When To Use Micronutrient IVs To Optimize Your Fertility
I’ve shared a few articles in the past on the benefits of nutritional IV therapy for fertility and overall health – see here for one on the overall benefits, this article about micronutrient deficiencies and your fertility, this on IVs for migraines, here for glutathione and fertility… You get the point, I’m a pretty big fan!
With patients who are new to micronutrient IVs, especially those who are trying to conceive, I am often asked how frequently, and when is the best time to receive nutritional IVs to optimize fertility.
The answer is: it depends where you are at on your fertility journey.
If you’re ready to pursue using nutritional IVs for your fertility, read on to figure out exactly when would be the most optimal time to boost your chances.
If You’re Simply Thinking About Trying To Conceive In The Future
This is my favourite scenario. You’re thinking proactively about your fertility future and want to do whatever you can now to help your chances of conceiving a healthy baby down the line. Congrats! Take a deep breath and be sure not to worry about your fertility. But here’s some information you may not have considered:
The optimal time to support your fertility is in the 3-6 months leading up to when you actually start trying. Why is that? Because the eggs, sperm, and uterine environment (the three ingredients to creating a healthy baby) that you’ll be relying on a few months from now are starting to develop right now – whether they reach their peak potential depends on your current state of health. Receiving a few nutritional IVs now ensures that your cells are living in a nutritionally replete environment – providing the building blocks that they need to develop into the most optimal versions of themselves.
For women: during the 100 days before you conceive, the cellular environment determines whether your egg cell will reach its peak fertility potential. Flood with nutrients now = better quality egg later.
For men: it takes you 72-90 days to manufacture a new batch of sperm – that’s right, 3-4 months prior to conception, your health is already starting to shape the future health outcomes of your child.
Recommended nutritional IV schedule: for both partners, weekly for a series of 4 micronutrient IVs, then every 2-3 weeks thereafter as maintenance until you fall pregnant. You may receive micronutrient IVs more frequently than that if you feel they are giving you a health benefit; I’ll often recommend them more frequently with patients who have other health concerns, especially digestive or immune.
If You’ve Just Started Trying To Conceive
If you have just embarked on the journey of trying to conceive there’s no need to worry about your fertility, but know that micronutrient IVs may help make it more likely that you conceive easily and quickly. As I mentioned above, your body has been working for the past few months, developing the egg (or sperm) cells that are being released right now! In the final weeks of their development, eggs and sperm are incredibly sensitive to their environment – antioxidant status, vitamin and mineral levels, pH, temperature, hydration status, etc. all impacts their quality.
Micronutrient IVs are the quickest way to optimize the nutritional status of your cellular environment. They bypass the digestive tract, allowing nutrients very quick access to your cells. A boost now will encourage healthy eggs and sperm cells in the last phase of their development.
Recommended nutritional IV schedule: weekly for a series of 4 IVs, then every 2-3 weeks until you fall pregnant, both partners receive a micronutrient IV to bathe the developing egg and sperm cells in needed nutrients. You may receive micronutrient IVs more frequently than that if you feel they are giving you a health benefit; I’ll often recommend them more frequently with patients who have other health concerns, especially digestive or immune.
If You Have An Upcoming IUI
You want to do everything in your power to optimize the likelihood of your upcoming IUI resulting in a healthy pregnancy and, of course, a healthy baby. You or your partner may be taking oral or injectable medications to encourage one or more egg cell to develop in a cycle, using up those critical nutrients even faster. Micronutrient IVs leading up to an IUI are beneficial for both partners – improved egg and sperm quality, stored reserves of nutrients for pregnancy, and fewer side effects to oral or injectable medications are frequently seen in patients receiving micronutrient IVs.
Recommended nutritional IV schedule: weekly micronutrient IVs for a series of 6, and then maintenance IVs every 2-3 weeks until pregnancy is achieved. If the IUI is unsuccessful, I will recommend continuing micronutrient IVs every 2-3 weeks for both partners to enhance the chances of your next IUI working. If it works (yay!), hold off on IVs unless they are needed during pregnancy.
If You Have An Upcoming IVF
The big guns – you’re heading into IVF, the most advanced fertility procedure in the world. Whether this is your first or fifth IVF cycle, you’re hoping that micronutrient IVs will help encourage your best quality egg and sperm cells, so you get to the ultimate: more genetically normal embryos that will implant and create a healthy baby.
