When we talk about In Vitro Fertilization (IVF), the discussions are usually biological and backed by science. There are hundreds of manuals, reports and studies about this one acronym. But IVF is not limited to being a science concept or a process of making fertilization easier for struggling parents. Nobody talks about the course of emotions IVF carries along.
The various states of ups and downs that are attached to the process remain away from the spotlight. Choosing to go for IVF is like riding on two boats. One is named Procedure Progress and the other Emotional Stability. If you remove your leg from any of these, there will be an imbalance.
For our next part of the article series – KnowIVF, we will be talking about the emotional share of the process.
Saying that “IVF is scary” is an understatement. It is, in fact, more emotionally intense than naturally birthing a child. We are not undermining the struggles and labour of a woman who gives birth without having to go through IVF. But the one who conceives through this fertility treatment has added emotional and physical upheaval.
First, there is a pile of added stress. Just signing up for an IVF procedure does not confirm your chances of having a baby. Research has shown that women are most stressed during the first IVF cycle. There is uncertainty about the process and the results of the same. Then the aspect of IVF may affect the couples’ marital, financial, social, and mental status. They may or may not agree upon the chosen steps. IVF cycles are an add on expense. And despite the growth of our society, there are still stigmas about infertility that cause problems for the couple.
On top of this, there are the possible side effects of the treatment. These include headaches, hot flashes, and future health issues. There are additional tests and exams. For some couples, the process may also be a religious or moral subject.
To name a few emotions, expecting couples go through the confusion, surprise, anxiety, and more. The stress of the waiting period between cycles and the outcome of the embryo transfer takes a toll.
The Coping Mechanism
It is important to navigate the psychological effects of In Vitro Fertilization. For each couple, the experience is overwhelming but unique. We cannot, thus, generalise the several emotions that couples may or may not feel during IVF. However, couples can stand up to the challenges by attempting the following practices-
Be educated and informed
What do you do when you don’t know something? You ask. The right way to beat anxiety is to keep yourself informed. You may be worried about the whats, hows, whys and more. The best solution is to know the right answer from the right person. Learn from credible sources, take your queries to specialists and do not believe the myths.
Boost your decision making
How well you make decisions is what defines you as an adult. But the most important decision making is done during the various steps of IVF. You can expect to receive all sorts of news during the procedure. So if you are planning, plan all possibilities and the decisions you may have to take. Consider your and your partners’ health as a priority when faced with any such situation.
Do not be isolated
Infertility is a community no one wants to join. But openness about the health issue can give relief to all the members. You may be amazed to know the number of parents opting for IVF or other fertility treatments. It is understandable that you may be swamped with emotions and may need solitude. While one’s company is a good escape, isolating yourself may not be healthy. If you are having trouble managing your sentiments, talk to your loved ones. You should discuss your hopes and fears with your partner. If need be, you and your partner can also attend counselling sessions from a verified therapist.
Identify your stress triggers
Though IVF is a lengthy journey, you should not have to remain in a state of distress throughout. It is best to acknowledge the thoughts and practices that trigger you. Once you know what makes you feel overwhelmed, you can share them and work on them.
Avoid other major life changes
IVF, in itself, is a lot. It may keep you busy for a good amount of time. So try to avoid any changes in your life that may put more stress on you. For the time being, you can put aside the worries of your job, your house or other things.
If the many challenges mentioned above were not enough, there is the waiting time after the embryo transfer and then, of course, the pregnancy. You may feel immersed in feelings only by reading this article, just like the author.
But practising these coping strategies every day will bring gradual progress in how you deal with the peaks and valleys of IVF. Some more strategies include joining clubs, journaling, focusing on rest, meditating, among others.
Keep an eye out for KnowIVF to learn about fertility issues and treatment.
For more information and FREE personalized guidance, speak to a Credihealth medical expert at +918010994994.