in the past year. he knows me inside out, as it were!
i also think he'll try to keep costs down (writing our drugs on nhs prescriptions, etc) which shouldn't matter, but it does and i don't wnat to have to worry about money on top of everything else.

DelGirl Sun 09-Jan-05 10:21:49

sounds like you have a real goodun there moomin am excited fo you

DelGirl Sun 09-Jan-05 10:23:05

note of caution, wouldn't tell too many about the nhs scripts, it happens everywhere but it's kept a bit hush hush iyswim

DelGirl Sun 09-Jan-05 10:23:40

are you not entitled to nhs treatment though anyway?

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