Must-do’s during multiple IVF cycles to succeed

Monica Bivas
Mindset & Holistic Fertility Coach, Author of the Book “The IVF Planner”, Monica Bivas, Mindset & Holistic Fertility Coach

Emotions and Support, Failed IVF Cycles

Successful IVF after failed attempt - what should you do?
From this video you will find out:
  • What are the tools to start creating your IVF mindeset balance?
  • What are the 10 things to know when you are going through IVF?
  • How to keep your mind occupied and healthy during IVF?
  • What are the 7 must-do’s to survive your Two Week Wait during IVF?


Tips and advice from an IVF coach on how to survive your IVF cycles

In this session, Monica Bivas, IVF & Fertility Coach, author of the book “The IVF Planner” who helps couples shift their mindsets, guide them through the often overwhelming IVF treatment experience has been talking about must-dos during your IVF journey that will help you to achieve your final goal – a baby.

There are some tools to start creating balance and managing all the emotions that are present once IVF starts.

Tools to start creating such balance:

  • Love
  • Understanding
  • Nourishment
  • Reminding
  • Clarity
  • Relief
  • Letting go (ranting)

Show love and compassion throughout the IVF journey to your partner or anyone if you are going through it alone. Embrace each other’s strengths and vulnerabilities. Practice patience and understand that emotions may fluctuate, try to communicate openly, and support each other through every step. Prioritize self-care and nourishment, both physically and emotionally. Take time to start or do all the activities that bring joy and relaxation, whether it’s meditation, exercise, or simply enjoying a favorite hobby. Remind yourselves of the reasons behind embarking on the IVF journey, and remember what are your goals during challenging moments. Seek clarity when you have any doubts about the IVF process. Stay informed about each stage, ask questions, and engage with your healthcare team to get rid of any concerns and make informed decisions together.  Lastly, allow yourself the space to acknowledge your frustrations and express emotions freely.

10 things to know when you are going through IVF

About 1 in 8 women have trouble getting pregnant, experts estimate. If a woman or couple is ready to start or add to their family and has tried all other fertility options, in vitro fertilization (IVF) is often the next option for having a biological baby.

1. Focus on healthy, balanced meals. Some reproductive endocrinologists (RE) recommend a Mediterranean diet to their patients, a plant-based one that will provide not only the positive nutrition the body needs but also will start to mentally physically, and emotionally work from the inside out.

2. Clean up of household. It is recommended to do a clean-up of household items that contain endocrine disruptive chemicals, as this interferes with reproductive health and prenatal development.

3. Keep a record of every appointment and medical chart. It is highly recommended because one of the most stressful and important subjects during IVF is hormonal numbers. They come from the blood tests and the amount of medicine that RE has designed for women depending on each case.

4. Get plenty of sleep. 7 to 8 hours of sleep helps to avoid exhaustion and fatigue. Remember you are having enough anxiety and worry with this process itself and having good sleep is a huge help to balance emotions during IVF.

5. Drink plenty of water. Stay hydrated with cool water. It’s well-known that water helps with many physical issues like headache and nausea, which are also very common symptoms during IVF.

6. Practice slow, restorative breathing techniques. It is also suggested to retail help and positive mindset books. It is known that this can help you to stay positive and distract your mind when the emotions come to place.

7. Keep your mind occupied. Activities such as organizing your closet and pieces of clothing as well as cleaning up are also recommended as well as possibly rearranging a room.

8. Socialize with friends. It is very important to remain social. It is known that the IVF treatment creates a tendency to isolation because of the emotional stress that’s related to it. Therefore, it is highly suggested to open up with the ones you love and your closest friends about what you’re going through

9. Plan gateway weekend. In case it is affordable, it is suggested to have a getaway weekend with your partner as well as just simply going on a date or having great sex to release feel-good hormones.

