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starting IVF in jan, preparation recomendations?

(38 Posts)
KittenCamile Thu 20-Nov-14 17:07:55


Starting IVF in jan, am on day 8 of my cycle and have one more cycle till I start my injections. Just wondered what people recommend to help with the stress, preparing my body and getting me as fertile as possible!

What did you do?

So far I have had a month of acupunture, abdominal massage, gym and no booze but is there anything else I could be doing?

I'm 33 have no fertility issues, my DP has azoospermia and we have 3 vials from his operation so enough for 1 possibly 2 rounds so I REALLY need to do all I can for this.

Would love to hear people's stories.
Many thanks

DuelingFanjo Thu 20-Nov-14 17:10:19

I think having Acupuncture is a great idea - it was the one thing that seemed to relax me during a stressful time.

I was told to drink lots of full fat organic milk but this was particularly for my eggs so might not be necessary for you.

KittenCamile Thu 20-Nov-14 17:21:15

I just googled full fat milk and fertility and research agrees with you! Damn I haven't drunk milk for years, have been having hemp milk as I don't really like the taste of milk, hmmmmm....

Acupunture is great I float out of the room after, might carry that one on after, whatever happens.


DuelingFanjo Thu 20-Nov-14 17:23:45

If you really want to go for it I also had a glass of water with wheatgrass in it every morning which was disgusting but for some reason I have forgotten it was supposed to help.

DuelingFanjo Thu 20-Nov-14 17:24:52

Oh and - when you are doing the injections I found it really helped to get my DH to do the mixing of the solutions and get the syringe ready as I was all fingers and thumbs and managed to cut myself the first time then panic about having spilled some.

Having DH help took the pressure off a bit.

allchatnicknamesgone Thu 20-Nov-14 17:25:02

folic acid and pre-conception vitamins.
Not sure what you do at the gym, but I used to be a runner (road) and I was told not to do it by a reflexologist, an acupuncturist and then the consultant during ivf. Told me to find something less stressful on body and insides - too much movement, jiggling about apparently, but considering you are not really ttc, I reckon you should just manage it the month you do ivf and not to worry about now….
Good luck. Hope it goes smoothly.

GoBigOrange Thu 20-Nov-14 18:34:21

Lots of water - at least two liters a day if you don't already.

Start cutting back on the caffeine if you're a big fan of coffee/tea/coke/chocolate etc - I didn't have any at all during my cycle.

More protein and lots of fresh fruit and veg. Less carbs - I cut out pasta, rice, bread, biscuits etc.

That was pretty much it for me. Couldn't bring myself to drink milk. Or do acupuncture. And my idea of exercise is gentle walks.

Shellster52 Thu 20-Nov-14 20:45:37

I too am doing the high protein, less carbs and lots of fresh produce. Research shows high protein/low carb improves embryo quality. But I have embryo quality issues. Since you are younger than me and no issues, I'm sure it's not such an issue for you.

Speaking of research, can I ask Kitten where you found the research online that backs up this drinking milk theory. Lots of people on here seem to get told to drink milk, but acupuncturists say to avoid it. I am having trouble finding the research to make a final decision.

DuelingFanjo Thu 20-Nov-14 22:05:52

There is some stuff here a our full fat milk. Not sure how reliable it is.

lildottie Thu 20-Nov-14 23:39:12

hi kitten I'm similar to you in that I'm OK but doing ivf for mfi. we are having icsi.

I'm starting acupuncture tomorrow, have switched to full fat milk on my breakfast, caffeine free as far as poss, no booze, swapped carbs like pasta and rice for wholewheat versions and tried to cut down portions in favour of bulking up veg, trying to increase protein by eating more nuts, seeds, meat, cheese (in healthy ways of course), cut out processed foods and refined sugars, swimming once a week and doing meditation CDs to try and relax. I start injections 28/12. so far all going well apart from relaxing. bcp seems to have given me terrible mood swings so I'm hoping the acupuncture will help! gl

lildottie Thu 20-Nov-14 23:41:24

here is info referring to a study on dairy

Shoegal30 Fri 21-Nov-14 07:07:09

Hi all. I started down regging this week - on day 5 today.

I have read about avacados. Unsure how much truth is in it. I plan to start eating them from today.

Shoegal30 Fri 21-Nov-14 07:07:52

Also another article

lildottie Fri 21-Nov-14 08:15:11

oh yeah I read the avocados thing too. can't get dh to eat them. I'm aiming to eat one a week

KittenCamile Fri 21-Nov-14 08:27:25

Wow great replies thank you so much!

Have lots to look into today. Am a mad avacordo fan so nice to have something I really like be a positive plus the high protein, low carb thing is a great idea, Chia seeds on everything then!

Good luck to everyone going through it now.

Lildottie sorry about your mood swings, I hope acupunture helps, im not good at relaxing and it knocks me out.

Hadn't thought about all the giggling around at the gym, I don't run but will be awear of that once I start injections.

Thanks again, this is all brilliant advice

Shellster52 Fri 21-Nov-14 09:40:35

A thank you from me too to Fanjo and lil for taking the time to provide links on the milk issue.

Both links seem to back up that low fat milk is bad for fertility (which makes sense as I know the estrogen is stored in fat and so removing the fat from the milk makes the milk male hormone dominant). So I agree if you are going to drink milk, swap any low fat milk you are drinking for whole fat milk. But if milk contains these hormones, wouldn't the best advice for an IVF cycle be to cut them out all together?

There are no studies to confirm that drinking a litre of milk a day during stimming actually improves the IVF outcome. So many people on here are being told to do this by their clinics and I am just wondering what this is based on?

If anyone has been given this advice, and an actual reason why, I would love to know.

Sorry to hijack the thread kitten. Enjoy those avocados!

