03.Natural treatment options
Sometime lifestyle changes can resolve your problem naturally or improve the outcome of IVF treatment. Consider these options:
- Balanced diet and exercise - obesity in women is a risk factor in pregnancy and delivery, and weight loss may improve general health and in turn, help with ovulation problems. Obesity can also cause fertility problems in men. The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists advises doctors not to start assisted reproductive treatment for women with a BMI of 35 or higher.
- Vitamins – for men with a high percentage of sperm DNA damage, sometimes vitamin C, vitamin E and zinc supplements are suggested. Vitamin D deficiency in women may cause problems and while there is no evidence that multivitamin supplements help with fertility problems, in general it probably can’t hurt to take a pregnancy supplement.
- Alcohol - is not advised in pregnancy and can cause weight gain. For men, excessive alcohol consumption can damage sperm.
- Smoking – if one or both partners smoke, your chances of conceiving decrease dramatically.
- Acupuncture – some research suggests that acupuncture before and after embryo transfer can increase the blood flow in the uterus, and, therefore, help with implantation. To date, the evidence for this is inconclusive. However, there is an indication that acupuncture can help to relieve stress and in dealing with the side effects of the treatment.
A number of other natural options, such as naturopathy, Chinese herbs or chiropractic are available - but there's no conclusive evidence they help. If you want to try them, be mindful not to lose too much time with natural treatments before seeking medical treatment as your fertility and chances of conception decrease dramatically with time, especially if you are aged 35 or over.