10. Watch a movie. Watching comedies and romantic funny movies can be a good option. It is well-known that laughing releases serotonin, the hormone that keeps us happy and young, so make your best effort to love and live.

7 must-dos to survive your 2WW (2 weeks-wait) during IVF

1. Go easy after your transfer, start writing a journal. In case an embryo transfer is not ready to be performed. It is suggested that taking time and withdrawing for 3 months is the best option before jumping back for another cycle as grieving is necessary for the process. Going through the process and allowing yourself to relax is said to be important for the treatment as well.

2. Eat well and rest. Although it is important to rest after a transfer resume, your normal life activities are fundamental to avoid feeling sick
Walking to clear up your head and get some fresh air will not do any harm

3. Please, do not test early. Any recreational activity that might help you avoid home pregnancy tests is recommended as this can affect your emotional state.

4. Color and create. It is said that art therapy is a huge tool to release stress and focus on something positive.

5. Watch funny movies with your partner/friends. This makes time go faster, and it is good to laugh.

6. Pamper yourself. Go for a foot massage, a pedicure, a manicure, or a makeover. Do the normal things that make you feel like you.

7. Acupuncture straight after transfer is a good option too. Head acupuncture is also a relaxing and peaceful way to be mindful and reduce stress, as is medication and listening to chill-out music.

- Questions and Answers

What do you think about water from the tap? Could this be full of chemicals and be an issue?

Nowadays, I would not recommend drinking water from the tap. There are a lot of chemicals in such water, and it concerns any place in the world. When I was little, in my country, I could drink water from the tap. Our stomachs and our bodies are so perfect that they can adjust to us, but when we are going through IVF, or we’re trying to conceive, I would say the best thing is to get a filter or to buy bottled water. Make sure that it’s natural, has healthy minerals, and no salts added. That’s my recommendation, but again everyone is free to choose what they think is better for them, but bottled water or a filter would be much better.

Is it safe to go for a massage/foot massage during the two-week wait?

During the two-week wait, I went to get a foot massage, I think it’s safe, and you must go to a place that you trust, and you need to make sure to tell them to do the softest one. Massage, foot massage, and leg massage help you a lot, especially when you are stressed, our legs and our feet always kind of take all that energy too, so yes, but again make sure that you always tell whoever is doing the massage to do the softest one and don’t do more than a half an hour. I usually did half an hour, and it was incredibly releasing, I just closed my eyes, and it was so relaxing.

I am currently on my second IVF cycle. Do you think acupuncture can help?

If you are in your second IVF cycle, we can use the tools to create a balance between our body, mind, emotions, and spirit. That way, we can give our bodies the possibility of a positive outcome and avoiding another cycle. For me, acupuncture was really helpful, and it’s not regular acupuncture today, you can find acupuncture for fertility. I used to go to a doctor, he’s in the US, but I think he knows some people in some other parts of the world that also do fertility acupuncture, and they work with the clinics that do the procedures of IVF. I think that is a big tool to help us to avoid multiple cycles because it’s never a 100% guarantee that we are not going to have multiple cycles or more than one cycle, but if we use tools and if we help our doctors and our clinic with this part that also needs to be treated like emotions, anxiety, and mindset, we can definitely increase our possibilities of a positive outcome.

What kind of activities can we do during the two-week wait? Walk? Yoga? Acupuncture?

You can do all of that as long as it’s gentle. Remember, we need to rest, and we need to be careful, but we are not handicapped, we cannot also put ourselves like we cannot move a finger because that actually can put us in a state of mind that we’re going to break and then that state of mind by default is going to put us in some kind of fear. The idea is we should be aware that we are scared, anxiety comes with that, but we are not like porcelain. When a person is naturally pregnant, they don’t even know about it. Some of them even go to the gym and do weights and all of that. The difference here is that we know we are basically pregnant, and we are scared because of all the stress that the process brings to us but at the same time, we need to be aware that we can continue with our normal life by being careful and use the best tools that we can use to make our journey a little bit more peaceful. I’m not saying perfect but more peaceful and balanced.

