In vitro fertilization (IVF) involves fertilizing an egg with sperm outside the body to overcome fertility challenges. For many people, IVF is the only way for them to conceive and have the family they’ve always wanted.
Successful IVF pregnancies resulting in live births aren’t guaranteed. Still, some factors may improve your chances, including the time of year. Below, you can learn more about IVF pregnancies, how to improve your chances, and why a summer procedure might be recommended.
More Sunshine, Higher Success Rate
While many factors can play a part in whether your IVF cycle will be successful, researchers now believe sunshine hours may play a part. According to a peer-reviewed study in the Human Reproduction medical journal, embryos harvested in summer were 30% more likely to result in a live birth compared to embryos harvested in the fall.
The study revealed that the overall live birth date from embryo transfer was 28 births per 100 people. However, that climbed to 31 births per 100 in the summer and decreased to 26 per 100 in the fall. Interestingly, researchers also discovered that the chances of success increased to 28% when eggs were harvested on days with the highest amount of sunshine.
What to Expect During Your First IVF Cycle
Knowing the best time to harvest your embryos is just the first step toward a potentially successful IVF pregnancy. Understanding the entire IVF cycle can be helpful when the time comes to plan your IVF journey. According to Fertility North, the first IVF cycle is a six-step process involving:
- Controlled ovarian hyperstimulation (COH)
- Transvaginal oocyte aspiration
- In vitro fertilization
- Embryo culture
- Embryo transfer
- Monitoring and support
The first step is usually the longest, at around three weeks, while the remaining steps follow in quick succession over multiple appointments. Your chosen fertility treatment clinic will ensure you’re well-informed of these steps before treatment starts. However, they’ll also discuss any challenges you might experience, such as:
- Administering your own daily hormones
- How your body responds to COH hormones
- Navigating your appointments
How to Improve Your Chances of a Successful IVF Pregnancy
You can feel like your chances of having a family lie with healthcare providers performing your IVF procedure. However, there are also actions you can take:
Eat a Healthy Diet
You may improve your chances of a successful IVF pregnancy by improving your nutrition. Choose foods that nourish your womb, speed up ovulation, and slow down egg degeneration. Even males can be more mindful of what they eat to increase motile sperm and sperm volume.
Current studies support the theory that a Mediterranean diet can increase the chances of live birth among women using assisted reproductive technology (ART). Eat more green leafy vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and other valuable nutrients, and you may experience the successful IVF procedure you were hoping for.
A cup of coffee to start your day may be something you look forward to, but it may not be helping you on your journey to parenthood. Researchers say that there is no safe level of caffeine for pregnant women and would-be mothers. As a result, they recommend avoiding it.
Take Folic Acid
Most healthcare professionals recommend taking folic acid supplements three months before conceiving and while you’re pregnant. Folic acid may improve IVF success and aid in overall pregnancy.
Starting your IVF journey can be daunting, especially if you’re concerned about how successful it will be. The more you know about what’s involved in IVF, the less stressful your path to pregnancy may be.