Vitamin D Supplements May Help Women Conceive, New Study Claims

vitamin D and fertility

An association between Vitamin D and fertility and conception rates has been identified in a new study. Women undergoing fertility treatment were shown to have an increased chance of success when their Vitamin D levels were adequate, compared to those who were lacking in the Vitamin.

Now, researchers are asking for a randomised clinical trial to be carried out, in order to investigate Vitamin D’s role in boosting live birth rates.

Understanding the results of the study

The review and meta-analysis carried out at the Birmingham University, delved into the live birth success rate of women who had undergone Assisted Reproduction Treatment (ART). The results, published within the Human Reproduction journal, revealed those with adequate Vitamin D levels, were one third more likely to deliver a healthy, live baby.

Data for 2,700 women undergoing fertility treatment such as IVF, was analysed during the study. It was discovered that a staggering three out of four women who were trying to conceive, had insufficient Vitamin D levels. Just 26% were deemed to have sufficient Vitamin D.

The link was discovered via blood tests. The researchers were keen to stress that they hadn’t looked into the effectiveness of using Vitamin D supplements to increase fertility. However, the discovery does support the fact that many women find it easier to conceive during the summer months.

Vitamin D supplements are also recommended by medical experts during pregnancy. So, it does now seem the vitamin is proven to have beneficial effects both for conception and for a healthy pregnancy.

What is the relationship between Vitamin D and fertility?

At present, little is known as to why Vitamin D plays a role in increased fertility and live birth rates. There is a theory that it could boost embryo implantation success, or it could simply be an insight into the overall health of the woman which helps.

There has also been a study carried out on mice which revealed those with insufficient levels of Vitamin D had trouble forming normal, healthy, mature eggs. They also showed to have an underdeveloped uterus.

Women should be wary of rushing out for Vitamin D supplements

Although a clear link has been revealed, experts are warning women not to rush out and stock up on Vitamin D supplements. Further research needs to be carried out to determine whether supplements could be a safe, effective way to boost fertility.

The trouble is, it is possible to overdose on Vitamin D and this could cause numerous health issues. In particular, an excess level of the vitamin could cause excessive calcium build-up, which in turn can damage the kidney’s and heart, as well as cause the bones to weaken.

So, while the new research does seem to suggest Vitamin D supplements could prove useful in boosting fertility in women, clinical trials will need to be carried out. In the meantime, those experiencing difficulties conceiving have numerous fertility treatment options available. Book a consultation today to see which treatments could prove most effective for you.

What to Expect During a Fertility Assessment

fertility assessment

Taking the plunge to visit a fertility specialist can be daunting; especially when you have no idea what to expect. Before you can have IVF or any other fertility treatment, you will need to undergo a fertility assessment. This ensures you are recommended the most suitable treatment and your chances of conception are maximised.

To reduce your fears, it can help to find out as much as you possibly can about the fertility assessment process. So, here you’ll discover everything you need to know before you make an appointment.

What is a fertility assessment?

A fertility assessment is designed to delve into the couple’s medical, sexual and physical history, to establish the true cause of the fertility issues faced. It isn’t until the cause has been identified that a suitable treatment plan can be created.

Women are assessed to see whether ovulation is normal, while men have their semen analysed to detect any possible issues.

Of course, the assessment also gives you the opportunity to ask any questions you may have. Once an ideal treatment plan has been identified, the specialist will be able to explain the process and what to expect throughout your fertility treatment journey.

Understanding the ovarian assessment

When checking ovarian function, a fertility specialist will begin by taking blood tests. Ovarian function is controlled by the hormones released by the pituitary part of the brain. One hormone in particular, the Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH), is crucial for fertility as it is responsible for signalling the ovaries to produce an egg-filled follicle. If the level of FSH is high during the earlier part of the menstrual cycle, it can indicate an issue with the ovaries failing to respond to the hormonal signal. This is why blood tests tend to be taken within the first 3 days of the woman’s menstrual cycle.

As you age, the number of eggs the ovaries produce naturally decreases, along with the level of fertility-enhancing hormones. Therefore, the blood tests help to determine how many eggs could potentially be collected for fertility treatment and whether stimulating drugs could be used as a viable treatment option.

As well as blood tests, ovarian ultrasounds are also commonly carried out to determine both the size of the ovaries and the Antral follicle count. Prior to the menopause, the ovaries can shrink and if this occurs, it can decrease the effectiveness of the stimulation drugs used within IVF.

