An increasing number of couples are now experiencing problems with infertility with reports suggesting that some countries, the numbers affected could be as high as one in six. Couples will go to any length to conceive a baby often putting a strain on themselves and their relationship. If couples are experiencing problems with fertility, they should consult their doctor to get an accurate diagnosis. Often it is as a result of their lifestyle in a busy and stressful world, and small changes can increase the female’s chance of becoming pregnant.

However, if this fails, other routes are available such as adoption or in vitro fertilisation (IVF). It is possible to get IVF treatment in Bangkok, a common destination for couples looking to overcome why might otherwise be prohibitive costs. Other forms of fertility treatment are available such as ICSI, another type of IVF treatment that can help couples where the male suffers from low sperm count, or low morphology or motility. IUI and PGB treatments are also available, and you should speak to your consultant to decide which route is best for you.

Before embarking any form of fertility treatment, couples need to aware of the strain and emotional roller-coaster that they are about to start. Fertility treatment is physically, emotionally and financially taxing. It is essential that you prepare yourself both physically and emotionally before beginning treatment. Try to obtain as much information as possible by speaking to medical professionals and others who have been in a similar position to yourself. Here are five things to consider before beginning IVF Treatment.

5 things to consider before beginning IVF Treatment:

1. Research what is involved

Knowing exactly what is involved is crucial in preparing yourself for what may lie ahead. Where possible, try to understand each step of the process and don’t be frightened to ask questions about things that you don’t understand. It can’t be emphasized enough how emotionally stressful IVF treatment can be so being well informed is one of the best ways of dealing with this. Also, be aware that IVF treatment can cause physical changes, something that can surprise many couples.

Success rates vary not only from country to country but from clinic to clinic too. Remember, IVF treatment is expensive, so you need to find a clinic that will give you the best chances of conceiving. Most private medical insurance doesn’t cover fertility treatment, so it is crucial to know what the treatment will cost will be. Remember, there are no guarantees that it will work the first time, and you may need more than one course of treatment before you become pregnant.

2. Prepare yourself physically and emotionally

Before beginning any fertility treatment, you should try to get your body in the best possible shape both physically and emotionally. One of the best ways to do this is to adopt a balanced diet, avoiding alcohol, tobacco and non-prescription drugs. Drinking more than four units of alcohol a week will significantly reduce your chances of becoming pregnant while smoking reduces the chances of conceiving by a staggering 60%.

Repeated studies prove that women who are in the best physical and emotional shape have the highest chance of success with a course of IVF treatment. Being medically obese will also hamper your chances of success so commencing a safe weight loss program before beginning IVF will be advantageous. Emotional well-being is also critical, so try to keep stress levels to an absolute minimum to give yourself the best possible chance of becoming pregnant.

3. Timing of treatment is vital to increasing your chances of success

We keep emphasising the point that IVF is stressful, and this is quite deliberate. When you are thinking about commencing treatment, you should avoid any periods of major life change, such as moving house or changing career. Stress has a negative impact on fertility, so it must be kept to a minimum where possible, although it is impossible to avoid stress entirely.

Depending on your relationship with your employer, it may be worth discussing your situation and plans with them. They may be able to assist with minimising work-related stress. They should also be aware that you will need to make multiple visits to the IVF clinic when you are undergoing treatment. Ideally, your boss will be understanding and accommodating of this as this will reduce your stress levels. Making plans several months in advance is advisable to ensure that you and your employer as well prepared as possible.

4. Ensure that you have a solid support network

IVF treatment will inevitably take its toll on the woman both physically and emotionally but remember that the male partner will also feel the emotional strain too. Building a strong support network of trusted friends and family who will offer reassurance and support during challenging times is vital. Be aware that in addition to the natural emotions that you experience during the rollercoaster of trying to conceive, fertility drugs will also affect your mood.

Try to inform your family, friends and partner beforehand about what they may expect from you during your IVF treatment so as it doesn’t come as a shock. Friends, family and your partner will be required to offer emotional support throughout your treatment. Also, your doctor may be able to recommend local support groups. Online patient forums can also provide a virtual support system.

5. Remain positive but retain an element of realism

Science and experience tell us that females under the age of 35 have the highest chance of becoming pregnant. It is the case with both natural and assisted pregnancies, and it is crucial that you are aware of this. The older the woman gets, the less chance she has of becoming pregnant with success rates declining rapidly with age. Remaining positive along the journey is essential, and you should remain confident of your chances of success.

However, you must also remain realistic and accept that age, general health, lifestyle and weight will also play a part in success rates. The earlier you become aware of any problems with you or your partner’s reproductive health, especially if you are over 30, the higher the possibility of a positive outcome.

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