My Fertility Tips Resulting in 6 Embryos During One IVF Cycle

My Fertility Tips Resulting in 6 Embryos During One IVF Cycle

My Fertility Tips Resulting in 6 Embryos During One IVF Cycle 1239 1202 Suzanne Quast

What’s the STORY behind Fertility:

I have to say, going through my fertility process I have realized the true miracle of life. Not that I didn’t think it was a miracle before but going through this has been a wakeup call to the true gift of having a child. As I mentioned in a previous vlog I got pregnant naturally after 6 months of using ovulation tests (click vlog post to learn more) and I got pregnant in Feb of 2019 but unfortunately had a miscarriage (see vlog post to hear about my experience). Like a lot of women, my journey has been filled with lots of ups and downs. I ended up going the IVF route and luckily (and also with some effort) we got 6 embryos out of one cycle. Let me first start by saying that I think genes definitely play a part in all of this, however, I think there are also things we have control over. And the one thing I have done is RESEARCH, lots and lots of research. I think my research could be of immense value to any of you out there who are starting this process or in the midst of it (oh and please add any of your tips below, let’s learn from each other!). Below is my list of doctors & specialists, what to look for and questions to ask, nutritionists, supplements, and more. Feel free to read the parts that are of interest to you; even though I list a lot of options in LA a lot of my resources work with people all across the country. Also, please free to pass this on to anyone you think might need it.

1. Seek out all the information now, you or your partner might not have any issues but God forbid you do, you will thank yourself for knowing all the information ahead of time. I didn’t do this, I think part of the reason is that my grandmother had my aunt at the age of 45, which was 55 years ago – so age didn’t bother me, and it’s not that it necessarily bothers me now it’s just better to know what your potential issues could be ahead of time.

2. Women – check to see how many follicles you have. I found out mine through my fertility specialist and this will give you insight as to what you are working with. I have 13 follicles on one side and 10 on the other, which apparently is really good for my age and I’m 38 (by the way I hate when they say stuff like “good for your age” but the truth is age does matter)

3. Your doctor will definitely run tests – testing your TSH, estrogen, testosterone, progesterone levels. I had an under-active thyroid, there have been studies that show that 1/4 of women who have unexplained infertility had low to normal thyroid levels. I was put on the medicine Levothyroxine to help regulate my thyroid.

4. If you don’t get pregnant and stay pregnant within a year of trying they say you have fertility issues. When I heard that I was like, ummm really? If you are having trouble conceiving ask your doctor to check your tubes. They do a test called an HSG test – which looks at your fallopian tubes to make sure they aren’t blocked and secondly checks that your uterine lining is normal. (It’s a radiology procedure, mine was done at my IVF doctor’s office. A dye is injected into the uterine cavity through the vagina and cervix. Hopefully, the dye moves freely through your fallopian tubes.) This procedure was pretty uncomfortable and physically painful. We discovered that my right tube was blocked. I had a surgery 10 years ago to have cysts removed off my ovaries (on my right side) and scar tissue built up over time which was preventing an egg from combing with sperm and implanting in the uterus on the right side. This means I could literally only get pregnant 50% of the time. Not good. (Honestly, this somehow felt like a notch against my womanhood, but at least I finally knew why I was having difficulty.)

5. Something very important to keep in mind when looking for a fertility specialist is the lab. The lab is equally as important as the doctor, as they are the ones creating the embryo(s) and storing the embryo(s). CCRM (in Colorado) is supposed to have one of the best labs in the country and the labs at SCRC and California Fertility Partners in Los Angeles are both really good (I’m sure there are others, but these are a couple that I found).

6. Look at your lifestyle and nutritional choices – they say lifestyle and nutrition can affect fertility by up to 69%. I don’t have to tell you but that’s A LOT. For me, this encompassed two different things:

A. Exercise– Working out is my happy place, it’s something I’m good at and something that helps me blow off steam. This is a controversial topic but all of my doctors told me to significantly cut back on my workouts. They said no more heavy lifting or exercises that put a lot of strain on the body. For context, they told me I could work out 5 days a week for 45 min (if you’re on a treadmill the incline shouldn’t be above 4), this honestly felt like a workout my grandmother could do. I cried. A lot (ahh this may sound dramatic but honestly this wasn’t b/c of vanity reasons but because working out allows me to clear my mind and release endorphins). Needless to say, I had to find another way to get this release, which I found through acupuncture (my resources on this are below)

B. Nutrition- I realize a lot of women can get pregnant without focusing on this, my mother certainly did, but we live in a time when our foods are more processed, we are getting pregnant later and diet can play a very large factor in fertility. For starters, if you can afford to meet with one of my nutritionist, Chris Tally – I would HIGHLY recommend it (he does Skype calls so you don’t have to live in LA). He works with professional athletes. One might ask what’s the connection between professional athletes and getting pregnant, well for starters, professional athletes want their bodies to perform at the highest possible levels and they optimize their body with food and supplements. We essentially want to do the same thing- we want to get our bodies functioning at the highest level to achieve the highest probability of success. Secondly, he helped a 46-year-old woman get pregnant, naturally! (need I say more? 🙂 Ok, back on track… what I found through working with him is this: 1. my selenium levels where really low (selenium is very important because it helps with the uterine lining and helps the embryo implant in the uterus); 2. I found out I have large amounts of cadmium in my body which can cause birth defects and miscarriages; 3. I had high amounts of vitamin A in my body which could cause birth defects (vitamin A is found in beauty products like retinol); – correcting these 3 things alone could drastically affect my ability to get pregnant. (His information will be in the resources section below). Regardless of meeting with him or not, below is the list of nutritional advice I have gathered from all of my doctors, nutritionists and acupuncturists.

