For some couples dealing with infertility, In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) is the only way to build the family of their dreams. Using state-of-the-art technology, IVF offers infertile couples their highest chances of getting pregnant by allowing fertility specialists to bypass many of the issues that prevent natural conception. But while the physical effects of IVF are well known (hello, hormones!), there are some other things you should know before starting a cycle.

Below, the fertility specialists of UNC Fertility cover six things you should know prior to starting an IVF cycle.

  1. Your Chances Increase with a Healthy Lifestyle

It’s well known that being underweight or overweight negatively affects fertility. But while maintaining a healthy weight is important, it’s not the only aspect of your health that can impact your fertility. Everything from the quality and quantity of your sleep to your diet can impact your chances of becoming pregnant. The fertility specialists of UNC Fertility recommend maintaining an active lifestyle, reducing alcohol consumptions, getting 6-8 hours of quality sleep per night, and maintaining a healthy diet. These steps will help increase you and your partner’s chances of producing healthy eggs and sperm.

  1. You May Need Multiple Cycles

Many couples who are beginning their fertility journey think they’ll get pregnant on their first IVF or IUI cycle. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. While some couples do get pregnant after their first round of IVF, most couples will need multiple rounds of IVF to successfully achieve a pregnancy. For couples undergoing three rounds of IVF, their chances of a live birth are between 43 and 60 percent, compared to 20 to 30 percent for just one cycle. At UNC Fertility, we offer multi-cycle discount programs to patients in order to give them the highest likelihood of bringing home a baby for the lowest cost.

  1. You Can always Take a Break

Infertility can be physically and emotionally draining. The stress and discomfort associated with fertility medications, invasive procedures, and the strain placed on the couple’s relationship can all become overwhelming. Know that it’s OK to take a break from fertility treatment – there is no need to roll into another cycle right away if you’re feeling drained. You and your partner’s wellbeing is more important than powering through.

  1. Find Ways to Keep Stress in Check

While there is no scientific evidence showing that stress negatively affects fertility, it’s definitely something that every couple undergoing fertility treatments will experience. The stress can take a toll on your work, relationships, and mental health, so it’s important to develop some stress busting techniques. The fertility experts of UNC Fertility recommend mediation, yoga, journaling, or other activities that you enjoy.

  1. Your Relationships May Take a Hit

When you’re dealing with infertility, a solid support system is critical. Unfortunately, many couples dealing with infertility often see their personal relationships suffer. Whether it’s being unable to attend certain events because they’re too painful, avoiding speaking to friends because of what you’re going through, or having to decline dinner invitations because you have a standing appointment with your fertility medications, couples going through fertility treatments can see their relationships dissolve.

  1. Timing Matters

If you’re entering a period of high stress or change (like the holidays or a career move), it might be a good idea to postpone your cycle. IVF can be stressful as it is, so adding additional sources of stress to the process can be emotionally draining. Try waiting until things in your personal and professional life settle down so that you’re better able to deal with the challenges of an IVF cycle.

The emotional and physical stress can be draining, but going into the process informed and prepared can help mitigate some of the stress associated with fertility treatment. Still have questions regarding IVF? Contact the fertility specialists of UNC Fertility at 919-908-0000 or Request an Appointment.