Is it okay to walk just after the embryo transfer, or should we rest?

Usually, immediately the day after the transfer, right after the transfer, my best suggestion is to go back Home, Rest, lie down, watch a movie, relax doing something while you lie down. Remember, we have 14 days, maybe on the 2nd or 3rd day, you can go ahead, and have a walk if you live in a place where you can have some nice fresh air. During my first day after the transfer, I came back home, I decided, I’m going to just lie down, watch a movie or read a book, color, write, or read, but first just rest and then through the days you can add a little bit the things you do in your normal life.

I’m starting my second cycle tomorrow after there was no embryo in my first cycle in November. I just got the most wonderful present of a piano, which is keeping me occupied, busy and calm. Are there any other tips for a better outcome this time?

If you like music and you know how to play it, I will be on that all the time. There is one thing actually about that, there is an application that even if you don’t know how to play piano, I got it for my kids, it’s wonderful, and they’re learning with a little piano I have here in my office. Music is an incredible tool to keep calm, the idea is to have some music that can help you relax. The other tips, as I’ve mentioned before, are art, coloring, music is our therapy, creativity. Whatever can awake our creativity in our brain immediately help us releasing serotonin. When you do things that can help you release serotonin and keep you happy, you are increasing the possibility of having a positive outcome in IVF or any aspect of your life.

I have found it very difficult to find a fertility acupuncturist. Would regular acupuncture be suitable also?

Sometimes, it’s very difficult to find people that know what they are doing but eventually do your research, in that case, I would definitely look into it. When I did my last cycle, the fifth cycle, I decided to do acupuncture once a week, except during the day of the egg retrieval. I came back home, and on the day of the transfer, after the transfer, I went back home to rest. The next day after the transfer, I went to do my acupuncture, of course, not like before the transfer, but I did that, and it was done around my head, on my arms, they know what kind of acupressure points can help us to relax and to feel better. I did acupuncture weekly, but it’s up to you, I would suggest doing it weekly, but if you don’t want to do it weekly, I would say to start from the moment the cycle starts and then do it twice a month during your cycle.

Can you go for a gentle run/jog while taking stimulation injections?

When I was doing my second cycle, I was going to the gym with my husband, we used to do like about half an hour of cardio, not so heavy and some weights. You can do a gentle run or jog while taking stimulation injections as long as you mentioned it is gentle. I never encourage people to do things that they are overwhelming them or creating some extra thing in their bodies, our body is a perfect machine. Our body talks to us, when we feel tired, our body is telling us I’m tired, I need to sleep. So yes, it’s good to do things gently, you cannot stop your life because that’s a big mistake we all do. Especially, when we go for IVF, we think that it’s stressful, but we need to remember that before we got into this, we had a life, we need to try our best to continue our life as normal as it is. A gentle walk, gentle yoga, gentle jogging, whatever is gentle to your body and that your body asks you and feels, it’s okay, do it.
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Monica Bivas

Monica Bivas

Monica Bivas, is a Mindset & Holistic Fertility Coach, speaker, writer of the Book The IVF Planner (www.theivfplanner.com) and founder of The IVF Journey, an online community for women and couples to find support, hope, and connection with other individuals contemplating or experiencing In Vitro Fertilization.
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Caroline Kulczycka

Caroline Kulczycka

Caroline Kulczycka is managing MyIVFAnswers.com and has been hosting IVFWEBINARS dedicated to patients struggling with infertility since 2020. She's highly motivated and believes that educating patients so that they can make informed decisions is essential in their IVF journey. In the past, she has been working as an International Patient Coordinator, where she was helping and directing patients on their right path. She also worked in the tourism industry, and dealt with international customers on a daily basis, including working abroad. In her free time, you’ll find her travelling, biking, learning new things, or spending time outdoors.
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