The semen analysis process

The male partner will undergo semen analysis during the assessment. After a sample is provided, it will be analysed to determine sperm count, volume, PH levels, morphology and motility.

The results of the analysis will help the specialist diagnose any potential problems, determine the likelihood of pregnancy and identify potential treatment options. The results will typically be mailed through the post, before they are discussed at your consultation.

Virology assessment

Finally, before a treatment plan can begin, both partners will need to undergo a virology assessment. This involves numerous screening tests including Hepatitis B and C, HIV, Rubella antibodies and a smear test for the woman. Once the results of the virology tests come back, treatment can then be arranged.

Other assessments include a HyCoSy, which is an ultrasound examination of the woman’s fallopian tubes and a 3D Aquascan of the uterus walls, to ensure a successful conception is possible. We also perform genetic testing – although this is not strictly an assessment of the couple’s fertility, it is a way of screening for disorders such as cystic fibrosis or Huntingdon’s disease. As you can see, the fertility assessment is an extensive and lengthy process. Therefore, it is important to undergo the assessment as soon as possible if you want to maximise your chances of conceiving.

To arrange your fertility assessment, email us at info@chilternfertility.co.uk or call us on 01865 782856

Sharp rise in IVF treatment abroad

IVF treatment abroad

The number of women seeking IVF treatment abroad has risen dramatically. Largely thought to be down to the recent cutbacks in free IVF treatment in the UK, what many patients do not realise is that treatment abroad does carry some potential risks and considerations which should be carefully evaluated.

Below, we’ll look at why couples are choosing to seek IVF abroad and the things you should consider before heading to another country for treatment.

The cost factor – patients try to avoid hidden costs of IVF

Cost is by far the biggest reason women are seeking IVF treatment abroad. In the UK, many are finding it much more difficult to gain access to NHS treatment due to the recent cutbacks.

Private IVF treatment in the UK can seem very costly in comparison to the prices listed on websites for clinics abroad; even taking into account the travel and accommodation expenses. So, if the cost of IVF can be a lot cheaper in other countries, why shouldn’t you consider travelling to undergo treatment? Well, there’s a number of reasons you should exercise caution when seeking treatment abroad.

Understanding the potential risks of seeking IVF treatment abroad

What many patients do not realise is that different countries do not have the same regulations as the UK in terms of fertility treatments. Therefore, without first researching what the regulations are, patients could find themselves in a tricky situation later in life.

For example, those requiring donor sperm or eggs, won’t necessarily be able to know where they came from. Some countries operate on an anonymous basis where the donor can remain completely anonymous. This would mean the child wouldn’t be able to find out who their biological mother or father was.

You should also consider the qualifications and experience of the clinic. As with cosmetic surgery procedures, some foreign clinics offer lower cost treatments because they don’t have the same experience or qualifications as the specialists within the UK. So, you may be offered an unbelievably low rate, purely because the clinic doesn’t have a lot of experience with IVF. This is an important factor to look out for as the less experienced and qualified they are, the less chance the IVF will work, and the more chance complications will occur.

It’s also worth noting that not all foreign clinics avoid hidden costs. So, just because you’re heading out of the UK for treatment, it doesn’t mean you won’t have to pay additional fees and the tempting price listed on the website might not be quite the deal it seems.

As you can see, there are numerous factors to take into account before jetting off abroad for IVF. You also need to consider the support you’ll be offered abroad. IVF treatment can have a significant psychological impact and if any problems do occur, you’ll need to be able to contact the specialist. Not all private clinics in the UK charge extortionate fees and finance plans, and IVF packages may be available.

Infertility and you: the psychological impact of infertility

psychological impact of infertility

Infertility may be a physical issue, but its psychological effects can be utterly devastating. Studies carried out over the years have revealed that couples who are unable to conceive a child, are three times more likely to separate. McFly’s star, Harry Judd, has recently opened up about the impact IVF had on his marriage, revealing the psychological impact fertility treatment can have.

There’s no denying infertility places a great deal of stress onto a relationship, but it can also cause a lot of other emotional problems which many coupes do struggle with. Here, we’ll look at the full psychological impact of infertility on couples.

Many fertility patients experience shame and anger

Shame and anger are two very common emotional reactions to infertility. Men in particular may want to keep their fertility problems private, preferring it if nobody found out. Many feel like a less of a man if they are unable to father a child. Even if the fertility issues aren’t male-related, they can still feel helpless and angry at how unfair the situation is.

