Thursday, March 3, 2016

IVF Survival Guide | Tips & Tricks

We've gone through 2 fresh IVF cycles and 2 frozen embryo transfers, with 2 different doctors, at 2 different fertility clinics. I feel like I know a thing or two about going through IVF, so I wanted to put together a few tips and tricks that I think are essential. 
I hope this will be helpful to those who are starting their IVF journey, for the first, second or third time. If you have any questions about anything, please feel free to email me. I don't know everything, but I can help you find out. Wishing you the absolute best!

  • Comfortable Clothing
    • Kind of seems like a no-brainier, but trust me, sweat pants and leggings will become your preferred piece of clothing! Especially once you start getting closer to retrieval date, you will feel so bloated and uncomfortable...jeans will be horrible! 
      • TIP: Keep as active as possible, don't over do it though...a light walk will do.
  • Water Bottle
    • Pretty simple, you've gotta keep hydrated! Another thing, invest in a glass water tumbler...stay away from that BPA found in plastic! :) 
      • TIP: If you aren't a fan of water, try infusing it with fresh fruits! 
  • Heating Pads
    • Oh man, are these awesome after transfers! I did the progesterone in oil shots daily after all of my transfers and I would lay on the heating pad 10 minutes before getting my shot and 15 minutes after. It made a HUGE difference! At first I was only using it after the shot, to help distribute the oil and avoid it from "balling up." But after so many shots on my behind, it was getting harder and harder to administer the oil, so I tried using the heating pad before and it did wonders! 
      • TIP: Warm up the vial of PIO! Roll the vial in your palms for a few minutes before injecting, it will help thin out the oil a bit. 
  • Calendar or Planner 
    • Organizing all of your doctors appointments and medication times will be so helpful. I recently purchased The Happy Planner from Me And My Big Ideas, LOVE that planner. Definitely invest in a planner or just purchase a big wall calendar to keep near your meds. 
      • TIP: Most fertility clinics will make a calendar for you, ask if they will be providing one.
  • Organize Your Medication
    • Also extremely helpful, the last thing you want to do is take a medication on the wrong day, or completely forget about even taking one. Some people like to keep their medication in their bathroom so it's out of sight. Keep it where you feel most comfortable having it. Just keep it together and neat! Buy a bin to put everything in, or clear out a drawer (that's what I did) to keep everything tidy and hidden away. 
      • TIP: Some medication may have to be stored in the fridge, make sure to have a separate bin for those with labels.
  • Plan Things Around Your IVF Cycle
    • This one is important, at least for me it was. Don't try to plan any trips, any events, or dinner parties while you are on your cycle...unless you don't mind hauling all of your medication around with you, worrying about trying to keep them cold and having your significant other give you shots in public bathrooms, etc. Luckily, we were home during all of our cycles, except one night. We had a family wedding to attend. Thankfully the wedding was in our city and near our house, so we were able to slip out during the reception, go home, take the shot and head back...just in time for cake cutting. ;) Just plan accordingly!
      • TIP: Prepare to take a few days off from work as well, especially after retrieval and after transfer.
  • Document
    • This is something I wish I would have done, just to have to look back on and even for reference. Writing is a great way to express yourself, it's a great outlet. You can buy a journal or even blog. One day, you'll look back and smile. 
      • TIP: If you decide to buy a planner, you could use it to document as well.
  • Good Support System 
    • A good, strong support system is key! There will be emotional days, exhausting days and hard days. But having a family and significant other that stands with you through all of this will be everything! I feel extremely blessed to have amazing parents and in-laws that were with us through every step of our journey!
      • TIP: Be mindful of who you share your IVF journey with, some people won't understand what it is, why you are doing it and so on and so forth.

"It's going to be hard but hard is not impossible." -- Unknown


  1. Thanks for the tips and tricks. IVF scares the crap out of me. I'm not sure if I'm ready for this. Ugh.