There is potentially no more superstitious crowd than those of us struggling with infertility. From the classic legs up the wall to the more out-there IVF superstitions, most of us swear by least one ritual when it comes to our fertility journey.
Even if you don’t consider yourself as someone who believes in old wives’ tales, you might be curious to learn some new tricks.
Part of the reason that IVF superstitions are so popular in the fertility community is because they allow you to take back a bit of control of the outcome.
Personally, I am a bit of a control freak so the more I felt I could “do” to increase my chances of getting pregnant, the more relaxed I felt which who knows?
That itself may have helped me to get pregnant after unexplained infertility.
While some common IVF traditions are definitely not based in scientific research, others are actually recommended by fertility doctors.
In this post we will look at the top 10 IVF superstitions that you can try for your next IVF transfer.
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Whether you have unexplained infertility like me or you know why you can’t get pregnant, sometimes we all need a little helping hand to get through the two week wait.
In addition to scientific research and all the free ebooks and fertility info you can grab, you never know if one of the things below will help you too!
Below you will find 10 of the most common IVF traditions that may just help you get that positive pregnancy test ! Good luck!
Lucky Transfer Socks
Even if you are not familiar with most of the traditions that IVF patients do, lucky socks are universal.
When I was going through IVF and IUI, I had a plethora of socks that my friends from online fertility forums had sent me.
You can even get special IVF transfer socks like these ones from Etsy.
Why lucky socks? Well, not only are fuzzy socks super cozy and comforting but in Chinese herbal medicine it is really important to have warm feet.
This was something that I learned when I was going through acupuncture. My doctor told me that your core temperature can affect fertility and a warm uterus is one of the most important tenants of fertility in Chinese medicine.
That’s why keeping your feet warm is really important as cold feet will cause you to lose body heat .
Plus we all know how cold doctors offices can be so why not get some cozy socks for your big day?
The humble pineapple is most definitely sign of the infertility world and it all began because of an enzyme in the fruit called bromelain.
Not only is pineapple a healthy choice as a snack, bromelain is an anti-inflammatory agent that can boost fertility.
Eating the core of a pineapple can increase blood flow to your womb and encourage a healthy uterine lining – essential for increasing your chances of implantation.
Pineapple core can be quite tough so if you want to make it more palatable, you can add it into a delicious fertility breakfast smoothie.
The best way to include pineapple in your fertility journey is to eat it is for 5 days after ovulation (a ring a day including the pineapple core).
I remember buying a huge flat of Gatorade before my first IVF cycle, it was actually recommended by my reproductive endocrinologist as a way to avoid OHSS.
OHSS (Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome) is something that can occur after egg retrieval. Essentially, the body is over stimulated from the fertility meds you take in order to grow excess follicles, this causes extra fluid to build up in around the ovaries.
The electrolytes in Gatorade can help prevent mild OHSS symptoms such as bloating as well as even more serious issues occurring.
Most of us don’t eat much selenium on a daily basis but brazil nuts are packed with this antioxidant that is also a fertility powerhouse.
Like pineapple core, brazil nuts can help to thicken the uterine wall boost implantation.
Eating a couple of brazil nuts a day can also help increase blood flow to your uterus and ovaries, which also increases fertility.
Eating Mcdonalds’ fries is a newer tradition in the IVF world but as fries are delicious, it is one of my favorite things to add to the IVF process.
The crazy thing is, there is actually science behind the whole fries thing. It turns out that eating salty foods during your IVF treatment can also help to prevent ovarian hyper stimulation syndrome so grab some fries with your Gatorade and you will be doing yourself a favor.
Most people swear by eating the McDonalds fries after their IVF embryo transfer on the way home from the fertility clinic.
This tart juice is another blood thinner that acts as a mild anticoagulant. Unlike some of the other items in this list, pomegranate juice should be drunk before ovulation, no matter what fertility treatment you are undertaking.
It is thought to increase blood flow to the uterus and boost embryo implantation rates.
Here is one IVF tradition that doesn’t require a trip to the grocery store. Turtles and water animals in general have been a sign of fertility since the Greeks associated them with Aphrodite.
Many people including the Chinese, Celtics and Native Americans all look at the turtle as a lucky talisman for fertility.
How can you use the turtle to give you good luck and improve your IVF outcomes?
You don’t need to head to the pet store quite yet.
Wear a turtle charm bracelet or turtle necklace on embryo transfer day.
Another idea is to look for some warm socks with pictures of turtles on them to get double the fertility boosting-effects.
I told you that some of the IVF superstitions in this list were really outrageous and I think the clowning and fertility study is the winner when it comes to wacky ways to boost that baby dust.
Here’s the craziest thing – there is actual scientific research claiming that clowns can boost IF success rates by up to 50%!
In the Israeli study, a clown visited each woman after their embryo transfer about 15 minutes and performed jokes, tricks and magic.
The pregnancy outcomes were much higher than the group who did not receive the same “humour therapy”.
No one knows for sure why clowns might improve your chances of a positive outcome but maybe there really is something to the old saying “laughter is the best medicine”.
While you go along your IVF journey being entertained by clowns and eating mcdonald’s french fries, make sure you are also wearing orange clothes!
The color orange has symbolized fertility since ancient times. In fact, RESOLVE, The National Infertility Association In the USA, launched a movement for infertility awareness called #WEARORANGE.
While wearing orange won’t in and of itself improve your reproductive health, recent research has shown that, “many studies have found that depressive symptoms may decrease the success rate of fertility treatment.”.
As orange is a happy, uplifting color, it can help you to stay positive throughout the IVF process.
IVF Superstitions – Final Thoughts
IVF superstitions abound in the infertility community but most of them are more than just old wive’s tales – they actually work!
From only using certain sex positions to giving friends “sticky thoughts “, the world of infertility treatments is full of tricks and tips.
Even if there isn’t much scientific evidence, having rituals and IVF gear while going through your fertility journey can help you to feel in control.
Feeling that you are “doing something” to help the process can make you feel positive about your IVF. And that is never a bad thing.