Women can also feel shame and anger if the issues are caused because of problems within the womb. Pregnancy is thought of as such a natural thing, that for many patients it can feel as though their body is really letting them down.

There is a tendency for couples to want to keep infertility issues to themselves due to shame. They feel alienated because they can’t have children and feel their friends and family wouldn’t understand; especially if they have children themselves.

The emotional toll of fertility treatments

There’s a number of reasons fertility treatments can take a significant emotional toll on a relationship. The treatments themselves can sometimes be difficult, while the waiting times can cause a high level of anxiety. Then there’s the financial pressure placed upon the couple. Fertility treatments, particularly IVF, are notoriously expensive.

So, when you combine the financial pressures onto the anxiety and stress felt throughout the treatment, it’s easy to see why it can prove too much for couples. This is especially the case if the treatments fail.

Within the relationship, one or both partners may withdraw from one another. Arguments can become a lot more frequent and male partners may feel particularly helpless and like they’re failing their spouse. Another issue infertility can also cause is a negative impact on a couple’s sex life. It becomes more about trying to conceive than a pleasurable act. The fear, stress and anxiety can also cause the sex drive to plummet. Issues with sex further contribute to damage the relationship and can eventually lead to separation.

Potential positive psychological effects

While infertility does have the potential to cause significant psychological damage within a relationship, it can also have the opposite effect. Many couples report that issues with fertility actually made them stronger.

Studies carried out over the years have revealed that the majority of couples do stay together after infertility treatment. Those who do separate have stated the infertility issues were not the major factor behind the breakup.

Overall, the psychological impact of infertility can be devastating. Those who do struggle are encouraged to seek professional help. It is also important for couples to recognise when there is a problem and seek advice as soon as possible to prevent it causing significant damage within the relationship.

There is more to fertility care than IVF

Buckinghamshire fertility care

When it comes to fertility treatment, IVF is often thought of as the only route to go down. However, did you know there’s actually a wide range of fertility treatment options available?

Over the years, a number of effective, advanced fertility treatments have been developed. The type of treatment each couple requires will depend entirely upon the cause of their fertility issues. Here, we’ll take a look at some of the different treatment options available at Chiltern Fertility.

Fertility Drugs

Fertility drugs are largely prescribed for men with extremely poor-quality sperm or women who do not ovulate frequently enough. They’re given in either pill form or via injections and they basically release hormones which signal the ovaries to increase egg production. They also help the uterus to make it easier for embryo implantation.

The injections tend to have a slightly higher success rate, with approximately up to 50% of women becoming pregnant after treatment. Fertility pills have a slightly lower 40%-45% success rate.

Fertility drugs are usually the first option for couples due to their convenience and low cost.  Women with blocked or damaged fallopian tubes should avoid this type of fertility treatment. They also come with numerous potential risks which you should discuss with a fertility specialist prior to taking them.

Surgery

Surgery may be recommended if your fertility issues are caused by anatomical abnormalities, blocked fallopian tubes or to remove scarring caused by conditions such as endometriosis.

The success rate of surgery varies significantly depending upon the severity of the problem, as well as a woman’s age. There are a lot of different surgical procedures used to correct fertility issues, with some being more invasive than others. This means the risks, recovery time and cost will vary depending upon the procedure.

Donor Sperm

Donor sperm is most commonly used for couples where the male is experiencing infertility.

However, it can also be used for single women, lesbian couples and in situations where the male is worried about passing along a genetic disorder. Sperm is taken from a donor male, before being implanted into the woman.

It’s estimated approximately 15% of women become pregnant after the first cycle. The majority of women, however (80%), experience success after cycle six.

Donor Eggs

Donor eggs are used for female-related infertility issues. It could be your ovaries are damaged, you’ve undergone chemotherapy, or you may have a genetic disorder you don’t want to pass to your child. Whatever the reason, donor eggs are taken from another woman’s womb and then fertilised with the male partner’s sperm. Once fertilised, the eggs are implanted into the womb.

The success rates are pretty impressive, with 55% of women who have received fresh eggs going on to give birth. Frozen eggs have a slightly reduced success rate of around 34%. The procedure is one of the more expensive treatments available and you will need to take a strict drug regimen to ensure the womb is receptive to the egg.

