Recently, a friend of mine who is going to start going through IVF shortly & who has been sharing her journey on Facebook shared this article after I had just read on someone’s Instagram that one thing she attributes her IVF success to is laughter immediately following the transfer. This got me thinking about a few things I might do differently this time around and thought I’d share.
Laughter—if you remember from last time the day of the transfer I found out about 5 minutes before it was time to leave that Joe wasn't going to make it home from work in time. He works out in the middle of BFE most of the time in cornfields and on farms. He also usually works at least 30+ miles from home so it can be a challenge for him to get away. It was nothing that we could do anything about, but I was really upset the entire way there. I cried most of the way, (it’s an hour drive) and I was angry, hormonal, and frustrated, definitely not the way you want to go into an embryo transfer. What should've been a special moment was just really aggravating to me. For our next transfer on September 4th we will be sure that Joe is available so that I can be as relaxed as possible both on the way there and the way home. I’m planning to bring my iPad with so that I can turn on Netflix and get a few laughs from some Archer or Family Guy. I’ll put this article to the test.
seriously, when I think of clowns I think of Pennywise, not this super cute pink-haired clown with hearts on her face.
Stricter Bed Rest—although they say that bed rest can’t be directly linked to the success or failure of IVF, if the doctor recommends it, (which mine does) then I’m doing it. I had two days of bed rest last go-around which was plenty, but I did not do nearly as much relaxing, especially immediately following the transfer, as I should’ve. I was up and down the stairs trying to get cell phone service, I was lifting up the dog onto the bed for two day straight. He’s only 20 pounds, but that was my limit. I plan to be a little stricter on myself this next cycle.
Pineapple core—do you guys remember the review I did on The Fertility Advisor? If you’re looking for some real expertise on fertility, Smita is your girl. She is medically trained, and has gotten pregnant via IVF! She beat infertility! Back in late January I had a consultation with Smita and one of the things that she suggested was eating 5 pieces of pineapple, including the core, for 5 days after a transfer. Pineapple core contains bromelain which has been said to aid in implantation. Purely anecdotal, but worth a shot!
Acupuncture—I’m not 100% sold on this yet, but I do have an appointment on Monday in Peoria. It was also something that was recommended by The Fertility Advisor, but I wasn't ready to take her suggestion too seriously at that time. Now that I've gotten farther along on my journey, it is something to consider.
Diet—I won’t really do much different than I did for my last cycle. I do need to change my current eating habits because they’re horrible. Once I got that BFN all I wanted was a giant glass of wine & 5 slices of pizza. I’ve been carrying on with that more than I’d like to. I’m giving myself until the day I start Lupron injections, August 7th, to be lax on the diet, then I will continue a high protein/low carb diet. Lots of eggs, whole grains, leafy greens, fruits, veggies, etc. & will eliminate caffeine entirely.
Exercise—just like dieting, I won’t do much different than last cycle, but I do need to change my current exercise habits, because I have none. I hadn’t been to Curves in over 3 weeks. Tuesday was my first day back. After the transfer I will need to take another break.
Essential Oils--I've heard a lot about essential oils lately & I'm lucky enough to have a family member who sells them and uses them avidly & she's going to send me some samples. What really sold me was my girl Caroline at In Due Time shared some really interesting facts about oils and which oils are meant to treat fertility issues in women and men. For women, according to Caroline, Progessence Plus, Ylang Ylang, Clary Sage, & Endoflex are recommended and for men, Mister, Blue Idaho Spruce, Clary Sage, & Endoflex. If you'd like to know more about these oils and their benefits, check out Caroline's Blog. Also, this is a really good video that explains what essential oils are and their benefits, and the way that they treat infertility. They also discuss the importance of a well balanced diet for infertility treatment. It is a bit lengthy, over an hour, but well worth the watch if you have some extra time.
To some, these things might just sound silly, the might sound like quite a stretch, you might be skeptical of them. Pineapple core, completely anecdotal, & laughter after a transfer? If that’s the key to success, why aren’t all clinics equipped with a “humor clown”. I know that IVF success cannot be attributed directly to these things, but when you’ve been trying for three years, you’re willing to try anything. I remember before we were referred to an RE for infertility someone told me to stand on my head after sex, well, I was so desperate for something to work that I did it. In the middle of my living room I stood on my head and had Joe hold my legs. I don’t know if doing any of these things will truly help my cycle be successful, but I am willing to try just about anything.