Self Care During IVF

February 1, 2019

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)