IVF is 3x’s more likely to have a successful pregnancy when eating a Mediterranean diet- an anti-inflammatory, nutrient-rich diet that consists of whole foods. The Mediterranean diet consists of a high intake of vegetable oils (olive, coconut), vegetables, fish, and legumes, with a low intake of snacks (sugar, salt).

Here are specific foods that are good for you:

1. brazil nuts- an excellent source of selenium (helps thicken the uterine wall- which is good for implantation- it doesn’t take a lot like one or
2. walnuts (pure brain food)- proper fetal brain development (great source of omega’s 3’
3. sunflower seeds- high in folate, have selenium
4. avocado- high in fat and folate potassium and fiber and antioxidants
5. olive oil & leafy greens
6. always eat organic- I know this can be expensive so try and be in season, but the pesticides they use can be extremely harmful
7. no alcohol – 3 drinks per week decreases your chances by 20%; 5 drinks per week by 50%
8. eat warm foods around the time of ovulation- it helps the egg stick to the uterus
9. drink 2 1/2 liters of water and try to avoid plastic containers use glass or water filtration system- We found different research that suggests women with twice as much BPA in their bloodstreams had half as many viable eggs,
10. avoid trans-fats
11. quinoa – replacing with animal protein and high in fiber
12. edamame

SUPPLEMENTS TO TAKE: (I’m NOT sponsored by any of these companies and I do NOT make any money from promoting them, these are the best ones I have found.)

1. Prentals: are their better ones out there – yes there definitely are! The one i’m taking is Metogenics, another good one is Ritual. Also, find a prenatal that has folate rather than folic acid.

2. Vitamin D: nutritionists say this is the one supplement that everyone should be taking. This helps reduce the risk of pre-eclampsia, low birth weight, and preterm birth

3. NeoQ10: the brand I use is Q-Evail 200 – You and your man can take this, it helps with overall sperm health and egg quality

4. Thorne Meythl Guard: if you’re taking Metagenics you might not need the thorne- but a lot of prenatals that come in 1 capsule doesn’t have all the ingredients you may need. This pill has b vitamins and folate in it.

5. Chinese herbs – I got these from acupuncturist (their information is below in resources)

As mentioned, I did a vlog post on this but to recap: knowing when you ovulate is obviously important. If your average menstrual cycle is 28 days, you typically ovulate around day 14, meaning your most fertile days are days 12, 13, 14. For me, my cycle is 29-31 days and I found out through ovulation tests that I ovulate on Day 12. This is important because if I was going by the average I would be missing my window since I ovulate a little earlier. Once you have intercourse wait 10-15 minutes before going to the bathroom, this gives the sperm time to swim up to the cervix. You also don’t need to have sex every day, it was suggested to me to have sex every other day around the time of ovulation.


Doctors | Fertility Specialists
1. My OBGYN: Dr Katz (love him)
2. Dr. Ringler: IVF doctor, I have a lot of friends that have gone to him to freeze their eggs and for IVF and have had successful IVF procedures ending in a little bambino. We decided to move forward with Dr. Ringler
3. SCRC: They have lots of good doctors here. A couple of notes – Dr. Surrey is world renown but I’ve had many people who met with him and said his bedside manner is terrible. To me, this was a deal-breaker but for you, it might not matter. However, he is supposed to be an amazing doctor. Dr. Danzer is also supposed to be good. Dr. Chang, my fertility nutritionist suggested her- our first visit with her lasted 2 1/2 hours. She was the first specialist that emphasized the importance of nutrition, she was kind, she was thorough and I felt really safe with her. I can’t say enough good things about her.
4. Reproductive Partners (I have never seen a doctor here but I have girlfriends that wen to Dr. Andy Huang, and Dr. Carrie Wambach
5. CCRM (Colorado Center for Reproductive Medicine)- this office is supposed to one of, if not the best lab in the country. A girlfriend of mine went to Dr. Schoolcraft for IVF which resulted in a beautiful little girl.

1. Chris Tally- this is the guy I mentioned above who does extensive lab testing to help you optimize your body which helps your likelihood of getting pregnant.
2. Jessica Diamond – She is a renowned dietician nutritionist, she specializes in helping women get pregnant, what to do when we are and also aids in helping with child nutrition; how to feed our newborns/switch to real food etc. She will also make house calls or Skype calls to go through your cabinets to make sure you are stacking your cabinets with the correct foods and supplements- she’s awesome.

1. Katya Mosley- Spirit Gate Acupuncture & Wellness; contact: 310-630-9836.
2. Danica Thornberry – Well Woman Acupuncture; 310-826-3706
3. Mirela Rohan Acupuncture; 310-276-0027

Nutrition Books
1. The Fertility Diet
2. Fertility Foods Cookbook

Let me end with this- Trying to conceive can be stressful, please don’t let it consume you. Have fun along with the way, don’t forget to enjoy your partner (some ideas on how to make sex not feel like a chore, because let’s face the longer you’re in this process the more it can seem like that): 1. when you’re ovulating send your partner a naughty text 2. if you’re adventurous try tantric sex 3. or even just try mixing up where you have sex. 4. you love what you’re doing – continue with that! And once you gather all the information – Let. It. Go. Nothing in life comes when we are obsessing and stressing. I wish you the best of luck on this journey!