In Vitro Fertilisation IVF Success Tips

In vitro fertilisation (IVF) is one of a range of fertility treatments that can help couples with fertility problems to have a baby. While the success rate of IVF is high and comparable to those of nature, not every IVF treatment is successful – couples may need to undergo more than one cycle of treatment and, in many cases, several. This is challenging for both partners – physically, emotionally and financially. Fortunately, there are some ways in which you can increase your chances of a successful IVF treatment.

In this article, we look at what you and your partner can do to help you to optimise your chances of a successful IVF cycle, including understanding the IVF treatment process, counselling, managing your stress levels, taking care of your emotional and physical well-being and, perhaps most importantly, choosing the right fertility clinic.

Tips for optimising your chances of IVF success

Understanding IVF treatment

In the simplest terms, IVF treatment is a process in which the egg and sperm are fertilised outside of the body to form an embryo, which is then transferred to the uterus to hopefully implant and become a pregnancy. It is important to understand, however, that IVF treatment is not a single event, but rather a series of procedures that are completed over five stages to during a treatment cycle that spans around three weeks.

It is also important to realise that not every IVF cycle will result in a pregnancy and, for the majority of couples, multiple IVF treatment cycles may be necessary.

Click here… to read more about the IVF process.


At Medfem Fertility Clinic, we highly recommend that anyone commencing an IVF cycle seeks the support of an experienced and sympathetic infertility psychologist.

While you cannot help the way you feel, with the help of a counsellor, you may be able to find a way to better manage your feelings and reactions during these times. Psychologists can help with coping skills and longer-term options. Speak to a professional who specialises in the field of fertility about the IVF process.

Managing stress

Recent literature and medical studies have shown that the reduction of stress can account for higher pregnancy rates during IVF treatments. Stress inhibits the ability to conceive – when people are under ongoing stress they secrete hormones that inhibit normal immune function and constrict blood vessels, which in turn affects the ability to conceive.

A good starting point is to determine if you or your partner has time urgency perfectionism (TUP) stress. This can be assessed free of charge on the following website If you are suffering from TUP stress, you can follow the TUP stress management program online or at Medfem Fertility Clinic.

Another successful strategy for managing stress during IVF treatment is to break the IVF process into manageable parts. Try to get through each few days with a small goal, such as getting to the first scan to see number of follicles, then getting to the next step of aspiration, etc.

It is also helpful to have a fertility plan, one that maps out the stages in treatment plans, as well as possible options or reactions after each step has taken place. This helps to make it more predictable. The more predictable a stressor, the more manageable it is.

This also has an important psychological impact, because when you know what to expect, and you have a back-up plan, it offers peace of mind.

Take care of your emotional well-being

It is normal to feel overwhelmed during IVF treatment, but you can do many things to take care of your emotional well-being.

It is important to give yourself time to relax and recover from each step of the IVF treatment. You will also need to accept the changes that IVF brings to your body, the changes in your energy levels, and you should try to cut back or prioritise your activities accordingly.

At Medfem Fertility Clinic, we provide you with a professional daily calendar detailing all the important dates, medications and processes, which is updated at each visit. If you are a perfectionist, you can also help yourself feel more in control by, for example, putting all of your medications in small bank bags or envelopes.

It is also helpful to make a list of triggers that upset you on a daily basis — like pregnant women, babies, baby showers and your period — along with your corresponding reaction. You will see a pattern emerge, which you can then try to manage or avoid.

It is also important to allow the rest of your life happen while you are undergoing IVF treatment. Don’t put off your other life goals, including simple things like travel and exercise. Look at your short-, medium- and long-term goals again, and pursue other challenges and interests while on your fertility journey.

Take care of your physical well-being

It is important to take care of your physical well-being before, during and after your IVF treatment cycle. Remember to get plenty of rest and sufficient sleep; eat healthy, nutritious food; and get sufficient exercise.

It is important to be at a healthy weight for your height. Women with a body mass index under 19 or over 32 have a lower chance of getting pregnant and an increased risk of miscarriage. We recommend that you take a multivitamin containing folic acid (0.4 to 1.0 mg daily). This B vitamin reduces the risk of some serious defects of the brain and spinal cord in the foetus.

If you have not yet done so, quit smoking and avoid alcohol! Women who smoke have a lower chance of becoming pregnant and a higher rate of miscarriage.

Choose the right fertility clinic

Since 1983, more than 5 million babies have been born worldwide as a result of IVF treatment. Here at Medfem Fertility Clinic, we are proud to have played a role in bringing more than 16,000 babies into the world. Our IVF pregnancy rates at Medfem Fertility Clinic are around 52% and we are very proud of our success rates that are consistent with the highest reported amongst clinics worldwide.

We are also very proud of the care we provide to ensure our patients’ physical and emotional well-being. We provide state-of-the-art fertility treatment, in a warm, welcoming, caring and comfortable environment in which you are our top priority. Our team goes above and beyond your expectations to offer complete care for your body and mind, to ensure you are as comfortable as possible.

Our patient care team will support you every step of the way. Our dedicated nurses work with each patient to understand their treatment course and help to manage the medication and administration schedules. You can always expect to hear directly from one of our nursing staff when your lab results arrive, as well as have the opportunity to ask any questions that you may have. Your fertility specialist is also always available to speak with you by phone or in person to discuss lab results, your treatment plan, or other matters that may be of concern to you.

At Medfem Fertility Clinic, we also believe that the patient-doctor relationship is central to your success and your doctor stays with you throughout your treatment plan. Our staff’s extensive experience and careful attention to detail is very reassuring to patients undergoing fertility treatments.

Medfem’s team of accredited reproductive medicine specialists have over 100 years of collective experience. The fertility specialists at Medfem are nationally and internationally recognised as pioneers and innovators in the field of fertility treatment, including Dr Johan van Schouwenburg who was involved in the first successful IVF treatment carried out in South Africa in 1983. In addition, Medfem Fertility Clinic offers the largest staff-to-patient ratio of any fertility clinic in South Africa, ensuring you receive the best care possible.

Medfem Fertility Clinic is accredited by the Southern African Society for Reproductive Medicine and Gynaecological Endoscopy (Sasreg) and staffed by qualified and experienced specialists. We offer advanced facilities; technologies on par with the latest medical advancements; and a range of fertility treatments to achieve great success rates.

Understanding the IVF treatment process, counselling, managing your stress levels, taking care of your emotional and physical well-being and, perhaps most importantly, choosing the right fertility clinic will optimise your chances of a successful IVF cycle.

If you would like to know more tips about how to boost your chances of IVF success, we invite you to speak to one of our four fertility specialists by simply clicking here or contacting us telephonically on +27 (11) 463 2244.

We look forward to meeting you!

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