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Preparation for IVF




Preliminary preparation for the treatment with the method in vitro fertilization (IVF) can be as important, as the treatment itself. In order to predict the response of ovaries to medicinal stimulation the checkup of the ovarial reserve may be required. The chances for the success may be low if the blood test indicates a low level of ovarial reserve. The ovarial reserve may be checked through measuring the level of FSH and inhibin B in the blood or through the calculation of antrum-containing follicles at the beginning of the menstrual cycle.


Pathologies of the uterine cavity, such as synechia or polyps must be removed before the start of the IVF program. Hydrosalpinx – a fallopian tube filled in and blocked with a liquid – decreases the efficiency of IVF, as the liquid in the tube has an embryotoxic influence and many doctors recommend to remove the injured tube before the IVF launch.


Prior to IVF sperm test (spermogram) is conducted. If there are any abnormalities in the spermogram, consultation of the specialists on male infertility may be required to identify whether these abnormalities are a subject for correction and whether there are not connected to other medical problems. E.g. genetic defects in Y chromosome are connected to some cases of the male infertility, and men with innate lack of seminiferous tracts frequently are carriers of a genetic defect responsible for mucoviscidosis. In these cases a genetic examination may be required.


Blood tests before the IVF cycle include tests for detecting HIV, syphilis, hepatitis B and C and antibodies against German measles. It’ll be also necessary to take a swab from the vagina and cervical channel to identify the bacterial flora to make sure that there is no infection. Based on indications the doctor may assign a hormonal examination and examination of sexually transmitted infections. The full examination will help to reveail the problems that should be corrected before the start of the IVF program.


One of the most frequently asked question is: “What can we do to increase the chances in the IVF cycle?” Undoubtedly there are some important points that can affect the efficiency of the treatment and some of them are listed below.


Quit smoking. Chemical materials in the cigarette smoke have harmful influence on the sperm as well as on oocytes. Smokers need 30% more time for natural conception and some researches have showed that smoking decreases chances for pregnancy after IVF for 50-70% in each medicinal cycle because of the decreased response to stimulation and lower level of fertilization percent.


Stop taking medicines that are NOT PRESCRIBED by the doctor. You should reduce the intake of medicines as much as possible, including food supplements, as some of the can have a negative impact on the results of IVF.


Stop using any type of narcotics. There are multiple evidences that narcotics have a serious influence on the male, as well as female fertility. Besides that during the pregnancy period that may inflict irreparable injury on the health of the future child.


Check your weight. Overweight or underweight can decrease your response to medicinal therapy to the extent that your organism may not respond to the stimulation at all.

Your doctor-reproductologist will measure your weight in kilograms divided into your height in square meters. This correlation is called the weight index. If your weight index is lower than 19 kg/sq. m or higher than 30 kg/sq. m you’ll be recommended to postpone your IVF treatment until your weight doesn’t appear within the range of the above mentioned norms.


Adhere to the principles of healthy eating. Avoid coffee overuse.


Reduce the use of alcohol. Although the influence of alcohol on the conception is less evinced than the influence of smoking, the alcohol abuse definitely has an influence on the quantity of generated spermatozoa and their mobility. In case of women the alcohol abuse during the early period of implantation and pregnancy has a toxic impact on the fetus which can cause pathologies in the fetus development. During the IVF cycle both spouses are recommended to give up using alcohol, as some researches have indicated that even small doses of alcohol can decrease the chances for pregnancy.


Start taking folic acid with the dose of 400 micrograms per day. This will decrease the risk of defects of the fetus neuraxis. You should take folic acid 3 months before the conception and 3 month after it.


Check whether you have immunity against German measles. In case of lack of the immunity you should be vaccinated, because, if you fall ill with measles during the pregnancy, the child may have problems with hearing and mentality development lagging.


Although women should avoid doing sport during the treatment with in vitro fertilization (IVF) method light exercises 3-4 times a week are recommended to both spouses to improve the general health conditions and to help to overcome the examination and treatment related stress.


If you have serious chronic diseases don’t forget to tell your doctor about it in order he/she can optimize your treatment taking into account those circumstances. 

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