- Actress Jennifer Aniston recently made headlines when she revealed her attempts to have a baby and her use of in vitro fertilization (IVF).
- IVF is not a surefire way to conceive, although it may help some people get pregnant.
- Experts shared their thoughts on Aniston’s revelations and what a person can do to maximize their chances of having a baby through IVF.
Jennifer Aniston is making headlines again.
This time it’s not about her career or speculation about her love life, but instead the film and TV star opens up about her fertility issues and her failed attempts at pregnancy.
In a recent interview with Allure magazine, Aniston candidly opened up about how difficult she had been to get pregnant, including the use of in vitro fertilization (IVF).
“I was trying to get pregnant. It was a tough road for me, the road of making babies,” she said.
“All the years and years and years of speculation,” she added. “It was really tough. I was going through IVF, drinking Chinese teas, etc. I was throwing everything at it.
Aniston is certainly not alone on her fertility journey.
However, many more people hoping to have a baby undergo IVF and other fertility treatments every year.
Only 21% of IVF cycles in people under 35 result in a live birth. The rate decreases as a person ages as follows:
- 35-37 years old: 17%
- 38-40 years old: 11%
- 41-42 years old: 5%
- 43-44 years old: 2%
- 44 and over: less than 1%
Jessica Monroe, PhD, RD, a registered dietitian who provides individualized nutritional counseling to people hoping to conceive, says there are things a person can do to increase the chances of success while going through IVF.
“Diet and lifestyle can play a major role in helping maximize your success with IVF,” Monroe told Healthline. “Eating plenty of colorful fruits and vegetables, consuming whole dairy products, incorporating seafood at least twice a week, and minimizing alcohol intake have all been shown to be beneficial in improving fertility outcomes.”
New York reproductive endocrinologist Dr. Sheeva Talebian says inflammation may be another factor.
“Although the data is limited, science suggests that by decreasing systemic inflammation, you can promote fertility. Inflammation can negatively impact egg health as well as the uterine environment,” a- she told Healthline.
To reduce inflammation, Talebian recommends an anti-inflammatory diet low in sugar, gluten, and dairy, along with safe and consistent exercise.
Aniston opened up about how she used Chinese teas to improve her odds.
Experts say they back this method with a few caveats as a way to maximize the chances of a successful IVF cycle.
“Data varies on the benefits of these supplements, but they may reduce inflammation, improve circulation and have anti-oxidant characteristics that may theoretically improve fertility,” Talebian said.
“There is a place for herbs, teas and tinctures in your fertility regimen and some have been used for hundreds of years,” Monroe added.
“In the hands of an experienced practitioner of traditional Chinese medicine,” noted Talebian, “herbs can be safely taken prior to IVF treatment while preparing the body for treatment.”
However, Talebian recommends that “during treatment, we generally advise patients to stop or consult their [doctor] to confirm that the herbs can be safely taken in combination with Western medicine.
Monroe also notes that “there can be interactions between herbs, supplements, and medications, so taking them under the supervision of a healthcare professional is always recommended.”
During her interview, Aniston said, “I would have given anything if someone had said to me, ‘Freeze your eggs. Have fun.’ You just don’t think so. So here I am today. The ship sailed.
Egg freezing comes with its own set of decisions and logistics, including cost, side effects of taking fertility drugs, and a procedure that carries some risks.
Even if Aniston had frozen her eggs, it wouldn’t have guaranteed a successful pregnancy.
“Freezing your eggs also does not guarantee a healthy pregnancy because not all eggs will survive thawing, not all eggs will be fertilized, and not all embryos will be of high quality,” Monroe said.
But egg freezing has its place and can increase the chances of a successful pregnancy, according to Monroe.
“Egg freezing can increase the likelihood of future pregnancy, especially for those who want children in the future, those who have certain medical conditions, and who are at an ideal age to be most successful (usually late 20 , early 30s, but entirely dependent on the quality of the eggs, so there’s no “perfect” age,” she added.
Talebian points to other logistics to consider, recommending a person research the clinic they plan to use to freeze their eggs as well.
“It’s crucial to research clinics and look at their success rates and data because ultimately women need to go to the clinic they can trust,” she said.
Talebian also recommends asking the clinic for their thaw data.
“Questions like ‘how many eggs did you thaw’ and ‘how many embryos did you make’ are good questions to ask to get a sense of the clinic experience,” she advised. . “It may seem like a no-brainer, but women should also clarify that the clinic actually thaws eggs.”
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