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What all should you follow while undergoing an infertility treatment?

Though there are no specific restrictions for women availing assisted reproductive technology, some precautionary measures yield better results.

Our society is riddled with misconceptions about marriage, pregnancy, adoption, so on and so forth. A set of notions are attached with fertility treatments too. Even visiting an infertility expert is looked down upon. However, with pregnancy complications increasing by the day, nobody can deny the growing necessity of infertility clinics these days. Here is a low-down on what all one should maintain while undergoing an infertility treatment.

"As such, there aren't any specific restrictions," said Dr Anagha Karkhanis, Director of Cocoon Fertility. Medically, if someone is unfit for treatment e.g. severe diabetes, severe kidney or liver disease, uncontrolled psychiatric illnesses, fulminant AIDS etc, there will be generic restrictions for them. But for any woman who is within 50 years of age and any man who is within 55 years of age can legally be offered a treatment.

In spite of saying that there aren't any specific restrictions for anyone under treatment, it is better to eat right. There are certain foods that one must clearly avoid to improve the chances of pregnancy. Here's the list:

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  • Refined Carbohydrates: Refined and processed carbohydrates affect insulin levels, that lead to hormonal imbalances. It is better to choose whole grains instead of white rice or processed cereals.
  • Refined sugar.
  • Saturated fat and trans-fat: A study by the Harvard School of Public Health indicated that women who cut on saturated fat intake may have a better chance of having a baby via IVF.
  • Fast foods: Avoid them as much as you can since they contain high percentage of trans fat, sodium,cholesterol which may cause obesity.
  • Caffeine: If there's anything good you can do to protect your body, reduce caffeine. Several studies have proven that those who consume more than 5 cups of coffee a day are unlikely to conceive.

Apart from food, other things to observe rightly for those undergoing fertility treatments include:

  • Practise safe sex: A common query that people come up with is, if one can have sex during fertility treatments. Yes, you can. However, practise safe sex, explained Dr Alka Kumar, Consultant Obstetrician and Gynecologist, S.L. Raheja Hospital. Remember, if a couple is undergoing IUI treatment, it is advised to avoid intercourse following the day of 'trigger shot'. These are injections that allows the egg to reach maturity and then be ovulated in the fallopian tubes.
  • Yoga: While it is extremely important to perform certain exercises to improve your fertility, make sure you don't overdo it! Bhramari Pranayama, Supta Baddha Konasana,Sarvangasana can be helpful.
  • Meditation: Meditation not only helps in calming your mind but is extremely good for your sexual health. Try to bring your focus on a single object by following a breath, or looking at candlelight.
  • Learn to manage stress: Stress increases cortisol and adrenaline levels. These increased levels of cortisol and adrenaline result in decreasing sexual desire and performance. Try to distract yourself from the trigger of your stress by listening to music, talking long walks, improving sleep patterns and overall lifestyle will help.

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