Ok, so I’ve decided to embrace positivity and rainbow-farting unicorns etc and, for your (my) entertainment, put together a list of five fun (and science-backed) IVF facts:
- Move it, baby: Fertilisation rates are apparently higher for eggs subjected to music. According to a 2013 study done at the Institut Marques fertility Clinique in Barcelona, fertilisation rates of embryos subjected to music in their incubators were 5% higher than those who were denied the joy of Mozart, Madonna, Metallica, Nirvana and Michael Jackson. How you and I are going to convince our embryologists of this is a whole other matter. In the meantime, crank up the Spotify during stims!
- The sweet spot for sleep: According to this study of Korean women undergoing IVF, outcomes were best among women who slept between seven and nine hours a night – 53% fell pregnant compared to 46% of ‘short sleepers’ who slept less than six hours a night, and 43% of ‘long sleepers’ who got more than nine hours. Now to locate the off switch for my brain…
- Ice, ice baby: Fresh or frozen? Either is fine, according to two papers published in the New England Journal of Medicine, which suggest that pregnancy and live birth rates were similar among women who use fresh or frozen embryos (whatever your RE says). On an unrelated note, despite the image in the story/common use of the phrase test-tube babies, modern IVF is not done in test tubes at all. It’s done in petri dishes.
- A prick in time: This I already subscribe to, clearly, but acupuncture before, during and after IVF can boost success rates, or so say studies from Germany, Denmark, Canada (and my acupuncturist up the road). It’s kind of why I started two weeks ahead of my cycle this time (some suggest even longer) instead of just during stims. I know some people freak out about the needles, but the truth is it’s quite relaxing (see one columnist’s take on it here), and it’s nice to think that you have some kind of influence over the process. Plus, at my joint, the tea’s really nice (I wonder if they’ve noticed that I’m always early… and thirsty).
- Wait and wait and wait and WHAT? The winner for the Hope Award is this nugget: according to this study published in the Fertility Journal, close to 1 in 3 of women fell pregnant naturally in the six years after stopping their IVF/ICSI treatments. It doesn’t say how old the women were, but it certainly provides some reason for optimism (and after-dark action) even after the fact. (The Man wants to upvote this).
So there… all that can now go into your/my growing pile of fascinating IVF-related information, ready to be unleashed at that next dinner party. Or maybe not…