IVF treatment can be stressful and lead to anxiety for some couples. It’s important for someone undergoing IVF to take care of both, their mental and physical health during the treatment. Easier said than done, one needs to be able to combat stress and stay calm. The better prepared you are, the smoother your treatment will be. Therefore, it is essential for you to have thorough knowledge about the treatment, how the process works, and what to expect. Get all your doubts cleared before initiating the treatment.
Are you unable to conceive naturally due to various reasons? Planning for IVF? Then, you need to prepare for it first. The IVF treatment can be a stressful experience for many. However, stress will differ from person to person based on one’s experience. It is still not known whether stress induces infertility. But, one may feel anxious after thinking about the side effects or complications that arise during the treatment. Moreover, some women may experience signs like mood changes, hot flashes, headaches and may find it difficult to cope during the treatment, although these side effects are rare and do not happen with everyone. Instead of making assumptions, it is essential to plan things in advance. So, it is the need of the hour to know about various measures that will help one de-stress, and stay composed during the entire process.
How stress can arise during IVF
If you are undergoing IVF treatment, frequent doctor visits may disrupt your daily routine. It can affect one’s family, work, and social life. In some cases we have seen infertility cause a strain on marital relations too. In addition to the physical and mental stress, the treatments can also add a financial burden. Furthermore, some people may feel overwhelmed due to confusion & doubts, and thus the anxiety may go on increasing at each stage. This can lead to undue stress even before the outcome. In the two-week wait, couples often worry whether the fertilization happened, or the embryo transfer was successful. However, there are many ways to cope with these uncertainties.
Tips to cope with stress during IVF
Dealing with stress can help you to enhance your overall well-being. You can do certain activities that can help you relax. Try listening to your favorite song, exercise daily, meditate, cook, or paint. Even gardening, reading, and photography can help you de-stress. Take out some ME time, and pursue your hobbies. Make sure to spend some quality time with your partner, family, and friends. Open up about your feelings with your close ones.
You can take psychotherapy and cognitive behavioral therapy after consulting an expert. Remember that counseling can be beneficial for you to ease your anxiety. Take stress management classes, if required.
Stick to a well-balanced diet inclusive of all the vital nutrients, and get enough sleep on a daily basis.
Join a support group, and learn from the experience of others. Discuss your hopes and expectations with the doctor.
Ensure free flow of communication between you and your partner and seek support before initiating the treatment.
Recognize your self-worth, learn to respect yourself, and try to feel good about yourself without getting traumatized.
IVF is for helping you to achieve your dream of parenthood, and you may need to keep trying till you succeed. Don’t let stress or other factors create obstacles in your journey. Taking charge of your physical and mental well-being will help you be at ease.
by Dr Sulbha Arora