The above are just some of the common fertility treatments offered. As each couple is different, at Chiltern Fertility we will tailor a potential treatment plan to fit your individual circumstances. The earlier patients seek help for fertility issues, the more successful treatment is likely to be. Contact us now to book a consultation: email us at info@chilternfertility.co.uk or call us on 01865 782856.

Why your sleep patterns might be affecting sperm quality

A new Chinese study published within the Journal of Sleep, has revealed sleep duration has a significant impact on sperm quality. Interestingly, it isn’t just too little sleep which can affect the quality of your sperm – too much can also be harmful.

Below, we’ll look at the link between sleep patterns and sperm quality, as well as other lifestyle factors which can ultimately impact male fertility.

The link between sleep and male fertility

The latest study into sperm quality and sleep took 2020 samples from 796 male volunteers. Some of the men slept for over nine hours a night, some for seven to seven and a half hours per night and a final group who got six and a half or less hours sleep a night. It was discovered those who received approximately seven hours had much better quality sperm.

The men who received nine hours of sleep a night had 41% less High DNA Stainability, while those with six and a half or less hours had 30% less than those in the optimal sleep band. So, interestingly, too much sleep was found to be even more detrimental to sperm quality than too little sleep.

Similar findings were presented in a 2013 study, which showed men who didn’t get enough sleep could develop issues with fertility.  However, the latest study is one of the few to highlight the damage too much sleep could also have on sperm quality.

Other lifestyle factors which can affect male fertility

Sleep isn’t the only thing which can affect male fertility. There are other lifestyle factors which could lower the quality of your sperm including:

Obesity – Obesity is known to cause a wide range of health complications and according to a new study, it can have a serious impact on sperm quality, as well as quantity. The Indian study revealed that men with a BMI of over 30, had poorer quality and a lower quantity of sperm than those with a healthier BMI. Not only that, but it also contributes towards decreased motility and an increased number of sperm defects.

This means that couples looking to start fertility treatment may need to focus on losing weight prior to starting it.

Excessive exercise – We all know exercise is essential for good health, but did you know too much exercise can be detrimental for your sperm quality? Research carried out on triathletes, discovered they had a much poorer sperm quality than those who participated in other sports such as tennis.

So, regular exercise is unlikely to affect your fertility, but excessive exercise, particularly if you have a BMI of 18 or less, could be extremely damaging.

Heavy drinking and smoking – It has been discovered that men who regularly drink heavily, have a lower sperm count than those who don’t. According to official guidelines, men should aim to drink no more than 14 units of alcohol a week, ideally spread out over 3 days. If you stick to this advice, your fertility shouldn’t be affected.

Similarly, smoking can have a negative impact on sperm quality. The nicotine in tobacco is proven to lower sperm quality, while the thousands of other chemicals in cigarettes are also sure to play havoc with fertility.

These are just some of the lifestyle factors which can affect male fertility. The good news is, most are easily reversible if you make the necessary changes. If you’re worried your lifestyle choice may be contributing to issues with fertility, talk to your doctor or a fertility specialist today to see what changes need to be made.

The history of IVF

history of IVF

The British county where IVF was first performed anywhere in the world has now officially scrapped free fertility treatment, as part of a range of health service budgetary cuts taking place throughout the country.

Peterborough has become the third area in the UK to stop providing free fertility treatment. The CCG reports the move will save £700,000 a year in the county alone. In light of the recent withdrawal of free IVF cycles, we take a look at the history of IVF, this ground-breaking and life-changing treatment.

Where it all began

Since its introduction in 1978, IVF technology has dramatically evolved and improved. Though success rates are still not as high as both patients and fertility specialists would like, it is much more effective today than it was during its introduction.

IVF was actually started in a Cambridgeshire clinic and it resulted in the first baby to be born through vitro fertilisation. That baby was Louise Brown, now aged 35. Since then, there have been over 5 million babies born through IVF treatment.

Although the first IVF baby was born in 1978, research into the treatment actually started way back in 1878. Very basic studies were conducted on animal gametes. It wasn’t until 1959 through to 1963 that scientists discovered IVF could be successful in mammals.

Although it is used for a number of fertility issues these days, initially IVF was developed purely to by-pass blocked or damaged Fallopian tubes.

How IVF developed

After the discovery that IVF could be used on mammals, the next major breakthrough was Louise’s birth in 1978. Though the treatment was used to help with many other pregnancies in the years following its first success, it wasn’t until 1992 that the next major breakthrough happened.

