For those struggling with infertility, the road to becoming a parent can be very stressful. Over the years, infertility takes its toll. So, by the time you’re ready to undergo fertility treatments, you may be emotionally drained. IVF gives many intended parents a renewed sense of hope, but coupled with that is incredible stress. However, it’s important to find ways to address and manage the stress involved with IVF so that you can have a calmer frame of mind and thrive during this emotional journey.
The Stress of IVF Treatments
Undergoing fertility treatments can cause a lot of stress both physically and emotionally. Thankfully, no evidence suggests that stress impacts a successful IVF outcome. In fact, women with high anxiety levels are just as likely to conceive as those with lower anxiety. Stress can affect your ability to stay calm and optimistic during this intense experience, though.
Before you begin the IVF cycle, you should understand how it may impact you and what potential stressors are involved:
- Time: IVF treatments can take anywhere from two weeks to a month. You will have to arrange your schedule for all the clinical visits which may involve taking time off work.
- Expense: IVF treatments are expensive and seldom covered by health insurance. You will want to make sure you have the finances to cover it ahead of time.
- Medications: There is some stress involved in the medications needed for IVF treatment. Some people fear self-administering shots. Plus, hormones from fertility drugs can amplify your emotions leading to intense mood swings.
- Feelings of inadequacy: Many women struggle with feeling inadequate because of infertility issues during treatment. Even if you know intellectually that infertility is not your fault, be prepared for these negative thoughts to arise.
- Decisions: A multiple embryo transfer could result in a risky multiple pregnancy. You also should be prepared to decide between keeping or freezing eggs if there are extra after the procedure is complete.
These and many more stressors may arise before and during your IVF treatment. But don’t worry, there are some things you can do to help manage your stress levels and have a more positive outlook.
Tips for Managing Stress During IVF Treatments
Varying levels of stress are inevitable before you undergo IVF and during the treatment process. However, they do not need to be overwhelming. There are things you and your partner can do to ensure these stressors are as minimal as possible so that even on difficult days, you can remain comfortable and hopeful. Here are some tips that may help you manage your stress level:
- Educate yourself with as much information about IVF treatments as possible so that you feel empowered during the treatments.
- Figure out your financial obligation ahead of time so that unexpected expenses don’t crop up.
- Join a support group, visit a therapist or surround yourself with positive relationships so that you have a strong support network to help you through treatment.
- If difficult decisions arise, be prepared on how you and your partner want to handle different situations.
- Try a variety of stress management techniques such as exercise, relaxation, baths, walks, massage and whatever causes your stress levels to decrease.
Carefully Choose Your IVF Treatment Team
Another way to keep your stress levels to a minimum is by partnering with a fertility team that’s both qualified and able to provide compassionate support. Western Fertility Institute is committed to walking with you every step of the way on your journey to becoming a parent. We can guide you as you make important decisions, answer all your questions and help you have as positive an IVF treatment experience as possible. Contact us to learn more today.