IVF, which is otherwise called in vitro fertilization, is the most sought-after assisted reproductive technology (ART) among several couples with fertility problems. It is a process of fertilizing the eggs using the sperm in a special lab, and transferring the hatched embryo to the uterus. In the process, some surgical procedures are used in tandem with IVF to help attain pregnancy in some couples. IVF pregnancy may have a few side-effects if you are not careful about avoiding 5 things after the transfer of an embryo.
What Are the Five Things to Avoid After IVF?
For safe pregnancy after the IVF procedure, you need to avoid doing the following 5 things.
Missing Your Medications
You may be tempted to stop medications after the IVF transfer without discussing with your gynaecologist, which is not a good idea. Most women are advised to continue taking progesterone, which they were having prior to the transfer. Progesterone supports the embryo implantation, and you should keep taking it in the early weeks of the IVF transfer to have successful pregnancy.
During the IVF cycle, the follicles aspirated during the time of ovulation engage in making progesterone; nevertheless, the hormone signals that help follicles in producing progesterone are numbed by the medications you undergo during the process. Progesterone supplementation is therefore essential at least a few months. In case progesterone injections and vaginal suppositories are annoying, you need to talk to your doctor. Not many studies are conducted regarding this, so it is advisable to get your doctor’s advice, and then, decide.
Taking a Pregnancy Test Right Away
You should avoid taking a pregnancy test after the IVF transfer because it can give you either false positive or false negative results. During the IVF procedure, fertility drugs would be used, and the residual human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) will be present in the pregnant woman’s system, which gives a false sign of being or not being pregnant. You have to wait for the placenta cells to produce enough hCG so that in the pregnancy test, it can be detected. Nevertheless, it takes over two weeks from the day of IVF transfer for hCG to double, and then peak between 8 -11 weeks, which will be detected by the pregnancy test if it is above 25 mIU/ml (milli-international units per millilitre).
Ignoring Certain Symptoms
Though the IVF procedure may be smooth, you may come across certain symptoms after the transfer, which you tend to ignore. If they are the most common ones such as dizziness, bloating, abdominal pain, and blood spotting, you can avoid them. However, some women may develop ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS) after taking fertility drugs. This is when your body reacts to the hormones, and may cause abdominal bloating, abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhoea and nausea. Initially, the symptoms may be mild, but they become worse if the syndrome gets severe.
If you happen to note any changes such as experiencing severe pain in the stomach or gaining weight, it is better to call or meet your doctor, and find out what to do next.
Also, Read: Breastfeeding After IVF Pregnancy
Dealing With Certain Products or Chemicals
Studies have proved that chemicals in cosmetics have potential side-effects on women’s reproductive systems, as well as hormones. There are numerous endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) that can cause female infertility, miscarriages and abnormal ovarian functions. You should avoid using any antibacterial soap for it can spoil your chances of becoming conceived. Endocrine-disrupting chemicals interfere with reproductive health, hormones and prenatal development. Some chemicals that are harmful to you are found in the products you use and carry with you every day. They are:
- Formaldehyde – in nail polish
- Triclosan, parabens and benzophenone – in moisturizers, soap and cosmetics
- Brominated flame retardants – in yoga mats, furniture, clothing and electronics
- Dioxins – in dairy and meat
- BPA – in food-packaging materials
Having Some Foods and Beverages
You should focus on having healthy, as well as balanced food after the IVF transfer. However, you should necessarily avoid drinking sodas, alcohol and beverages for most of them are alcoholic. It is bad for the embryo’s implantation to consume beverages with high sugar and alcohol content. It would be advisable to avoid fast food, junk food, processed food and soft cheese as they will have a lot of preservatives and enhancers, which can be worse for your health after the IVF pregnancy procedure.
Having fish helps get a lot of protein and healthy fat; nevertheless, you should be careful enough to avoid certain fishes such as mackerel and tuna for they have high mercury content. The same is the case with the seafood, sea bass.
Have a detailed discussion with the nutritionist at the maternity hospital, and check about the diet, vitamins and dietary supplements you can have access to during or after the IVF process. Some studies say that Mediterranean diet can help increase the chances of successful IVF pregnancy. It would be better to check with your doctor and work out a diet plan.
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