IVF is an expensive procedure in terms of time, money, and your health. Micronutrient IVs can help. We’ve been offering micronutrient IVs at Acubalance for several years and have noticed a key impact on patients who are able to complete a series of IVs leading up to their IVF - better quality embryos. We don’t always see a higher number of egg cells on retrieval for IVF (though naturopathic and Chinese medicine can help with that too, through different modalities), but the egg cells that are retrieved, the sperm that are used to fertilize, and the embryos produced are often of higher genetic and/or morphological quality after a series of micronutrient IVs.
I have seen patients with previously failed cycles because of very poor/fragile egg or embryo quality go on to produce day 5 or 6 blastocysts in subsequent cycles. I’ve seen patients with zero euploid embryos after CCS screening create 3 or 4 euploid on their next cycle with the help of nutritional IVs. Women report tolerating their IVF medications better with fewer side effects, are less often hyperstimulated because they process the meds better. If you’re about to spend all that time, money, and emotional currency on an IVF, you want it to work.
I treat both partners who are contributing gametes to an IVF cycle whenever possible. We need the best quality ingredients, and that includes sperm too! Weekly IVs to start, followed by every 2-3 weeks as maintenance seems to do the trick.
It is safe to have micronutrient IVs while you’re on oral or injectable medications, around the time of retrieval or transfer, while you’re waiting for a frozen transfer, and between transfer and pregnancy test result. We change the formula when a patient receives a positive pregnancy test result, but micronutrient IVs are safe in pregnancy as well.
Recommended nutritional IV schedule: both partners, once a week nutritional IVs for a series of 6, followed by maintenance IVs at every 2-3 weeks until pregnancy is achieved.
Read some of our micronutrient IV success stories here.
If You’re In The Middle of An IVF Cycle
The meds have started, and you just learned about using micronutrient IVs for your fertility. Don’t panic! Micronutrient IVs are still useful. Patients receiving micronutrient IVs during the IVF process very often report fewer side effects from their medications, versus previous cycles. Receiving a nutritional boost once a week will provide much needed vitamins, minerals and antioxidants to the extra follicles that are developing, and help your body process the medications. The micronutrient IV formulas I use do not interfere with the action of any IVF drugs, so there is no contraindication to receiving them during your prime, stim, retrieval, or transfer time.
Recommended nutritional IV schedule: weekly IVs during this IVF cycle, until transfer day. Once you’ve had your transfer, we consider you to be pregnant. In the beginning of pregnancy, I often wait and see how you’re feeling before using micronutrient IVs – though they’re safe, they’re not always necessary.
If You’re Already Pregnant
Well, congratulations! Way to go!
Do you feel ok?
When a patient receives a positive pregnancy test result, whether from trying naturally or from an ART procedure (IUI or IVF), I often wait to see how they’re feeling before introducing micronutrient IVs. In many cases, IVs are not necessary during pregnancy – if you’re one of the lucky gals who have minimal nausea, are sleeping well, and still able to eat a healthy balanced diet, you don’t need IVs. But if you’re one of those ladies who cannot keep food down, have a very restricted diet because of sensitivities (is everything you’re eating beige?), cannot get a solid 6 hours of sleep, struggle with restless legs, or are having headaches/migraines – know that these can help.
I use a very safe, very gentle pregnancy IV formula called the Quease Ease bag. It’s high on hydration and several important nutrients, and bypasses your digestive tract to be sure your system receives what it needs to create a healthy babe. I have pregnant ladies with terrible nausea reporting it gives them a few days of relief. One of my recent pregnant patients was having debilitating migraines that cleared after just two sessions. Restless legs calm, and sleep comes easier when we can replenish magnesium and B vitamin stores.
Recommended nutritional IV schedule: as frequently as once/week, I’ll recommend a Quease Ease bag during pregnancy until the symptoms resolve. It may take just 1, or 5 or 6, but you should find some relief after a couple of infusions.
Here’s some more information on the Quease Ease bag.
I look forward to seeing you at Acubalance for your next TG’IV treatment! Wishing you all the best on your fertility journey.
Dr Kali MacIsaac HBSc, ND