Welcome to the IVF Coaching App! We thank you for purchasing this app and sincerely hope that you will find it a helpful tool during your IVF journey.
Please take a moment to read through what is here below as it will give you important information about how to use this app. We realize that some of you are having your first IVF treatment and some have had a few treatments while others have had many IVF treatments. We hope you will all find something in this app that will be helpful to you!
On the first page where it says Taking control of your IVF journey, you can read about the different reasons for infertility. For some of you this will be old information but for some this will be new. You can also read important information about What to have in mind when you choose your IVF clinic as there are different things that matter to different people. It is important to study what your IVF clinic offers and evaluate whether another clinic might better meet your needs. After that you can read about different Fertility Tests you may have had or you may wish to ask your doctor whether it may be helpful for you to have these tests. In Techniqes clinics may offer you can read about different techniques that can increase IVF success rate. If you have had repeated failed IVF treatments these different tests and techniques may be of interest to you.
In the section Ways to prepare for an IVF treatment you will find a very important section called Enhance your chances right away. In this section there are several tips based on research findings about what you can do to take control and actually do something that studies have shown improves chances of becoming pregnant. For most of these tips to actually be helpful you need to have time to implement them. There is information on vitamins that have been shown to increase your chances of becoming pregnant but you need to take them for 3 months before your IVF cycle for it to improve the quality of egg and sperm. Read this section carefully as it has lots of helpful information that you can use to take control and do something that improves your chances.
The next section is called Meditation and Relaxation Recordings. There you will find five different recordings based on where you are in your IVF process, what kind of treatment is ahead and whether you are male or female. The recordings have some hypnotic suggestions built into them, so if you do not wish to listen to hypnotic suggestions, we recommend you find different ways to enjoy deep relaxation and there is information in that section on different options. Men and women can listen to the general relaxation recording included in the app. All of the recordings have the same beginning and the same ending. There is a recording for men with sperm production problems who wish to improve their sperm count and quality. There is a recording to prepare for egg retrieval, another one to prepare for frozen embryo transfer and/or egg donor treatment. The fifth recording is to prepare for the embryo transfer and the two-week wait. We hope you enjoy these exercises. Deep relaxation helps reduce infertility-related stress and anxiety and studies have shown they help pregnancy rates. So by listening to relaxation recordings you are actually getting multiple benefits; you will feel better, reduce stress and anxiety, and it should increase your chances of becoming pregnant – more control to you!
Please note that the recording will turn off when your screen turns off so please turn your Screen-lock / Auto-lock off while listening to the recording.
The third section includes information on Vitamins, Minerals and Supplements that have to do with infertility. There are several links to the original studies and there is also a reference list if you want to read more about the effects of different vitamins on infertility.
The fourth section is called List of pleasant activities and is something that comes from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. In it you will find tons of ideas that you may find pleasant. Think of the list as a buffet of choices, you will not like everything you find there but you will get ideas. So often women and men get lost in the dream to become parents (again) that they have stopped being active in life. Think back to before you decided to try to become pregnant… what did you enjoy doing? Are you still doing those things? When you have your two-week wait, do you often feel like you can‘t think of anything pleasant to do? Get ideas from the list and take back control of your feelings. When you are doing pleasant things you feel better, it allows time to pass more quickly and helps increase the quality of your life.
In the fifth section you will find What do I want to know before my treatment starts. Tap on that and you will see three boxes on your next screen. The first one is called Information about IVF treatments In it is a list of information about IVF treatments, embryo transfers, frozen embryo transfers, egg donation treatments, embryo quality, how IVF is performed, etc. For some of you this is basic information but new information to others. In the second box you will see Information you want from your doctor about your failed IVF treatment. If you tap on that box you will see a pretty long list of different questions you can ask your doctor, depending on what went wrong with your last unsuccessful treatment(s). Not all this information will pertain to you but it will give you a sense of control to be able to go through these questions and see if any of them apply to you and then you can choose whether you want to ask these questions or not. These are questions about your lining, fertilization rate, embryo development, your eggs, implantation and more. You will also get information in this box on what some possible solutions might be to those problems, with links to studies where applicable. We sincerely hope these questions will be helpful to you. In the third box you will see My questions. In that section you can write down your own questions for your doctor and then you can add the answers your doctor gave you so you don‘t forget.
If you are experiencing stress and you worry that that will have an effect on your treatment results then you are not alone. We have only met a handful of women who are not worried about whether her stress is damaging her chances of becoming pregnant. Please read about Stress and IVF.
Many women make a change to their diet before having IVF treatment. In Can what you put into your body make a difference? you can read about what they are changing and why.
On the My Treatment page you will select the option that applies to your next treatment. You can choose from a Long cycle, short cycle, frozen embryo transfer and egg-donor cycle. Then you will select the embryo transfer date (2, 3, 4 or 5 day) and tap on start. Then the app asks you to choose the date you will start using the medication your doctor ordered for your IVF treatment. After that you will get a calendar with different dates highlighted – first day of treatment, first day of stimulation (if applicable, egg retrieval date (if applicable), embryo transfer date and blood test date). You can always change these dates if you need and if you tap on change calender information you will also have the option to add more appointments, for example a psychotherapy appointment, acupuncture appointment, massage, and it will show up on your calender. On the calender page you also have the option of Write in my diary about your symptoms, thoughts, feelings, or whatever is important to you.
Every day during your treatment, you will find a new daily tip on the My Treatment page. In these daily tips you will find information about what is ahead in the IVF treatment process combined with study findings and information on how to maximize the probability of a positive outcome and increase your well-being. We are pretty excited about this information and hope it will help you through your IVF process in more ways that one. You will be able to browse through your previous tips as more are added.
In the Settings page you can also make changes to the calendar. You can read your diary entries on this page and there is also a box you can tap if you wish to contact us via e-mail. You will also find a box called Import/Export. You can use it if you want to export your data from the app, in case you start using a new phone. There is also a box you can tap to cancel your treatment if you need. You can cancel your treatment and start again as often as you want to BUT you will have to put the required information in again to continue.
Once it is time for your blood test, a new box will appear on your calendar page where you will be asked for the results of your blood test. You will have the option of tapping on Positive, Negative or Positive with Low hCG levels. Depending on which box you select you will receive appropriate information.
We certainly hope that this app will make the IVF treatment process easier for you, maximize your wellbeing, minimize stress, anxiety and depression, and maximize your chances of becoming pregnant. We wish you well.
Gyda Eyjolfsdottir, Ph.D. Psychologist
Berglind Osk Birgisdottir, B.Sc. Registered Nurse.