Preparing Emotionally For Your IVF Cycle
IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) is a medical process that can be challenging, both physically and emotionally. Each person's experience of IVF is different. That's why it is crucial to be emotionally ready for your IVF cycle so you can be best prepared for any outcome. In this article, we provide some tips to help you prepare for the process.
1. Preparing for the IVF Cycle
The first step in preparing for an IVF cycle is to recognize that dealing with fertility problems can make you feel a lack of control. Planning ahead can give you a greater sense of control. Some tips that can help you prepare for your cycle include:
- Take a look at your calendar and work schedule before scheduling your cycle. Avoid scheduling a treatment cycle amid major work deadlines or family obligations.
- Plan calm, stress-reducing activities during your treatment cycle, particularly on the most challenging days.
- Decide who to tell about your treatment with your partner in advance. Some people tell everyone, while others tell no one. Choose what is right for you.
- Consider whether to tell your boss that you are doing IVF. If you feel that they are understanding, it may be better to share your situation.
- Always go into a cycle with an idea of what you would do if the cycle is not successful. Ask your doctor to help you know what might come next.
- Review instructions from your Care Team about what physical activities, medications, or dietary supplements are safe during treatment. If you have concerns, ask your doctor well in advance so you can make the needed adjustments.
- Learn how to communicate with your medical team and who to go to with what types of questions.
2. During Treatment
Different coping techniques work well during IVF treatment at different points in the cycle. When you are preparing, this is the time to get organized, plan, learn, and ask questions. During the stimulation part of the cycle, it is important to listen carefully to instructions, but also try to “give in” to the process and remember to breathe. During the waiting period, distraction is often a helpful coping technique. Try focusing on anything else, like work, hobbies, other people, social action, and so forth. Some tips that can help you cope with treatment include:
- Try taking quiet walks, engaging with supportive friends, enjoying favorite foods, reading a fun novel, seeing a great movie, or whatever pleasurable and relaxing activities you enjoy.
- Accept that lack of control can be hard, but try to avoid asking yourself what you did wrong to make the cycle unsuccessful.
3. If You Get Disappointing Results
The IVF process is not always successful, and it can be disappointing when things don't go according to plan. Here are some tips that can help you cope with disappointing results:
- Try to avoid asking yourself what you did wrong to make the cycle unsuccessful. There is usually nothing you could have done to make the cycle successful or unsuccessful.
- Consider taking a short break from treatment to refuel emotionally.
4. General Tips
Going through IVF can be quite difficult for most people. Here are some general tips that can help you cope with the challenges:
- Recognize that feelings of frustration, uncertainty, and loss of control are normal.
- Spend time with people who are not pregnant or new moms, and let pregnant friends know that you are thrilled for them but are going through a rough time and need some time to yourself.
- It's okay to not go to baby showers or children's events if you don't feel up to it.
Preparing emotionally for an IVF cycle is as important as preparing physically. It's crucial to plan ahead and find ways to manage stress and emotions during the process. Remember that it's okay to feel a range of emotions. We are one of the very few fertility centers with in-clinic psychological support. Head to https://crh.ucsf.edu/appointments to schedule an appointment and start your fertility journey today.
There are many causes of infertility. For a successful pregnancy to occur, a healthy egg needs to meet healthy sperm, fertilize, develop and find a good place to grow (a receptive uterus). Problems at any of these steps can cause difficulties in getting pregnant. A woman’s body might not release an egg each month due to hormone imbalances, or perhaps the man’s body isn’t producing enough motile sperm.