As time has gone on, I’ve learned to take things one step at a time with my infertility journey. I used to get way ahead of myself with planning and anticipating all the different scenarios of what could go wrong and all the various solutions. Yeah, that was no way to live. I was so stuck in my head all the time. I didn’t take time to just breathe.
I chose to wait until I was closer to doing my Frozen Embryo Transfer (FET) before doing research. As long as everything goes according to plan I’ll be doing my FET around April or May of 2020. My OBGYN told me to start preparing for the FET by trying to get in as healthy of a state as I can. I needed to face the facts; I’m 40 pounds overweight, I need medication to manage my blood pressure, my eating habits suck, and I have a Ph.D. in couch potato activities. I need to make some changes in order to help my little embryo have a chance. I don’t want to make things harder on my embryo.
This week I’ve been shifting gears and focusing more on my health. I have been sticking to a 1200 calorie a day diet and have already lost two pounds in four days. “Girl, you need a salad, not french fries” I’ve been telling myself. For those of us with the MTHFR gene mutation it is incredibly important to eat extra folate, which can be found in dark leafy greens. And as I’ve been eating salads more lately I do feel better. I feel full and also just generally happier because I know I didn’t eat crappy food. I have been trying to reign in my cravings and replace them with healthier habits. I’m hoping I can lose a good amount of this weight before my FET next year.
I still need to do more research on specific ways to improve “stickiness” for a successful FET. I’m sure that last statement may have elicited some confused looks from people who don’t know what I mean by “stickiness.” But for others who have done an FET they are probably nodding their heads in agreement, “oh yeah, you gotta improve your stickiness.” Essentially what that means is doing all you can to improve your uterine lining’s thickness to where it creates the best opportunity for the embryo to “stick” resulting in a successful implantation of the embryo. “About 20-30% of healthy embryos that arrive in the uterus do not implant, on average” (Pacific Fertility Center, 2014). So although the odds are in favor of a successful implantation, there is still a somewhat high chance of a failed implantation. Hence the reason I am focused on improving my “stickiness.”
The stakes are higher for me too, since I have only one embryo that resulted from two rounds of IVF. As long as I know I did all I possibly could, I will be at peace with whatever happens. Honestly, because I’ve experienced so much loss along the way I would be blown away if this actually worked. I am hopeful but also realistic of my chances of success. Even in the healthiest of women, there is still the chance that the embryo will not implant. In those cases, there is still a lot of research that needs to be done to determine what causes failed implantations. Based on the various articles I’ve read, there often times just isn’t an explanation due to lack of research and studies on the subject. IVF is still a fairly new science with the first IVF baby born in 1978, and there is still much to be discovered.
In the past I’ve briefly glanced at what women were saying worked for them for a successful implantation. I’ll tell you what, this is a hotly, hotly debated subject in infertility forums. Some women say don’t eat pineapple at all, while others say you have to gnaw on the pineapple core at a certain time. Others are convinced the order of french fries they ate immediately following their FET did the trick, while others say “No it’s just before the FET that you need to eat fries” or “No, no you shouldn’t eat any fries at all before or after the FET.” To me it all seems a little absurd the back and forth and the “my way is the right way” mentality.
Part of me wants to be a troll and ask, “What about during the actual FET procedure having my husband feed me fries at one-second intervals while I tap my head with my one hand, rub my belly with the other, and everyone in the room chants like Buddhist monks?” But I feel like my attempt at a joke might actually make someone chime in and say, “Yes that worked for me. I did it and now I have my baby girl.” To me it is all confusing, conflicting, and downright silly at times. There are so many variables that go into a successful implantation that we don’t know about yet, and some that I’m sure only God currently knows. We just need to do the best we can to be as healthy as we can. Most of all, you’ve got to consider your source. Listen to your doctor, read scientific journals that have done researched-based studies on the subject. Don’t just take Susie Q’s advice because she is convinced that the 2-hour handstand she did after her FET was what worked. But then again, maybe Susie Q might be on to something with using gravity’s assistance to aid the embryo’s journey. Joking aside, take the time to do your own research and determine what is best for you. I’ve got a lot to learn on the subject and I will be doing posts on implantation in the future. If you are also at the stage where you are preparing to do your FET let me know what you are doing to improve your chances of success.
Comment below to Today’s Question and receive bonus entry to the current contest.
What is the craziest piece of advice you’ve heard for improving implantation? In contrast, what is the best piece of advice you’ve learned about for improving implantation?
Check out my previous posts by going to my archives page.
This post may contain affiliate links. You can read the disclosure here.
Learn ways to improve your egg quality. Purchase Rebecca Fett’s book “It Starts with the Egg: How the Science of Egg Quality Can Help You Get Pregnant Naturally, Prevent Miscarriage, and Improve Your Odds in IVF.” It’s currently the #1 Best Seller on Amazon.com’s Reproductive Medicine & Technology list.
Featured Image Credit: https://www.twipu.com/TheJStartsHere/tweet/1160164339661332480