What you can do to boost your chances of IVF success

IVF – short for In Vitro Fertilisation – is a safe and effective fertility treatment that has helped millions of couples who are struggling with infertility to have the families they dreamed of. However, not every IVF treatment is successful, and in many cases, couples require more than one cycle of IVF treatment to achieve a pregnancy.

Fortunately, IVF patients can do a number of things to boost their chances of IVF success. Speaking at the recent Fertility Show Africa 2023, Dr Antonio (Tony) Rodrigues – a reproductive medicine specialist and founder and director of Medfem Fertility Clinic in Sandton, Johannesburg, South Africa – shared invaluable advice about how to improve your chances of IVF success, based on 30 years of IVF experience.

At the recent Fertility Show Africa 2023, Medfem Fertility Clinic’s Dr Antonio (Tony) Rodrigues was among the leading fertility experts who spoke at the FSA2023 Expert Talks programme. He provided some very interesting and hope-inspiring statistics shared below and revealed two crucial ways in which couples can boost their chances of IVF success.

These are based on Medfem Fertility Clinic’s more than 30 years of IVF experience and are lifestyle changes, as well as treating existing medical conditions known to affect fertility, before a cycle of IVF treatment.

Encouraging IVF statistics

Over the last 30 years, more than 8 million babies have been born worldwide as a result of IVF treatment.

Today, the success rate for a single cycle of IVF treatment is around 20%. This is comparable – and even superior – to the rate of natural conception in couples with no fertility challenges. But it also means that some couples will need more than IVF treatment cycle to achieve a pregnancy.

However, over three cycles of IVF treatment with tested embryos, the pregnancy rate of IVF increases to as high as 92.6%.

To boost their chances of a successful IVF treatment cycle, couples will find Dr Tony’s recommendations extremely helpful, as they are based on three decades of IVF experience.

Healthy lifestyle changes

Healthy sperm and a healthy egg are needed to create a healthy embryo (fertilised egg) that will be able to implant in the uterus and become a pregnancy.

A number of health factors – in both partners – are known to impact affect the success of IVF treatment. For this reason, says Dr Tony, the team at Medfem Fertility Clinic has been very focused on lifestyle changes over the last 30 years.

A healthy Body Mass Index or BMI is important. The BMI calculation divides an adult’s weight in kilograms by their height in metres squared. For example, A BMI of 25 means 25kg/m2. A high BMI and a low BMI can negatively affect fertility in both men and women. Both partners need to put in the effort to normalise their BMI.

This means being on the right diet, even if you and your partner need to go on to medical dietary therapy to normalise your weight. Couples also need to optimise their nutrient intake and different clinics use different nutrient supplements. At Medfem Fertility Clinic, our top choices include InsuMaxQ, StaminoGro and active folic acid.

Smoking is known to be a vasal constrictor, which means it constricts the blood vessels. This is a significant problem when it comes to the quality of the lining in the uterus. Smoking is also known to affect the quality of both the female partner’s eggs and the male partner’s sperm. Similarly, alcohol as well as recreational drugs are known factors that negatively affect fertility and the success of fertility treatments such as IVF.

In addition, one of the biggest factors in fertility and infertility treatments is stress, particularly what is called Time Urgency Perfectionism Stress or TUPS. For 25 years, the Medfem Fertility Clinic team has assisted patients to monitor and reduce their stress to improve their chances of IVF success.

If you would like to know if you suffer from Time Urgency Perfectionism Stress, please visit www.tups.co, where you can complete free screening tests to determine the extent of your TUP stress. You can also download the book, called Faster, Better, Sicker that has helped thousands of patients to better manage this stress.

Treating conditions known to affect fertility

Stress is also one of the biggest factors in depleting people’s immune systems and contributing to a range of lifestyle diseases. These diseases also create problems with egg and sperm quality and with implantation of an embryo, and must be managed before IVF treatment is provided.

In terms of hormones, both partners should undergo testing to ensure they do not have high insulin levels, that they don’t have high prolactin levels and that their thyroids are normal. If there are any imbalances in the hormones of either partner, it needs to treated before an IVF treatment cycle is attempted.

Fibroids are another medical condition that must be treated before an IVF cycle is attempted. Fibroids are growths made of muscle and tissue that form in or on the wall of the uterus. Particularly where fibroids are close to the lining of the uterus they create problems, because they take away the blood supply to the uterine lining. Fibroids need to be removed before going through an IVF program. The same goes for polyps, which are adhesions or little strings of tissue in the uterus that can also interfere with or prevent implantation of an embryo.

Endometriosis – when the lining of the uterus grows outside the uterus – is another condition that needs to be treated before an IVF cycle commences. This is because it is known to play a role in egg quality, in egg numbers and in embryo implantation. Many women don’t have any symptoms of endometriosis and, yet, when an investigation is done through a laparoscopy, they are found to have stage three or four endometriosis, which will certainly negative affect the outcome of IVF treatment.

Adenomyosis occurs when the tissue lining of the uterus grows into the uterine wall, causing the uterus to enlarge. This too interferes with implantation, especially if it allows the embryo to implant into the muscle instead of the basal layer of the uterus.

Blocked fallopian tubes can also have an impact on IVF success, even though IVF bypasses the fallopian tubes. This is because a blocked fallopian tube become filled with toxic fluid and if this fluid gets into the uterus, it can kill an embryo.

At Medfem Fertility Clinic, we investigate all these and other possibilities that may affect the outcome of an IVF cycle before attempting an IVF treatment cycles, ensuring our patients have the very best chance of IVF success.

Your best chance of successful IVF

Since the 1980’s, Medfem Fertility Clinic’s team has assisted couples struggling with infertility to experience the joy of parenthood, helping to bring more than 18,000 babies into the world.

Our team are committed and understanding team of medical professionals, who have the experience, knowledge and desire to provide you with the best chance of a successful outcome at the end of your treatment.

If you would like to meet one of our fertility specialists, simply click here to book an initial consultation or contact us telephonically on +27 (11) 463 2244.

Our Fertility Specialists can also meet with You During a Virtual Consultation Via Zoom or Skype. Click here to book a virtual consultation now.

We look forward to meeting you!

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