Am I wrong to not be completely chang... - Fertility Network UK

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Am I wrong to not be completely changing my life around any/all suggestions?

Edinburghdreaming profile image

Is it just me or does anyone else sometimes feel guilty that they haven’t changed every single aspect of everything that has ever been mentioned in regard to IVF, even if there is no/little evidence? I have cut down caffeine to 1 cup a day, no alcohol at all and I eat pretty healthily anyhow. I’m taking supplements and cut down my normal exercise during stims and the 2WW...But I’ve not cut out sugar, switched to an IVF diet, I still get my nails done and hair colored. Mostly I feel I am being sensible, and doing what’s right for me and my lifestyle... but sometimes I feel guilty about not doing EVERYTHING...

Anyone else feel the same?? I’m not saying either way is wrong or right, just wondering what other people have experienced/tried/feel xx

43 Replies

I think you’re being sensible, for what it’s worth. I was totally miserable on my first round as I cut out/down on everything I enjoy. I got a bfn. I think as long as you do things in moderation it’s fine. But that’s just my opinion xx

Thank you. Did you become a bit more relaxed with it in your subsequent cycles?xx

Definitely. I think the key is to stop beating yourself up over every little thing, if you can. xx

Definitely. I usually am fine but just have moments of doubt when I read what some other people are doing xx

Please don’t. We all play the blame game on this journey. I think the fact that you are even posting about this shows your commitment to how much you want it to be a success. If it fails, you will blame yourself no matter what you did or didn’t do (but hopefully it won’t). Don’t make yourself miserable in the process, try to live your life at the same time xx

I have done both the completely cutting everything out , my cycle was a disaster so no help at all. Have also had a cycle not being quite so strict and it went better. I think the key is a balance of what feels right for you and I think when I wasnt being so obsessive it helped me relax a bit more so whatever works for you I think is the right thing to do!xx

Thanks hun. I do think it’s more about trying to reduce stress through the experience which is not easy. Sometimes I think we maybe cling to these things as it gives us a sense of control in a situation where we don’t have it? Also psychologically you want to know you’ve done everything I guess, I just think life has to go on! Especially when it’s not just one cycle... xx

I think that trying to make sure I was eating and drinking the right things and not having little treats of something nice now and then made me more stressed out than not! You just cant live like that and doing crappy IVF is hard enough without some little rewards as small as they can be like a wee bit chocolate etc! Best of luck with your new cycle!xx

Thank you. It’s nice to have reassurance every now and then! Hope you are doing ok on the 2WW xx

Thank you, trying not to stress and google too much! Ha ha haxx

Everything crossed for you! Xx

Hey, I agree with Tugsgirl and Cindarella5, I think everything in moderation is key. What you doing sounds perfectly fine to me.

With my first 2 cycles I was fairly strict, I cut out alcohol, fizzy drinks etc about 3 months before starting treatment. It didn't so much make me feel miserable but I certainly felt like IVF put a hold on things in life. Having to say no to meeting a friend for a drink etc as I felt bad even having just one.

With my 3rd cycle I had a very negative attitude because I felt like I'd done so much my first 2 cycles, why will this cycle be any different? I didn't cut out alcohol completely and actually had a couple of drinks while starting treatment for FET (I did however stop completely when in the 2ww). I continued drinking fizzy juice and energy drinks up until the 2ww as well, I felt actually and I wrote a post on here saying how negative I felt toward the cycle and how I felt bad that this cycle I didn't cut it out, truth being told my heart just wasn't in it. This was my successful cycle and I'm currently 9 weeks 2 days.

