Activities To Decrease Stress During IVF
In vitro fertilization (IVF) is becoming increasingly accessible, and each year about 2% of babies born in the United States are conceived using this technology. Although IVF is an exciting process, the procedure can also cause stress and anxiety for the patient. Non-medication options such as acupuncture, massage, and aromatherapy are helpful ways to manage this stress. By keeping calm during treatment, women may be more likely to achieve success.
Stress is a factor
After the logistics of finding a doctor to help with infertility and scheduling an initial consultation, stress can set in. For some women, the stress may be due to the fear of needles during the retrieval process. For others, the financial aspect of IVF may be the most stressful part. Most people will experience some level of anxiety about the chances of IVF even working. Although each experience is unique, many patients say IVF is more stressful than getting a divorce or dealing with the death of a family member.
Lower your cortisol
A recent study showed that patients with lower cortisol levels were more likely to get pregnant during IVF. Stress can also cause women to engage in unhealthy habits such as drinking alcohol, smoking, overeating, and not exercising, all of which may hurt fertility. While difficult eliminate stress when undergoing a high-stakes procedure like IVF, finding ways to minimize anxiety is essential.
Needles can help
Acupuncture is a form of alternative medicine that has been around for thousands of years. The practice involves sticking tiny needles into the skin at specific points in the body to balance chi. Acupuncture is most commonly used for pain but can also be used for stress management. Most women report feeling relaxed after acupuncture treatment, and cortisol has been shown to reduce as a result of this treatment.
Time for a massage
Everyone loves a massage, but women undergoing fertility treatment deserve this relaxing treatment. Massage can reduce stress and promote the release of feel-good hormones like oxytocin. Women doing IVF may have symptoms from treatment, such as swelling and bruising, and a massage can help. Always be sure to let the massage therapist know about any current fertility treatment so the safest experience can be offered.
Scents are relaxing
Smell is a powerful tool, and aromatherapy is another good way to reduce stress. Aromatherapy uses essential oils from plants, flowers, and trees to promote health and well-being. Lavender, sandalwood, clary sage, and jasmine are some of the best scents for stress and anxiety. However, each patient’s scent preference will differ. Consider diffusing these oils while falling asleep at night or adding a few to a bath to promote relaxation.
No more stress
The bottom line is that fertility treatments are stressful, and patients need healthy ways to manage that ongoing stress. Acupuncture, massage, and aromatherapy are excellent approaches to try during IVF. By reducing stress, patients can focus entirely on getting pregnant.