Why you should wait before returning to IVF

By Melissa Grant

The easing of coronavirus restrictions means couples can once again undergo IVF.

However, a fertility expert has warned couples are setting themselves up for multiple IVF attempts if they return to treatment before their bodies are ready.

Melbourne-based fertility naturopath and nutritionist Tasha Jennings says she’s seen many couples desperate to get IVF treatment in recent weeks.

“We’ve had so many appointments … people are rushing back, everyone is in a hurry,” she said.

But even though couples may feel their time to conceive is limited, it can be best to hold off.

“IVF is expensive. There is a physical and emotional toll on the body,” Ms Jennings said.

“Getting the preparation can mean it’s a one-stop shop rather than multiple rounds.”

Ms Jennings says 90 days is the time needed to optimise the environment for the sperm and the egg, with the last 30 days being the most critical.

During this time, couples should try to reduce stress levels, improve their diets, increase hydration and take a good prenatal supplement.

These steps are as important as ever given many people’s stress levels and diets have suffered during the pandemic.

And it’s not just women who need to prime their bodies.

Ms Jenning says men must also prepare for IVF.

“Women are biologically programmed to fix our men up to make them better. An egg is capable of fixing up a sperm to create a pregnancy. But as eggs get older our eggs don’t have the energy,” she explained.

“A lot of women come along saying hubby is fine. But fine can be at the bottom of the range – I want to see Olympic sperm.

“We are more likely to create a pregnancy with an OK egg and super sperm.”

“Even if you feel time is limited, 90 days is a little time.

“Not only are you improving your chances of conceiving, you are improving the health of that future child.”

Tasha Jennings.








Tasha’s five steps couples for couples prior to IVF treatment:

1. Take a good prenatal multivitamin daily: Women should look for one with folic acid and folinic acid as well as choline to create a healthy internal environment. Men should ensure a good intake of zinc, magnesium and essential fatty acids.
2. Eat the rainbow: Colourful fruits and vegetables provide phytonutrients, which are rich in antioxidants and can positively influence both egg and sperm health. 
3. Reduce stress: Recent studies have found that women with high levels of alpha-amylase, an enzyme that correlates with stress, have a harder time getting pregnant. So, employing stress reduction strategies and prioritising a good nights’ sleep is important. 
4. Maintain a healthy weight: Being overweight in women can create hormonal inbalances and ovulation problems and can result in decreased sperm health in overweight men. When trying to lose weight for fertility, the focus should be on good quality fats and protein like nuts, seeds and good oils as well as a variety of fresh vegetables and fruit.  
5. If you smoke, stop: Sperm and eggs can be harmed by toxins in tobacco. Fortunately the damaging impact of smoking on fertility can be reversed, often quite quickly, especially in men.
– About Tasha: Tasha Jennings works closely with IVF and fertility clinics to help couples optimise their fertility wellbeing to create healthy pregnancies and healthy babies. She is the director of company Zycia, which provides the prenatal supplement Zycia Natal Nutrients. She has also overcome her own fertility challenges to conceive and carry her children. For more information about Tasha, visit https://tashajennings.com.au/