What I'm trying to say is basically don't be too hard on yourself, I really think that allowing yourself just that little bit normality can be beneficial. Do what makes you feel most comfortable/happy. If you fancy a little drink or a treat of some kind I'd say go for it. Everything is moderation is key I think 🙂 Xxx

Thanks for your reply, that’s so helpful. I am pretty confident I am being sensible but sometimes a bit of doubt creeps in and it’s really nice to have that reassurance. And congratulations!! Hope you are keeping well xx

I think it's normal to feel doubt, but honestly your doing great!! I kept reminding myself of all these people who don't change a thing, drink or smoke etc and get pregnant. We're doing all we can, but keeping a little happiness for ourself is something we also need. The journey is already so tough!

Good luck!! 😘 Xxx

Thank you xx

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I hardly changed anything about my lifestyle and I’m not the healthiest person or active although not overweight or anything.

All I did was change to decaf tea and tried to eat more fruit and veg and I stopped my aerobics. I got to BFP’s and I’m 26 weeks pregnant.

I thought if I got any negatives then I would definitely change my lifestyle probably not the way to think but people get pregnant all the time when eating or drinking unhealthy xx

Edinburghdreaming profile image
Edinburghdreaming in reply to Hidden

Thanks xx

I'm going in for transfer tomorrow and so far not been told by anyone along the journey to change anything. Apart from not really drinking on meds.

I will now ask tomorrow if there is anything I should or should not be doing but I plan to do what I do normally really. Way I see it is heavy smokers and drinkers etc seem to get pregnant at the drop of a hat (exaggeration I know) so why be super good? Enjoy yourself, eat cake :) x

Yeah that’s kinda of my point too, the doctors and nurses have only ever said minimal alcohol and cut down on caffeine. Once you’ve had your transfer the advice I was given was act like you are pregnant ie no blue cheese etc. The other stuff has just been what I’ve seen on here to be honest. I’m with you though, I can’t see it would make any difference and being happy is probably more important. Best of luck with the transfer tomorrow xx

I have had exactly the same thoughts to be honest. However I also think that this is a real shit thing to go through anyway and I'm not going to add any pressure/make things harder on myself. There's got to be more to life than just focusing on ivf xxx

My thoughts exactly Laura. It would be different if there was hard evidence that it would increase your chances, but since there isn’t why make life harder. But also you don’t want to have to think “what if I had just...” so can be tricky xx

I think there's always going to be that "what if" hanging to be honest. IVF is a mindfield and I know I'm always one who wants a reason for everything. I suppose at some point we just have to accept some things are out of our hands. Our first cycle we had a good blastocyst and perfect lining and BFN. Suppose it's down to luck in the end 🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻 Xxx

Yep, how often do we read about a positive result with a ‘poorer quality’ embryo or having not been as strict life style wise. I’m very much the same, I want evidence, reasons and logic. The advice regarding exercise has driven me mad for example!xx

Thanks so much to all the ladies who have replied. Really helpful just to know I’m not alone in my approach xxx

Oh I totally feel your pain! It’s so difficult, I’ve swung back and fourth from extreme to extreme but to be honest with you it’s all too stressful, this time I’ve just kept up my good habits, not drinking, less caffeine, all organic and supplements etc, but I still wear perfume, eat cake, and have the odd takeaway because otherwise I’d be miserable and a bit smelly!😂 but I feel guilty for not giving up coffee completely but it’s my last vice and a bloody love it!! Don’t be too hard on yourself, sounds like you’re doing all the right things xxx

I’m not even sure why caffeine is bad! I know too much and increase the risk of early miscarriage but pre and through IVF I don’t know?!xxx

Thanks for the post. I’m down regging on my 2nd fresh cycle and having the same thoughts as you. I was super good 1st time round and had an early mis. Fet 1 bfn and fet2 chemical. This time round I’m thinking I’ve had enough of cutting out everything in life so being sensible ish ie decaf coffee and less carbs but I had a Wispa at lunch! All the posts in reply have been very helpful to make me feel more normal and less guilty! Thanks!

So glad it’s helped you too. Definitely think having chocolate or a real coffee a day etc won’t make or break a cycle. I’ve had 2 of my best friends hens in the last 2 weeks and have eaten so much chocolate and cake as well as take out pizza etc - but I had fun! And it helped me get through the down reg and scratch etc xx


Not at all!! I make sure I take a good multivitamin a day & vitamin D.