DuelingFanjo Fri 21-Nov-14 09:56:53

I wasn't given the milk advice by my clinic, they offered very little nutritional advice (It was NHS) but I did get lots of advice from the FertilityFriends forum.

naturally I am not a 'Woo' person so even doing acupuncture was odd for me but in the end I decided this was my one shot and I had to throw everything at it. I even ate Quinoa (Blergh)

Shellster52 Sat 22-Nov-14 20:58:37

So then Dueling, did you drink lots of milk during stimming? How much? And did you get good quality embryos as a result, or a BFP?

I am just a statistics person, and while like you, I see lots of advice from women on forums promoting drinking milk, there is also lots of advice from acupuncturists that it makes the womb slippery and difficult to implant in and to avoid it. So rather than just opinions, I wanted some actual research to help me make a decision from all the contradicting opinions.

DuelingFanjo Sat 22-Nov-14 22:18:47

I did drink about a pint a day, but I like milk anyway so it wasn't really upping it much.

My BFP is now almost 4 smile I had one shot and it worked. I had two embryos put in out of four, the other two were unable to be frozen.

I've just had a look at my blog from the time and here's what I wrote about the scans. I remember being worried that the follicles weren't big enough but everyone kept telling me you just need one good egg.

"We had the second scan today. There are now 8 follicles, though 2 are very small so am counting it as still the 6 they said I had on Monday. My right ovary must be asleep (or nearly dead?) as there are only 2 follicles. Everything went very well though, the nurse showed me the follicles and I sneaked a look at the sizes. The largest is 23mm, two are 20 mm and the rest seem to be between 10 and 15. Here's hoping they all contain eggs. I have to (infact I have already) inject one more shot of Menopur tonight and then Suprecur tonight and tomorrow. After that I have to inject the HCG shot at 1.15 am on Sunday. It has to be exact so that I am ready for egg collection at 11.15 on the Monday. So only 2 more injections to go before Monday - the big day! While we were waiting for a prescription to be written D looked at the pictures of all the babies which have been born because of IVF Wales; they have huge frames filled with pictures of babies. I asked him what he was doing and he said 'oh my god, there are so many twins'. "

KittenCamile Mon 24-Nov-14 21:07:39

Love a success story! That's great Dueling. I can't stand milk, I wouldn't know how to drink a pint a day!

I just bought the ebook fertility to family:ivf support and that recommends whey powder instead of milk as milk can cause 'dampness' (im guessing that's the same as what Shellster said but in acupuncture talk) so I don't know. As a non dairy fan im not gonna start as my body probably isn't use to it. I'm 2 days off ovulation this month and doing a castor oil pack tonight but am struggling with sleeping well this week, trying to organise the right time off work and that is quite stressful. How long do people have off for ivf? I'm looking at 3 weeks as I do a 4 hour commute a day (on way home now!) and don't think I can do that at the same time. Is that too much? Not enough? Ahhhhh!!!

Solaia Mon 24-Nov-14 22:56:21

I'm also starting IVF in January, first round, short protocol ICSI for mfi.

I haven't done much prep compared to you guys, today was my first day of trying to cut down caffeine but I still had one coffee and two teas... I am also still on the alcohol wagon until Christmas. Not binge drinking or anything but a wee glass of bubbles at the Christmas party etc - not drinking at all in Dec would stress me out even more I think.

I have heard about increasing milk intake - full fat milk is horrible though... Will try it but there's not a chance I could manage a pint a day! Have tried to increase protein by eating lots of nuts but I'm pretty terrible at avoiding bread and pasta. Mmmmm pasta.

Regarding time off, I'm not sure what to expect. I'm hoping to continue working as much as I can but I'm also worried about the commute and being exhausted and stressed. I think I'll play it by ear rather than just block book time off. My manager is really supportive so that's good, but I have a busy and stressful job and it can be unpredictable! Do you plan to be off for the whole 2ww?

I just want January to be here now!

lildottie Mon 24-Nov-14 23:11:49

kitten I'm self employed and work from home now but if I was in your shoes I think I'd probably book week of ec/et off then maybe a couple of days in the other 2 weeks. I think not working will drive you insane over thinking every twinge. the long commute is definitely a downer though, that's why I think maybe do 2-3 days pw in tww.

naty1 Tue 25-Nov-14 08:34:45

Also bear in mind you could need to do this a couple of times, so may need holiday left to use.

DuelingFanjo Tue 25-Nov-14 10:55:46

I am trying to remember how much time I took off. I was off for the whole of the egg collection but still in work while doing the injections beforehand. I know I was back in work before my testing day but I had been told not to test for over two weeks and the actual day I tested was at the weekend. I recon I had about a week off after the egg collection/transfer, which was mostly booked as holiday.

The person I worked with knew I had had IVF but my boss didn't. So I had support in the office.

I remember wearing a crystal my mum gave me and also wearing a lot of orange and red as I was told they are fertility colours. I absolutely don't believe in any of this kind of stuff but I was pretty desperate and figured it was a bit of fun which might just work grin

KittenCamile Tue 25-Nov-14 11:32:33

Wow Solaia we will start around the same time! We are also having icsi. I had planned to work the first 2-3 weeks of injections but have time off as my doctor told me I will have scans every 3 days once I start the stims and I can't work and do this as work is too far away. I was going to book off all of the egg collection and transfer time but that could be anything from 3 to 5 days depending on if we can cystoblast. I don't want all of the 2ww off but probably the first week. I have a very physical and stressful job and work long hours with a massive commute, im worried I will just be too tired and stressed. I can't book time off short notice as I take appointments.

Our holiday runs from march to march so time off isn't a problem if we have to do another cycle, we might not have enough sperm for 2 cycles though so I want to do everything as 'right' as I can this time.

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