IVF is a very stressful procedure. Women have many hormones injected into their body during IVF. The ovaries are stimulated to develop more than 10 follicles in one cycle, each follicle releases a lot of estrogens which can influence the immune function and nervous system. Estrogen can lead to a hyperactive immune and nervous system, which can make the immune system produce autoantibodies to attack the fetus. The hyperactive nervous system can release a lot of stress hormones such as adrenaline and histamine, leading to anxiety, allergies and insomnia. Those hormone changes can profoundly influence a women’s health after they deliver the baby.
Furthermore, the hormone imbalance can lead to a miscarriage and abnormal development of the baby’s brain. For instance, the lower level of progesterone may be linked with autism. The stress level goes up, the progesterone level will go down. A lower level of progesterone can cause women to develop autoimmune diseases such as lupus, colitis, Hashimoto’s disease, Crohn’s diseases, and rheumatoid arthritis. Following are tips that women can use before, during and after IVF procedures in order to maintain their good health and achieve a healthy pregnancy.
3 months before you start IVF:
- Stop drinking coffee or switch to green tea or decaffeinated coffee because only one cup of coffee can increase the miscarriage rate according to NIH study. Caffeine can also switch energy to a certain brain area, so your ovaries and uterus cannot have sufficient blood flow. Caffeine can stimulate insulin release so the blood sugar can be transferred to the fat cells instead of being used for energy and maintaining the body temperature. When women drink coffee regularly, they not only have more anxiety but also crave more sweets, and the high insulin level can cause inflammation in their ovaries and uterus besides their blood vessels and nervous system.
- Eat more cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage, cauliflower, kale, and Brussels sprouts. If you can, use a high power blender to make your own green juice. The vitamins and minerals in the green juice will help reduce the inflammation in your ovaries and uterus. Also, the cruciferous vegetables can serve as a natural aromatase blocker to prevent breast, uterus, ovary and even prostate cancer because the high level of estradiol (the bad estrogen) can stimulate the uterus to grow fibroids, endometriosis and can cause an enlarged prostate.
- Stop drinking wine or any kind of alcohol because alcohol can enhance the aromatase function, causing estrogen dominance condition. Alcohol also can produce a lot of heat which can lead to inflammation and a miscarriage. Alcohol can also cause inflammation of the digestive system, so your stomach can not absorb the Vitamins and Minerals efficiently. Alcohol can also compromise liver function, so the bad estrogen will stay in your body for a longer time.
- Start using wheatgrass, 3 tablets in the morning with 8oz water, then in the afternoon take raspberry leaf tea. The wheatgrass and raspberry tea can help balance your hormone levels and reduce stress hormones. When you are having IVF, it is easier to develop the estrogen dominance condition. If you can take these two food supplements, you can produce healthy eggs and also have less chance to gain weight. When your estrogen and progesterone are balanced, you will have less chance to develop breast, ovarian and uterus cancer. I have treated a few pregnant women who developed breast cancer due to hormone imbalance and an unhealthy diet. It is very sad to induce the baby when the mother developed cancer because the high hormone level during the pregnancy makes the cancer progress much faster.
- Taking Chinese herbs to improve your digestion and ovarian and uterus function is beneficial. A majority of the Chinese herbs which have been used to treat infertility for 5 thousand years are very safe. Women, who have repetitive miscarriages, can have Chinese herbs even when they are pregnant. You need to find the right practitioner who has had experience for more than 15 years in treating infertility, fibroids, endometriosis and premature ovarian failure. If the husband can take the herbs at the same time, their testosterone level and sperm quality can be improved. When you can get a healthy pregnancy with one IVF, you save money and future health problems.
- Starting with acupuncture once or twice a week will improve the reproductive function and you can also do some acupressure points when you are home. Acupressure on the foot and abdominal area will strengthen your kidney and spleen function and smooth liver qi. You can find a qualified practitioner in your area to teach you some acupressure points. The points will be different before and after transferring the embryo.
- Learn some acupressure points from my Youtube channel to reduce the stress so you will produce more progesterone, and your immune function can be more balanced during the IVF procedure.
- Add wild yam, daikon and fresh ginger in your diet to enhance your digestive system. Fresh ginger serves a natural blood thinner to prevent blood clotting when you have so many hormone injections.
- Avoid lobster and spicy foods, as they can trigger histamine release and induce inflammation and allergy.
- During IVF, spicy food can cause uterus bleeding and miscarriages. Spicy food also can cause hyperactive immune function, which may produce the antibody to attack the fetus and mother’s tissue.
- Avoid eating any kind of nuts including peanuts, almonds, walnuts and tree nuts, they are hard to digest and can trigger immune function. Many women who have a vegan diet, have so many nuts that they have high chances to develop autoimmune problems such as lupus, eczema, Crohn’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis. Even after the delivery of the baby, avoiding those nuts will protect women from allergies and autoimmune disease.
- Practising meditation and gentle Yoga 3 months before the IVF will also help balance your immune function and nervous system. When you are relaxed, your sleep is deeper and your progesterone level will be optimized.
- Apply moxa on certain acupuncture points to improve the function of ovaries and uterus.