I have a green smoothie every morning. (Have missed on occasion).

I did cut back caffeine a bit but still had 1 a day during my fresh cycle.

I don’t really drink much anyway, but when I felt like one or was out I had it.

I did have a BFN in my first fresh cycle but I had issues at the time that I was unaware of and I still produced 5 high quality blasts according to doc, I I was 39.5 yrs old with low AMH.

Also all the stuff I’m doing now (except the caffeine) I probably would do anyway. Hubby does the same.

I just don’t think you need to do all that stuff and change your diet etc. Ivf is already stressful and putting extra pressure is not necessary.

Obviously for some maybe being extra healthy helps them cope better with ensuring they’ve done all they can but the reality is that it is very unlikely the cause of a positive or negative outcome.

This is all dependent I suppose on how healthy you live your life anyway.

I’m starting my FET end of this month. I’m not changing my routine, I’ll just cut back on the caffeine on transfer.

Good luck on your journey, you have the right approach!

That’s good to hear, thank you 😊. Best of luck for your FET!xx

I think it’s important to have some good things in life. If you cut out everything then you’d be miserable and that would lead to stress which is probably worse for the IVF process than the things you’ve given up. It sounds like you have made sacrifices and now you’re being sensible and enjoying things in moderation.

Thanks Lynn. How’s the FET cycle going?xx

So far so good. Had a scan this morning and my lining is nice and thick so transfer booked for a week today 🤞🤞. Thanks for asking x

Best of luck!x

Sounds like you are doing the right thing. I am just at the start and planning our first cycle but we were actually recommended by our consultant not to follow all the IVF diet/lifestyle tips as the stress outweighs the positives. We will probably go down the route of moderation! Out of interest did you source your DHEA in Scotland? We were also recommended to take this and now just weighing up the balance of trying it against waiting another 3 months. x

Sounds like a sensible consultant! No I think for micro ionised it needs to be from the USA, if your consultant has recommended then they should tell you where to get it from? If not let me know and I’ll dig out the site I was directed to xx

AylaM profile image
AylaM in reply to AylaM

Thanks, he recommended a site and I ordered straight away yesterday but I was hoping to pop into a supplement shop and get started quicker. I guess what is another 10 days though compared to all the other waiting and better to make sure it is the right stuff. I hope it makes the difference for you this time. x

Absolutely, I understand your frustration though! Same to you - hope all goes well x

Good to know I’m not the only one who hasn’t changed everything. Think like others have said it all in moderation and a balance but surely not needing to change everything. Do what u need to do to feel calm and relaxed and healthy as poss I reck but don’t think changing everything is needed well comes from me who not been lucky yet but hopefully 🤞🤞 good luck

Thanks, it is nice to hear others feel the same isn’t it. How are you doing? Are you gearing up for a FET?xx

No worries def be ppl here that understand. Yeah got an appointment now so that a good start. Thanks for asking. Hope all going ok for u x

Like everyone else said, everything in moderation. Like you, I cut down my caffeine, and cut down alchohol in the run up to (and cut out completely during) treatment and tried to eat healthily, lots of fruit and veg etc. But I still dye my hair and do my nails and use normal products etc. Ivf already takes over your life without dictating what shampoo And moisturiser you use- that to me is verging on MADNESS. if I ever felt guilty for an extra cup of coffee or a small glass of wine I remind myself of all the people on drugs and massive binge drinkers who get pregnant on one night stands and stuff. My mum conceived me over Christmas/new year when she was 18 - and a bit of a party animal, and I still got comfy in there!! I'm obviously not saying take some e's and drink a load of vodka on transfer day but - don't beat yourself up, if it's gonna work it will work. Painting your nails won't change that. Good luck x x x

Lovely to hear like from minded ladies 😊Wishing you lots of luck too xx

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