With a recent report stating the birth rate of IVF babies has nearly doubled since 2004, a local fertility specialist offers some tips on increasing your chances of fertility success.
The report by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare says the number of babies born using assisted reproductive technology (ART) increased by 45 per cent between 2004 and 2008 in Australia and New Zealand. In 2008, this resulted in 11,500 babies born through ART, with the average age of women using their own eggs being 36.
Dr Andrew Davidson, who consults from City Fertility Centre’s Gold Coast clinic, says whether you are trying to conceive naturally or with the help of ART, a healthy lifestyle is recommended before and during pregnancy to maximise your chances of success and give your baby the best start in life.
Here are Dr Davidson’s tips for fertility for Gold Coast couples:
- Follow a healthy, balanced diet that provides adequate protein, carbohydrate and fibre.
- Maintain fitness, and keep your weight under control with moderate exercise for an average of 30 minutes three times a week.
- Women should take folic acid for three months before conception and for the first three months of pregnancy.
- Restrict alcohol intake.
- Stop smoking and any drug use.
- Check your medications/supplement intake with your doctor.
- Limit caffeine intake.
Dr Davidson said 12 per cent of primary infertility was linked to women being markedly overweight or underweight, and improving your body mass index (BMI) could boost your hormonal levels and ovulation.
“But it is not only the women who need to be healthy, as nutrition and health have a direct effect on sperm, so it is important for both partners to consider changes to their lifestyles if necessary,” he said.
City Fertility Centre’s overall success rates of late have been significantly above the industry standard of 41.6 per cent (clinical pregnancies per IVF cycle).
“In recent months they have been as high as 55 per cent for clinical pregnancies per embryo transfer cycle across the board, including all ages,” Dr Davidson said.
For more information, visit www.cityfertility.com.au.