12 February 2009

IVF Preparations

Notice: All content here, and new additions can be found on a forum of the same name: http://dr-patel-surrogacy.com.

Even though we were going to use a surrogate to carry for us, my wife and I proceeded with the typical recommendations for couples who wish to become pregnant themselves. Our thinking was to simply do all that we can to possibly help our chances. In the case of surrogacy, as I’ve learned, it is us guys where most of difference can be made. A woman’s eggs are pretty well-protected from harsh elements and meds. That said, I did learn of one med that my wife almost took which is quite toxic and can lead to sterility.

We both did not have any alcohol for several months prior to our trip to Anand, India. And this was during football season! A sacrifice that was not all that difficult though. I don’t drink coffee or sodas, but we both stopped our intake of caffeine, namely by going with decaf tea (green, a very good antioxidant also). We never were smokers, but if you are, it is important to understand that this habit can hurt your (male & female) chances for success.

We take a good multi-vitamin, and my wife takes as part of her lupus treatment plan, folic acid, calcium and iron - which are highly recommended during pregnancy as seen in prenatal vitamin ingredients. Also recommended are fatty acids, such as Omega-3’s (make sure it is DHA and/or EPA). I had already been taking those, so it was easy to get my wife started as well.

Another side benefit of the Omega-3 supplement is that it helps thin the blood a little. Birth control pills (BCP’s) and the stimulation meds (estrogen in general) to be administered in India have a way of thickening the blood. If this is a concern, also consider a baby aspirin, which my wife was already taking as well. Please understand that my degrees are in the legal field and I’m not a nutritionist. I did do a fair amount of research though and ran this stuff by my wife’s doctor; and he concurred. Also, stress is not good for the IVF process, as with many things in life. If it can be avoided or alleviated, all the better. Easier said than done…

Ok, for us guys, the first thing to keep-in-mind is that the sperm that will hopefully make you a father was created from 65 to 74 days ago. This is not something you can do at the last second. Besides the aforementioned (alcohol and caffeine), drink PLENTY of water, and yes, loose-fitting underwear and pants do make a difference. It’s all about heat. So, do your best to avoid hot tubs and the like also. As far supplements go, after much research, I took a separate zinc, selenium, vitamin C & E pill daily. One can buy an all-in-one male fertility pill, but those were much more expensive. As a note, all of these ingredients are included in most multi-vitamins, but nothing near the recommended dosage needed to make a difference.

Another thing I just remembered is trying to avoid exposure to toxins and harsh chemicals. Think gasoline, solvents, even some of the more hardcore bathroom cleaning agents. These have shown to impact sperm...

My wife had never used BCP’s before, but Dr. Patel recommends, or at least generally recommends starting these on day 5 of the period just before traveling to India. This helps her with improved control of the timing of when the all important next cycle begins in India. In my wife’s case, because her periods were fluctuating like crazy (26 to 34 days), Dr. Patel recommended starting BCP’s a month earlier to better stabilize the periods. I mention this here so as to allow others sufficient time to contact your doctor and have the prescription ready.

In terms of getting our body’s ready for this trip, I realize that I might have missed a few things, so I hope others will provide additional input.

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