When a woman begins the infertility treatment process, her Reproductive Endocrinologist (RE) will create a clinical plan for her. While this plan will cover the medical aspects of treatment, it is also important that each patient prepare her body for conception, which often involves improving overall health. As a result, many patients like to supplement their infertility treatment program with vitamins, acupuncture, healthy eating, living a stress-free lifestyle, and more.
A patient’s first stop for healthy lifestyle advice should always be their physician, but another great resource for patients is the Shady Grove Fertility Facebook community. At 14,500+ members strong, the community provides patients with support and information from people who have been in –or are in – the same situation.
On July 17th, our Facebook community entered into a discussion about lifestyle recommendations for the infertility treatment process. Almost everyone recommended alleviating as much stress as possible from your life:
- “I have had three successful FETs. In regards to preparation, I didn’t do anything special; however, I think stress will play a huge factor. Do whatever you need to do to keep stress to a minimum…” – Lauren
- “I started watching what I ate more closely and planned four stress- free days to relax afterwards. My baby is due February 22. I truly feel the key is positive thinking and relaxation.” – Jennifer
- “Stress-free, stay positive. Stay in bed for a few days after…” – Anna
Another way that SGF patients prepared for treatment was to participate in yoga or acupuncture. For acupuncture, patients will have appointments in the month leading up to the appointment and even on the day of transfer – both before and after the procedure.
- “I got acupuncture twice a week for a month and then immediately before and after the transfer for our FET. I had two failed fresh cycles and a miscarriage at 11 weeks before our successful FET but that is how we got our beautiful 11-month-old…” – Sarah
- “I lost 20 pounds and went for regular massages. Did my best to relax and take it easy after the transfer…”– Lesley
- “I did yoga and acupuncture. I’m not sure if that’s what worked or the fact that it relaxed me.” – Caitlin
Learn more about holistic care for fertility services offered by Pulling Down the Moon.
In addition to de-stressing, changing one’s eating habits was very popular among SGF Facebook fans. While no one dietary plan is best, eating healthy and getting the appropriate amount of daily nutrition is highly recommended. Beyond simply eating healthy, patients also recommended eating everything from pineapple core to certain varieties of nuts:
- “We watched a funny movie when we got home, we chose Step Brothers, we also did an acupuncture treatment in the morning before and right after the transfer and ate pineapple core.” – Leah
- “I didn’t do anything in particular other than start working out and watching what I ate…..worked for me and our FET after one failed fresh embryo transfer…..we’re due in November!” – Jessica
- “I ate Brazil nuts and pineapple core. I had three unsuccessful IVF cycles prior to this successful one.” – Melissa
- “I gave up gluten, caffeine, alcohol, processed foods and extra sugars, AND artificial sweeteners. I also switched to all organic full-fat dairy, and then started eating pineapple the day of the transfer, and for the next five days. I also did a 48 hour modified bed rest, just to play it extra safe (and because I like it when people wait on me, and do all the cooking.) A lot? Yes. But I’m currently feeding a very handsome nine-month-old his dinner, so totally worth it.” – Ashley
- “I ate pineapple and walnuts every day during my treatment cycle.” – Abby
Vitamins are a particularly hot topic in the fertility community and many of the healthy foods that patients recommend are specifically selected because of the vitamins that they possess. Physicians and researchers alike have been asking themselves for years if vitamins improve fertility or result in a healthier pregnancy. To read more about what SGF physicians think about vitamins, Chinese herbs, supplements, and a healthy pregnancy, check out our recent article, Vitamins for Fertility and Healthy Pregnancy. One of our Facebook fans discussed how she tried a variety of vitamins and supplements:
- “Where to begin…I did all of the crazies! I did castor oil packs the month prior. Acupuncture for a few months before…I took the following supplements, calcium/magnesium, omega, multi-vitamins, folic acid, iodine (read up on that one). I didn’t take iodine the first transfer, just the transfer that took. I sat on my butt for three days and ate pineapple core for five days straight. Most of all, I prayed, prayed, and then prayed some more. It took us one day shy of being married for 10 years to finally hear our nurse Chris say, “Honey, you are very pregnant!” We now have 13-month old boy and girl twins…” – Tina
While many of our patients’ recommendations cannot be medically-guaranteed, there is no harm in trying yoga, acupuncture, healthy eating, vitamins, etc., provided that your physician is consulted and that it doesn’t cause you any adverse effects. Eat healthy, exercise regularly, and enjoy your pineapple!
Have you been trying to conceive for over a year? Shady Grove Fertility’s team of dedicated New Patient Liaisons are available to answer your questions and schedule a consultation with a physician. Call 877-971-7755 or click to schedule an appointment.