12 things to try before IVF


If you have been trying to get pregnant month after month, without success, you might think that IVF will be your only option.

Although IVF can help you to become pregnant, you must undergo more than one cycle, which can be emotionally taxing and costly. In fact, about 60 percent of women worry about how much they pay for treatments, according to a survey by Prosper Market.

Experts say before you are looking for a fertility specialist, there are several things that you should first try to help you to become pregnant.

1. Your man’s sperm checked.
Half of infertility cases are due to male-factor infertility, but many people do not realize it. In fact, men are only able to identify 51 percent of the risk factors that could affect their fertility, according to a recent study in the journal Human Reproduction.

If you have problems becoming pregnant, your husband should have a semen analysis done at the gp or at a sperm bank.

The semen analysis will not only look at the number of sperm, but the volume, motility (movement), and the shape of the sperm— and all the things that are needed in order to get pregnant.

2. See your OB-GYN.
When it comes to your own health, you should rule out medical conditions, such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), fibroids, endometriosis and estrogen dominance, a common condition in women who are pregnant, said Julissa Hernandez, a naturopath in New York City[JR1] [KN2], and author of “The Naturopathic Approach to Fertility.”

However, if you have regular periods, you ovulate and your partner’s sperm is healthy, ask your doctor whether you need a hysterosalpingogram (HSG) test, where deviations in the cavity of the uterus, such as polyps or fibroids, and looks to see if the fallopian tubes are open, said Dr. Brian Levine, a board-certified OB-GYN and fertility specialist, and the New York practice director for the Colorado Center for Reproductive Medicine.

Some studies show that HSG may even be a slight increase of the fertility period of three months after the procedure.

Your doctor may also give you a prescription for a fertility medication such as clomid to stimulate ovulation.

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3. Do not take this supplement.
You already know that you should eat for a healthy diet, exercise, losing excess weight, quitting smoking and limiting alcohol. You also need a prenatal vitamin with 400 micrograms of folic acid each day to prevent neural tube defects, which can develop before you even get a positive pregnancy test. But consider taking a coenzyme Q10 supplement, that studies show it can improve fertility.

4. Follow the trail of your cycle.
Use the calendar on your phone or download a fertility app to keep track of your period and the length of the cycles. Then, ten days after the first day of your menstruation begins with the use of an ovulation predictor kit to figure out when you ovulate.

5. Have sex every other day.
You would think that the more you have sex, the better your chances are to get pregnant, but that is a myth. The first day of ovulation predictor kit is positive, have sex and then continue to have sex every other day to take advantage of your fertile window.

6. Let it go.
You and your partner’s emotional well-being can be just as important as anything else when it comes to conceiving.

If you have problems that are not solved, with a grudge about something that happened with your partner or someone else, or have fear, anger, or resentment, it can all have an impact on your ability to get pregnant, Hernandez said.

Although you and your partner may both want to have a baby, your relationship should be balanced.

“I need them to have that close bond so that is passed on to the baby and the baby is also something that is designed out of love— real, pure love,” Hernandez said.

7. Eat more plant-based diet.
A plant-based diet is healthy for a woman, but those with fibroids, estrogen dominance and hormonal problems, in particular, should pay attention to. The hormones in meat and dairy products are directly related to fibroids and other hormonal problems, so women with these problems should be to eliminate meat and dairy products in total, Hernandez said.

8, Buy a sperm-friendly lubricant.
A lubricant can heat up things and make sex more comfortable, but read the labels carefully, since some lubricants can affect sperm motility and affect your chances, a study in the journal Fertility and Sterility found.

With the purchase of a lubricant, look for one that expressly states that it is sperm-friendly.

9. Reduce or eliminate coffee.
In place of your regular cup of joe in the morning, before you and your partner would like to switch to green or white tea, instead.

That’s because it’s not only the caffeine, but the toxic nature of tea, that may have an impact on fertility, Hernandez said.

In fact, a woman is more likely to have a miscarriage as both she and her partner drink more than two caffeinated beverages per day in the weeks prior to conception, according to a study by the National Institutes of Health.

10. De-stress.
Infertility is stressful, but numerous studies show stress can also affect your ability to get pregnant. In fact, women who are under a ton of stress were 40 percent less likely to become pregnant if she is fertile, according to a recent study from the University of Louisville.

Finding healthy ways to reduce your stress— yoga, meditation or doing something you enjoy.

11. Please be patient.
Once you have excluded any problems that may occur that you are pregnant, keep trying, but also try to relax.

“Just because you have a bit of trouble, does not mean that you have to do IVF,” Levine said. A tincture of time works well, and even in the best of hands, it is not immediately.

Julie Relevant, is a health journalist and a consultant who provides content marketing and copywriting services for the health care. She is also a mother of two. More information about Julie at


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