Not The First Bump In The Road
For many couples, in vitro fertilization (IVF) is not the first stop on their journey of trying to reproduce. Usually, couples pursue IVF after they’ve already been dealing with infertility. While IVF is an effective infertility treatment, it can come with a lot of physical and emotional stress. Couples beginning IVF treatment should have an awareness of the little bumps in the road ahead and create a plan for coping.
The part that makes women most anxious
One study found that the most anxiety-inducing element to IVF is the waiting period before finding out if an embryo transfer has been successful. However, other parts of IVF can be challenging too. Many women experience hormonal changes and mood swings as side effects of IVF medications. Infertility, in general, can also be taxing on couples. Dealing with intense emotions and high costs can be difficult. Being told exactly when to have intercourse can make the physical side of a couple’s relationship feel more mechanical and less connected.
Managing stress while undergoing IVF treatment is crucial to success. In fact, some research has found that high-stress levels can lower a couple’s chances of IVF success. That thought alone can cause some people’s stress levels to skyrocket!
Professionals are here to help
Short-term counseling during IVF is extremely common and helpful. A counselor or psychotherapist can help an individual or a couple to learn better-coping strategies for managing stress. Some people also may have a predisposition to struggling with anxiety or depression. A licensed psychiatrist may recommend certain antidepressants or other medications. However, it’s important for women to check with all their doctors before beginning any medication, as some drugs can interfere with infertility medications.
Don’t let normal habits fall to the wayside
Little bumps in the road are an inevitable part of life. For long-term emotional health and wellness, everyone should have a few stress reduction techniques that they know work well for them. Some common ways to reduce stress include:
- Exercising regularly
- Practicing yoga or other mindfulness practices
- Keeping caffeine intake low
Even though IVF can consume a lot of emotional energy, it’s important for both partners to still make time for stress reduction and relaxation. It will help the couple stay connected, grounded, and will increase the chances of IVF success.