In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)
In Vitro Fertilization, commonly known as IVF, is Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) for aspiring parents who want to grow their families. The IVF process involves extracting eggs and sperm and manually combining them in a controlled environment — an IVF laboratory. The resulting embryo(s) are either implanted in the uterus (or frozen, depending on your medical team’s advice).
While IVF is commonly used in cases of infertility, it can be an effective option for those with known hereditary or genetic conditions, or patients who would like to create embryos and start their family at a later date. It is also an optimal fertility treatment if the male partner has a declining sperm count or impaired motility. Your specialist will help you determine if you are an ideal candidate for IVF treatment. If there are unexplained fertility challenges, then you may opt to try IUI treatment first and proceed to IVF if it is unsuccessful. IVF is often used as fertility treatment for the following conditions:
If you have blocked fallopian tubes
If you have endometriosis or scar tissue that make it difficult to conceive
If you have PCOS and don’t ovulate regularly
If you have low egg reserves and want to increase the chances of conception
If you have experienced repetitive pregnancy loss
If you are a same sex couple or single by choice
If you are using donor eggs or sperm to conceive
If you want to extract and preserve your eggs for later implantation
If there is male factor infertility
Common Questions About IVF Treatment
Below you will find the answers to the most commonly asked questions about In Vitro Fertilization (IVF).
Is In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) painful?
- Most IVF patients report that the retrieval process is mildly uncomfortable, however, the end result far outweighs any discomfort.
Can my weight impact my IVF treatment?
- Yes. When it comes to body fat, there’s a sweet spot for optimal fertility. However, this has less to do with the scale and more to do with your ratio of muscle to body fat. For example, women who have a BMI of 19 or under can take a longer time to conceive. Whereas, overweight women are more likely to produce immature eggs, have a poor response to medication and have fewer eggs/oocytes retrieved. Your naturopathic doctor will provide a detailed plan to improve your body composition during your preconception plan.
Do I need to change my vitamins?
Most likely, yes. In addition to using specific and timed acupuncture protocols, your Conceive Health naturopathic doctor will review all your current supplements and ensure that you are not taking anything that could negatively impact your IVF or IUI treatment. For example, certain herbs and supplements can interfere with hormones used for ovarian stimulation and reduce their effect. We also customize a lifestyle, diet and supplement routine to ensure that everything is in place for optimal egg and sperm quality.
Can I exercise during IVF treatment?
- Yes — in moderation. We always recommend a preconception exercise and fitness routine leading up to IVF cycle, which will be reduced while you are in treatment. In fact, weight lifting 3 x a week for 30-40 minutes stimulates new mitochondrial growth and is great for your body and baby.
Can I drink coffee and/or wine during treatment?
Yes and no. Wine is a definite no as it has been shown to impair egg quality, even in moderation. With coffee, minimization and moderation is key.
Can I use cannabis during treatment?
The long term research is mixed, but ingesting cannabis through smoke is detrimental — it concentrates in the egg and is carcinogenic. We recommend avoiding it during your preconception plan and throughout pregnancy.
When is IVF acupuncture performed?
- If you are not undergoing an IVF cycle yet, it’s generally once a week. If you in IVF treatment or a medicated and/or monitored cycle, then we recommend receiving treatments from your Conceive Health naturopath or acupuncturist twice per week.
How can Conceive Health support my treatment?
We help you prepare for IVF treatment by optimizing egg and sperm quality — before the process begins. Our integrated approach helps to support follicular growth, build endometrial lining and improve the chances of implantation. As your fertility partner, we also offer an additional check-in point so that you are supported throughout the entire process — from the first appointment, through to pregnancy and beyond.