ICSI treatment was introduced, enabling men suffering from poor sperm quality to use their own sperm, rather than a donor’s during the treatment. The treatment still remained unobtainable to many due to its significantly high cost. That was until 2004 when IVF was made into a mainstream treatment.

As of 2012, more than five million babies had been born throughout the globe thanks to IVF. Now, in the UK, it’s estimated that around 1.5% of babies are conceived through IVF treatment.

What’s next for IVF?

Although the news that patients will no longer be offered free IVF treatment in certain parts of the UK is certainly discouraging, there are more positive developments occurring. For example, scientists have recently discovered a new piece of DNA in embryos, which can be manipulated to potentially improve the success rate of the treatment.

There has also been research recently which has revealed women who suffer a miscarriage during their first round of IVF, are more likely to go on to have a successful pregnancy after a second or third round.

Overall, IVF has come a long way over the years. As research continues into fertility issues and potential new techniques, the future of IVF treatment is certainly hopeful.

Miscarriage study could give hope to fertility patients

miscarriage and IVF

A new study into miscarriage and IVF conducted by the University of Aberdeen has provided hope for fertility patients. The research revealed women who miscarry during their first round of IVF treatment are more likely to have a successful pregnancy with further treatment than those who failed to become pregnant during the first round.

Understandably, miscarrying during the first cycle of IVF can be absolutely devastating for patients. So, the results of this latest study can provide reassurance to couples currently looking into their fertility options.

Study reveals approximately 25.7% of women miscarry during the first cycle

The ground-breaking study, published in Human Reproduction, analysed data from over 110,000 women. All had started IVF between 1999 and 2008. It revealed approximately 25.7% of them suffered a miscarriage during the first cycle of treatment. However, when compared to the women who didn’t fall pregnant at all, it was discovered they had an increased chance of having a successful pregnancy if they continued the treatment.

The actual statistics revealed women who did miscarry had a 40.9% chance of giving birth after undergoing two further cycles. This was higher than the 30.1% chance presented to the women who did not fall pregnant.

Even further reassurance was provided that those who did give birth also had a 49% chance of having a second baby in future cycles.

How successful is IVF?

It’s estimated around 1.5% of all babies born in the UK have been conceived via IVF. Of the couples who do go down the IVF route, around a quarter of resulting pregnancies end with a live birth. However, 22% do suffer a miscarriage.

The success rate of IVF is typically higher, the younger the patient is. NHS Choices reports that those under the age of 35 have a 32.2% chance of success. This drops to 27.7% for patients aged 35-37, then to 20.8% for patients aged 38-39. Those with the lowest chance of success are patients aged over 44, with a success rate of just 1.9%.

From these statistics, you can see how important it is to start IVF as early as possible. However, it is worth noting that the statistics do not specify how many rounds of IVF are needed to result in a live birth.

Could a blood test detect the chances of miscarrying during IVF?

In June this year, a study carried out by the Glasgow Centre for Reproductive Medicine, revealed a blood test could help to determine the chances of miscarrying during IVF treatment.

The researchers studied almost 2000 women who had gotten pregnant via IVF. They looked at the women’s hormone levels and discovered that a low level of Beta-Human Chorionic Gonadotrophin does appear to link to an increased risk of miscarriage.

The study showed if the woman’s blood contained under 30 units of hormones for every litre, they had just a 2% chance of not miscarrying. In contrast, women who had between 50 and 70 units had a staggering 52% chance of going on to have a successful pregnancy.

Overall, although it is obviously devastating to miscarry during the first cycle of IVF, this new study does provide hope to couples who may be discouraged from continuing treatment. It’s important to speak to a fertility specialist as early as possible to increase the chances of going on to have a successful pregnancy through IVF.

Gene-editing could boost IVF success rates in the future

gene editing and IVF success

British scientists have managed to genetically modify human embryos for the first time ever. The major breakthrough means IVF success rates could be significantly improved in future, providing hope for those struggling with fertility problems.

After being granted permission to experiment with human embryos for the first time in British history, the scientists discovered a key piece of DNA known as the Oct4 gene. They found this gene is crucial for successful pregnancies and it could be responsible for infertility, as well as miscarriages.

The ability to modify human embryos could now lead to potentially more successful fertility treatments, as well as help with better embryo selection.

