Self Care During IVF

Proper Sleep:

  • Necessary for rest, stress reduction, & proper hormone production, aim for 7-8 per night.

  • Try a “yoga nidra for sleep” MP3 on Insight Meditation Timer or acupuncture for trouble sleeping.

Stress Reduction:

  • Stress & anxiety have been shown to negatively impact pregnancy outcomes.

  • Take some time to be quiet: hiking along a beautiful trail, join a meditation group (One Breath in Scottsdale) or try a fertility focused app (Expectful, Mindful IVF), journal your feelings and what you have to be grateful for. Acupuncture can also help reduce these symptoms.


  • Has been shown to improve stress, weight, cycle regularity, ovulation, mood, & pregnancy outcomes.

  • Find a friend or join a gym, but find some things you like to do and do them 45 minute 6 days per week (dance, yoga, pilates, weight training, walking/hiking, swimming)


  • Both underweight/overweight can contribute to menstrual cycle irregularity, lack of ovulation & fertility issues, including miscarriages & poor IVF outcome.

  • Gaining/losing even 5-10% of body weight can improve these parameters.

  • There is no one “right” diet to follow or harmful foods to avoid, save for sugar, alcohol (sugar), refined foods (sugar).

  • Blood sugar issues, “pre-diabetes” or metabolic syndrome, can interfere with fertility

  • Try 80/20 rule

  • 80% of the time: eat healthful, organic, whole foods diet

  • Mediterranean diet is a great guide to a healthful diet, especially for women with PCOS, overweight, or blood sugar issues

  • The Complete Mediterranean Cookbook, America’s Test Kitchen

  • 20% of the time: have your cake and eat it too

  • To improve fertility limit caffeine to one cup per day, preferably decaf or green tea



  • May help regulate cycles, improve ovulation & egg quality, reduce miscarriage, and, when combined with IVF/IUI, decrease side effects of medications & improve pregnancy outcomes by decreasing stress & anxiety, improving pelvic blood flow & decreasing uterine contractions.

  • Typical scheduling of sessions consists of at least 4 weekly appointments prior to egg retrieval and 4 weekly appointments prior to embryo transfer with acupuncture on the day of transfer at the IVF clinic.

  • Look for practitioners that are fellows of the American Board of Oriental Medicine (FABORM)

Prepared by Leigh Lewis, ND, LAc | |