Monday, February 25, 2008

IVF Tips. (updated)

These were tips/suggestions given to me by my acupuncturist. I list them just to share what has been told to me.

updated: Like I had said, I'm just passing the info I was given along. I'm not suggesting it to you, I'm just sharing it with you. I am aware many women get pregnant without doing all of this, but then again, many women get pregnant without having to do ivf. I'll do what is comfortable for me and I'll do what I deem important. I'm ~not~ saying that you MUST do all or even any of these things for ivf to succeed. I'm simply passing along the information that was given to me. Oh - and my RE and acupuncturist work hand in hand. These recommendations are added to my IVF file too. So everyone knows everything.

female protocol:
* deep sea fish oil 1200mg per day in divided doses
* prenatal
* additional folic acid taken away from prenatal. If you take prenatal at night, take the extra folic acid in morning.
* Greens Plus (helps keeps your system alkaline instead of acidic)
* Bee Pollen with Propolis (boosts egg quality)
* If you are taking metformin or glucophase, take EXTRA B vitamins because this medication depletes your body of B vitamins.

male protocol:
* Vitamin C 2,000 mgs/dat (ester C is good) in divided doses
* Vitamin E 800 IU/day
* Beta Carotene 100,000 IU/day
* Selenium 200micrograms/day
* Zinc 60 mgs/day divide dose to avoid tummy troubles (necessary for sperm production and testosterone metabolism)
* B12 1,000mg/day (involved in replication of cells)
* Deep sea fish oil
* L-arginine 2-4g/day (amino acid involved in cellular replication)
* L-carnatine 1,000-1,200mg/day (assists in sperm motility)
* Magnesium aspartate - 200mg/day (magnesium is intimately involved in cellular energy metabolism in the mitochondria)
* Because of sperm's susceptibility to oxidative damage, it is wish to use free-radical scavengers such as pine bark, red wine extract, grape seed extract and bilbetty extract. Pycnogenol (pine bark extract) enhances the effects of other antioxidants. Recommended dose is 125mg/day from various sources.

~ DIET for women ~
* eliminate all refined sugar
* don't eat refined carbs
* ELIMINATE caffeine, nicotine, alcohol, chocolate and soda pop.
* eat organic and hormone free whenever possible
* avoid dairy products such as milk, cheese and ice cream. Goat milk/cheese is okay.
* Eat fresh fruit
* Eat alkaline rather than acidic foods
* Get plenty of essential fatty acids
* consume lots of organic vegetables. Make sure they are COOKED! Do not eat raw foods.
* DO NOT EAT COLD FOODS. No ice cold beverages and ESPECIALLY avoid ice cream (she went on to say how anything cold will take blood flow away from uterus to be used in the belly to warm up anything cold you've eaten.

~ DIET for MEN ~
* Pretty much all the above, except dairy and sodas can be had in moderation.

* after retrieval, it's suggested to get a massage to help you relax and get circulation going
* laugh a lot, stay positive and rely on your support group to help out.
* stay hydrated
* again, no ice water or ice cream
* watch movies while on bed rest - don't watch horror, heavy or depressing movies. Mind set is important
* Always keep your feet warm, wear socks, never use hot packs on your low back or abdomen, hot packs on your feet are great and safe.
* use a fireman's roll to get up as added protection
* get up to go to the bathroom, make yourself something to eat and to get a change of scenery. It's strongly suggested you stay in a resting position with your feet up as long as your doctor recommends bed rest.
* keep pictures of your embryos nearby and visualize them implanting, promise them you will be great parents. Remember your belief needs to be strong right now and your body hears every thought you have.
* Be assured your embryos WILL NOT FALL OUT. The sides of the uterine wall touch and envelopes the embryos. Move around as you normally do, we want you to rest but also we want your blood to circulate. Don't be afraid to walk around and do things at a normal pace.


Rita said...

holy cr*p, that's alot of supplements and food restrictions.
You can do it. You've come this far.

Anonymous said...

Well if THAT's all there is to it... ;-)

Seriously, you've come this far, and you'll do great following whatever regimen works best for you. It's exciting that in just a few weeks, you'll be... you know... avoiding ice water.

Seriously x 2: I'm cheering for you from the sidelines!

Chas said...

Wow, I did almost none of that. I do take a heavy duty prenatal w/ lots of folic acid. I did have a massage before my transfers. I did cut out all caffeinated beverages and chocolate. I cut out ice cream, though I wasn't aware of why that was recommended until now (thanks!!). I did take my "feet up" time very seriously, and didn't go back to normal activity until the entire 72 hours was up. I also cut down on red meat, which was recommended to me by someone...not sure if it's legitimately important.

Anyway, doing all of this stuff might not be completely necessary, but what's it going to hurt?? Good luck keeping up with it all!!

Swim said...

Thanks for sharing the info. I made an appointment with a new acu clinic. It sounds like I will be filling out the same 5 page questionaire that you did. They are emailing it to me in advance of my first 1.5 hour appt. The only negative is that they cost over twice what you pay ($225 for first visit and $115 each follow-up appt).

Jenera said...

Wow, reading this I have a whole new respect for women (and their men!) who go through this journey.

My hat is off to you.

Anonymous said...

That seems like an awful lot to have to think about and concentrate will have enough on your mind without worrying about what you are eating, drinking and thinking!!!

Do what you feel comfortable with...IVF works for lots of women who don't follow "the rules".

kp said...

