Welcome to my mornings, here’s all the stuff that I need to use every day to medicate myself for the IVF process.

Writing about work stuff yesterday, I’m prompted to tell you a bit more about my lifestyle and the way that fits in with the IVF process.

The IVF clinic that we go to is entirely coincidentally one of the top ones in the UK (based on live births) and this may well be down to how strict they are about who they will take on. You have to fulfil certain lifestyle criteria to get NHS funded IVF treatment there, including:

  • Being a non smoker
  • Having a BMI 20 – 30
  • Being aged under 40

That is because if you meet these criteria you have a realistic chance of success. Happily for me I meet these criteria, and in many ways fall into the ‘better chance of success’ categories within the criteria:

  • I have never smoked
  • My BMI is 26
  • I am 33

I also have no diagnosis of any of the main conditions that put barriers in the way of conception such as blocked fallopian tubes, not ovulating, polycystic ovaries etc. This all puts me in a good place for IVF success. So that’s all good in theory, but even so my chance of success on a given IVF cycle is still only something like 43%. That is very high, would you believe.

The clinic has not advised me to do anything to improve my chances of success, and even when I asked them they said there was nothing to be done. But going through the process I have found that it is good for my wellbeing to be doing positive things and since early January (before the IVF started) I have introduced some new healthy lifestyle stuff into my days to try and be healthy during this process:

  • Drinking no alcohol
  • Drinking no tea, coffee or fizzy drinks
  • Jogging every day (just round the block, 20 mins or so) and swimming three times per week
  • Drinking fruit smoothie and eating at least one piece of fruit every day
  • Eating vegetarian-only vegetable-based lunch (rather than cheese and meat and lardy good stuff – although I have those at dinner time!)
  • No snacks
  • Only eating a small amount of sweets or cakes

I have lost half a stone doing this, just slowly since the new year, and that is a nice side effect of trying to be healthy although not the main reason for doing it.

I have a feeling that trying to be healthy is what is stopping me (for the most part) freaking out and getting stressed about IVF. I think having a focus is good, and as I mentioned yesterday when I wrote about work when you do something positive every day it helps you to tick the days off which moves the interminable waiting along more quickly. I know this is something people do when they feel out of control, they try and put some control into their lives in other areas. This is why some people have eating disorders or self harm for example. But I’m being careful and I think it is better to introduce the control this way (in a controlled way! Double control!) than to be having an emotional meltdown. And anyway there’s no harm being healthy, I’ll probably keep much of this up post-IVF whether I’m pregnant or doing IVF again or neither of these.