Whether you have an old injury like a car accident or a ski fall, or you suffer from a chronic condition that involves pain, swelling or inflammation, this may be interfering with you plans to conceive or give birth to a healthy baby. Issues with swelling in the abdomen will not be helpful or comfortable once fertility medications and injectables are started, nor will a pain condition requiring strong painkillers. Underlying health challenges and illness should be treated and people intending to be parents and begin IVF (in vitro fertilization) or TTC (trying to conceive) naturally should have a plan with their health care provider or fertility specialist.
If you are trying to find ways to get your pain or inflammation down before you are trying to conceive or during your preconception care in preparation for IVF, there are a few things you can do. Once is to eat a whole foods based, organic diet with plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. Foods with high levels of antioxidants can be helpful here, such as organic cherries, blueberries, or oranges. Other anti-inflammatory foods to consider adding in, depending on your overall health, medications, allergies and thyroid health, are green leafy greens, especially spinach, kale, bok choy, swiss chard or collard greens.
If you are into cooking, experiment with adding spices to your foods, such as cayenne pepper (this can be used both internally and externally for pain – some topicals includes this ingredient in their pain cream formulas). Ginger also reduces pain and inflammation, and when joined with turmeric and black pepper, along with oils or fats, can be highly absorbed and extremely helpful for pain and inflammation. If you are able to eat fish, including small fish (or wild-caught fish, if you are doing a bigger fish) can be helpful for inflammation as well. Avoid having more than one canned fish meal per week, or avoid fish (and other foods) stored in cans that may be lined with BPA, a chemical that acts as a hormone disruptor and can contribute to infertility.
If you have any questions about how to reduce pain, inflammation or swelling during your preparation for IVF or while you are trying to conceive, feel free to call Santa Monica Fertility – we are always happy to help!