Genome editing will transform our understanding of human biology

The scientists behind the study have claimed Genome editing could completely transform our understanding of human biology. Using the technique, the scientists managed to remove the Oct4 gene from the embryo, which stopped it from developing the structure of the placenta.

Not only do scientists claim this breakthrough could significantly improve IVF success rates, but they also say it could lead to the development of regenerative medicine. In particular, there’s the potential to use stem cells to repair damage or replace certain structures within the body.

Experimentation with human embryos is extremely controversial, and there are strict rules in the UK scientists need to adhere to. It is also illegal to let embryos develop for a period of more than 14 days and that includes implanting them into female patients.

The embryos used throughout the trial were donated by women who had undergone successful IVF treatment. They were also destroyed within seven days of the study.

Study acts as a follow on from US embryo research

This may be the first time Brits have experimented on human embryos in such a manner, but there’s also been an exciting development over in the US. Scientists have discovered a way to remove a single, faulty gene which is responsible for a deadly inherited heart disease.

Using a technique referred to as CRISPR, the scientists were able to literally cut out the faulty gene from freshly fertilised eggs. They claim the technique could now help save millions of lives and prevent babies being born with deadly illnesses.

What it means for IVF patients

This major breakthrough does prove extremely promising for couples struggling with infertility and other fertility issues. If fertility experts are able to identify more viable embryos, for example, it will boost the success rate significantly, as well as reduce the chance of miscarriage.

Although the identification and modification of the Oct4 gene do give strong hope to improve IVF success rates, however, more research will need to be done on other genes embryos require in order to grow properly. The scientists have stressed that this study and breakthrough is simply the first step and it could take quite a few years to fully understand why some pregnancies do fail.

Overall, this new discovery does provide hope for future IVF patients, but it is unlikely to be able to be used for quite a few years. In the meantime, other research has recently revealed women who do experience a miscarriage after falling pregnant during their first cycle of fertility treatment, are more likely than those who didn’t fall pregnant, to have a successful pregnancy with further treatment.

Coping with the IVF wait

Coping with Wait After IVF treatment

For many couples, one of the most difficult parts of the IVF process is the two-week wait after IVF treatment. It can be extremely difficult emotionally and can also place significant pressure on a relationship.

Here, we’ll look at how you can cope during the waiting period and potentially improve the chances of success.

The importance of seeking support

Patients tend to go through an emotional rollercoaster journey during the two-week waiting period. To start with, the process is exciting and women will often remain optimistic about their chances of falling pregnant.

However, after almost a week, those initial positive feelings are often overtaken by anxiety. Many female patients report having difficulties sleeping, concentrating and focusing on anything other than whether or not they will become pregnant. Often, we find that negative feelings can start to take over which can cause significant emotional distress.

The best way to get through this daunting time is to seek support. It is essential that patients are able to share how they feel with someone, whether that be a partner, friend, family member or even a professional. It can be particularly beneficial to seek support from other women going through IVF treatment.

These days there are plenty of forums online for those undergoing IVF treatment. By signing up and chatting to those who know exactly what you’re going through, it can help to ease a lot of the anxiety. Another benefit of chatting to somebody other than your partner, is it can ease the pressure placed upon the relationship.

Preparing for transfer day

The actual transfer day which marks the start of the two-week waiting period, is by far the most stressful part of the process. For that reason, it’s advised that patients adequately prepare in advance. This includes limiting the amount of stress triggers they might face on the day.

You’ll want to avoid making any other plans around transfer day. Many women are surprised by how lost they feel once the transfer has been made. After undergoing so many tests, once the embryo has been implanted, there’s suddenly nothing else left to do and that can be the scariest part of the entire process.

Rest, medicate and eat healthy

Once transfer day is over, for the next two weeks you’re going to need to rest, medicate and eat healthy. Ideally, you’ll want to take the full two weeks off from anything else. However, if this isn’t possible make sure you at least take the first week off. This is because anxiety and stress can impact the success of IVF; particularly within the first three to four days after transfer.

You’ll also want to make sure you keep on top of your medication as it’s easier than you might think to forget. Remember that the medication is used to keep the embryos alive so if need be, create a checklist each day to tick off when you take the medication.

Eating healthy, avoiding sex and not trying to guess whether you might be pregnant are also recommended. Overall, coping with the IVF wait can be agonising, but the above tips and advice can help to make it a little more bearable.