#1: I still want this, but I feel drained
IVF involves a series of complex and time-consuming procedures. IVF begins with a woman taking hormone injections daily to boost egg production. At the precise time, a doctor performs an egg retrieval process. Women must follow specific instructions before and after this procedure, and then will need to wait until the egg and sperm create an embryo that can be implanted into the uterus.
This process can be physically, emotionally, and financially difficult for a couple. While IVF is the most effective way to get pregnant when battling infertility, it can take a number of months or years for it to work. Women commonly feel emotional about the invasive nature of the process and become stressed or anxious. Studies have even shown that the stress of IVF is just as severe as the stress associated with having cancer, hypertension, or recovering from a heart attack.
#2: IVF is stressful for the male partner, too
While people often focus on the psychological effects on women during IVF, infertility treatments can be stressful for the male partner too. Men still suffer the financial and emotional burdens that the female partners do. And in cases of male factor infertility, the male partner may also be suffering a larger emotional and physical burden. For example, if a man’s sperm count is extremely low, the doctor may combine IVF with intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), a process that involves taking sperm directly from the testicles.
#3: Distractions are welcome
Going through IVF treatment requires a lot of patience. It’s easy for couples to become hyper-focused on the IVF process and lose sight of the other factors that make the relationship fulfilling. But distraction from the stress and anxiety of infertility is important. Go out on a date, order carry-in and watch a favorite movie, or take a weekend getaway.
Keep laughing together
Studies have shown that much of a couples’ success together is tied to a shared sense of humor. During IVF treatment, don’t let the relationship become humorless. Share that funny cat video, text each other about amusing things that happen at work, and keep laughing together.