Ya know, that is a really good list. Many of the same things have be suggested to me. Quite a few years ago I cut out dairy and great things happened to my body. The weight fell off without even trying. I have been attempting it again (cheese is sooo good) with not so much success, but after reading it again maybe I will be better about it. GOOD LUCK with whatever you try to do. Nothing in that list looks crazy or way out there - it is all healty eating habits.

Denise said...

Give up chocolate AND ice cream? Just shoot me now!

But seriously, good luck with whichever items you decide to follow. It definitely sounds like an exercise in discipline. If this works for you, I'll be frantically clicking back to this post later to print and follow religiously!

Poltzie said...

I like that for this one the man actually has more to do than the woman, it seems like a first.
Good luck with it all!

Jennifer said...

Actually, I'm not that surprised by a lot of what your acupuncturist told you. In a moment of sheer desperation, I picked up a book called "Fertility Wisdom" (Angela C. Wu, LAC, OMD) based on Chinese medicine. I read the whole thing, but decided there was a bit too much to it all for me to try at that point in my life, especially after having been socked with my MS diagnosis. Totally giving up gluten, not drinking or eating anything cold (in the middle of summer?!?) daily meditation and acupressure, figuring out what your personal "weather" is and eating to balance that out... I wasn't desperate enough to jump in head first. Could also just be my east coast mentality, though. LOL You're MUCH more open-minded than I am about this sort of thing, so I wish you the best with it all!

Rachel Inbar said...

I'm very skeptical about all this... Aside from avoiding alcohol, I didn't make any changes in my diet & certainly didn't give up cold drinks, chocolate or anything... and I got pregnant from IVF 3 times out of 6 (and one of the times there was almost no chance to begin with - 1 3-celled embryo). It might make you feel like you're doing everything you can, but it sounds way overboard...

shinejil said...

I've eaten the way your acupuncturist recommended, and it does feel great. Never led to pregnancy in my particular case, but it definitely leads to health, energy, and emotional balance. I've also been told that soy milk isn't all that great a dairy substitute for most women. Like cow dairy, it encourages dampness and also (some thyroid patients believe) can have an impact on your thyroid. I love almond milk personally.

I find it's a lot easier to live without caffeine in the spring and summer, but man, to give up even green tea now? That takes real commitment. You've got my admiration.

merks23 said...

Thank you for sharing this, Nancy. I've already saved it to my TTC file for my IVF cycle! :o)

Peace & Hope ♥

nancy said...

Rachel, I think you are a very fortunate exception - you just have to get an eggie inside you and WHAM! you are pregnant! You didn't have to endure IVF failure time and time and time again and I wonder if you did, if you'd take this all a little more seriously. It's all where someone is personally and emotionally.

I'm more of an "everything in moderation" person. And while I am allowing these docs to tell me these things, I'm not making them my daily rules. But I will take it all with a grain of salt and try to moderate the things that they say are bad. I'm not going to give UP dairy and chocolate and soda, but I will limit it.

And I know there are women like you who get pregnant "easily" but since there are so many women who don't, it makes me more nervous. If I fail, you better believe I'm going to have this list here that is going to make me think "what could I have done better?". You already know you don't need to do all of these things - you don't need your body in the "perfect" condition to accept the growth of an embryo. Maybe I don't either. But what if I do? Can I risk it?

Don't get me wrong, I totally agree with what you are saying and yes, all of it together, if it's not the kind of lifestyle you already lead, sounds way overboard. I'm just dealing with an unknown so I'm going to take everything in. Don't know how much I'll do yet, but at least I'll know what they suggest for me.

Thanks for your comment!

Spicy Sister said...

Hey Nancy - thanks for the list - I am doing many of these things already (no gluten, no dairy, no sugar, no caffeine, no alcohol....etc... It was really hard the first couple of weeks, it's getting better now. And I now allow myself 1 "cheat day" a week. (although sometimes it stretches into a "cheat weekend") - I do feel better when I am following it. There were some suggestions here I hadn't thought of or heard of yet, so I am taking them into consideration. Like you, I just want to do everything I reasonably can to ensure success. I think it helps to know I am doing everything I can on my part.

You can do it!

Jen said...

Ok, I thought I was doing good for forgoing chocolate! But ice cream and milk? I don't think I can do that!

I wish you lots of luck. And if it works, I'm going to be spending a crapload of money on supplements...

Anonymous said...

Remember dairy is important for the calcium to prevent osteoporosis when you are elderly and can't walk around isn't fun either so take supplements if you're not going to eat dairy---
Knee replacement nurse

lisa said...

I've been through IVF a few times now (once with success and I am trying for baby 2 now). With my first daughter, I had pre-term labor and inter-uterine growth restriction (she is 8 months now and perfect - without probelms). So, while pregnant I did A LOT of research on babies and baby development. I don't know about avoiding dairy during IVF, but I can tell you that it is absolutely important that you drink dairy during your pregnancy. There are many many studies that discuss the importance of dairy on fetal growth. Also, you need at least a little fat in that milk. So at a minimum try and drink 2%. For me I am drinking milk, eating cheese and ice cream during this IVF cycle. I did last time, and it worked. Good luck to all. I know this is hard. But, there is a balance to be had so don't grasp at straws or adjust your diet to the determinent of a potential baby.

Anonymous said...

I'm always looking for any new advice after one failed IVF. I am wondering about bed rest after transfer. I did not go downstairs for 2 days & I really stayed off my feet for another 2 days. Should I move around more for blood flow? What other doctor's advice have you heard about transfers?
Thanks! I'm one week away from retreival.