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IVF Old-Wives Tales

a blog by Genna Banafato, July 20, 2013

To some women, preparing for an IVF cycle involves doctor's visits, medication training, injections, waiting and sometimes praying. To others, especially those who spend any time on the fertility forums, the traditional ways to deal with your cycle aren't always enough. And if the internet is good for anything, it's providing an old wives tale when you need one.

1) Pomegranate Juice: Everyone knows that pomegranate juice is a powerful antioxidant that can do everything from preventing wrinkles to curing cancer, but infertiles everywhere also drink it because it can bulk up your uterine lining, doncha know? After that the advice gets sketchy. Only pure pomegranate juice will work. Don't drink a blended juice (like pomegranate/blueberry). The bottom line - as long as you're not on medication for cholesterol or blood thinners, it can't hurt you and it's delicious. So, go for it. I personally liked mine as a spritzer: a couple of ounces of pomegranate juice topped off with some cold seltzer, maybe with a twist of lime.

2) Pineapple: This one is all over the place too, from pineapple juice to just the meat to only the core to never the core. The theory is that the bromelain in the pineapple core can help implantation to occur. It's thought to have anti-inflammatory affects and have the ability to slow blood clotting. So, whether your internet peeps are telling you to munch on it fresh or crush it in a smoothie, you're probably safe to go ahead and do so. Me? Every cycle, I would buy a fresh pineapple, cut that sucker up, divide the core into five pieces and eat one every day from transfer on.

3) Warm Feet: My acupuncturist was insistent upon this one. No matter the season or the temperature, she wanted me wearing socks. Not thin little ankle socks, but big old floofy fleece socks. So, i complied. I wore those socks to every retrieval and transfer I ever had… and to the deliveries of my two daughters as well. They're now on loan to a friend who needs some fertility luck. What's the harm, right? One monitoring visit, my RE noticed I had been wearing the same socks (because of course I wore them to monitoring visits too) and asked me about them. He told me that there had been some girls who were ALL sharing socks in the waiting room during monitoring. Now, THOSE must be some lucky socks.

4) Acupuncture: Now, I don't necessarily think of acupuncture an old wives tale. Not when you consider that I went to acupuncture faithfully, weekly or sometimes twice, starting a month prior to cycling and through first trimesters with both of my pregnancies. However some are stuck on that acupuncture isn't proven science. To that I say, "Phooey." If something exists that can de-stress me, make me relax and give me a little added confidence all at the same time, while POTENTIALLY increasing my chance of conceiving, sign me up.

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