The Hemp Connection + love

Feeling like you need to give your IVF a little boost? Here's what your embryo looks for when househunting

A few months ago I received a phone call from a woman who wanted me to help her with a pre-IVF detox/cleanse. As we talked, it turned out, she'd already been through one failed IVF, was feeling fearful that she was going to fail again, and was wanting to do something, anything, to guarantee that it would not happen again.

I've never been through that process so there's no way I can say I know how any of you feel.

But I can tell you how these conversations make ME feel.

Afraid. Very afraid.

If there is ever any time in your life when you should absolutely not be messing with your metabolism, it is during the time immediately preceding, and during, an IVF procedure. The reason you're already in the situation you are in, is because your hormones are not able, on their own, to create the precise and delicate balance required for conception and implantation. Why would you want to push your uterus over the edge when you're already about to put it through something very stressful?

When we're faced with a situation that feels out of control, the natural thing as humans to want to do, is control it. Self-treating and self-medicating are definitely things that, in the moment, give us the illusion of being in control. But if you stop that sentence there, without truly finishing it, by defining exactly what it is that you are in control of, you've missed the point. You're in control of what happens in the immediate moment. But you're not in control of the situation that has left you feeling out of control. In fact, you may be pushing your desired outcome even further out of reach.

In this case, we did identify things that could be done to help this woman be in the absolute best physical and emotional condition possible for the big procedure. And we discussed that her most important goal was not conception, but implantation, in other words, making that egg feel, upon entering mom and looking around, that this was a pretty warm and welcoming place to be calling home for the next few months.

Think of IVF like you did your last real estate deal. Only the repro doc is the real estate agent, the embryo is the house hunter, and you are the person trying to convince that embryo that it wants to live in the environment it's been introduced to by said real estate agent. As the seller, it's your job to create an environment your buyer wants to live in.

You can't hang pretty pictures on the walls or put potpourri on the counter. But there are things you can do.

What does an embryo like to see when it's househunting? How can you stage your uterus to make it desirable real estate? For starters, your buyer doesn't like the ambience of stress hormones. Prefers the calming influence of deep breathing. Doesn't like to be jostled around too much with too much exercise. Kind of likes a house that rocks and rolls a bit, maybe massages with a little bit of yoga, but not tossed around from hours of treadmills, aerobics, or jogging. Really hates knowing it's going to be forced to subsist on caffeine and sugar when it really loves spinach and hard boiled eggs.

And it really gets cranky when it's trying to sleep and its house doesn't have curtains to pull to shut out the light. Don't even think about getting up at 3 am work out, because that is the only time you can fit it in. Reorganize your day and give up some things to make adequate for activity as well as sleep. Research has shown that melatonin is very, very important for implantation. Bad habits like staying up late, especially if it's because you're playing with lit up technotoys, are one of the surest ways to send said buyer packing.

As you know, even the most impeccable home will not appeal to every buyer. So even if you do everything perfectly, every single IVF will not end up in a baby. That's not the goal. The goal is, when the right embryo comes along, that everything it needs to feel like it's the right set up home for 9 months is there and ready. THAT you can control and do lots to make happen.

Bottom line: even though it can be tempting to want to work some magic on the procedure, the very, very best thing you can do, is keep being good to yourself. It reflects in how you stage your home and gives you a far better shot at a sale than any unproven hocus-pocus.

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Feeling like you need to give your IVF a little boost? Here's what your embryo looks for when househunting + love