Updated: Nov 8, 2022
Fertility treatment can be a difficult journey. The emotional ups and downs can take a toll on your emotional and mental health. We have consolidated a brief “cheat sheet” of actions that you can incorporate to help stay optimistic while trying to conceive.
How Does IVF Impact Mental Health?
Women who undergo assisted reproductive technologies often report significant stress from the process. It is common for women to experience anxiety and depression. Additionally, couples who achieve pregnancy via IVF report more stress during pregnancy than fertile couples.
IVF involves a great deal of uncertainty and unpredictability, which can further contribute to patient anxiety. Additionally, the hormone medications administered during IVF can also play a role in the mood swings that many experience.
What Can I Do During IVF To Improve Positivity?
There are several things that couples can do to improve their emotional wellbeing during the IVF process. These include:
Avoid negativity: Some people can become weighed down by negative statistics and comments from friends, family and even clinicians. While it is important to be aware of statistical chances of success, it is imperative to not allow negative data to consume you. In some cases, couples may be dealing with unsupportive family or friends. It may be helpful to distance yourself from these individuals, especially as you undergo treatment.
Practice mindfulness: Mindfulness techniques are essential in maintaining emotional wellness during the fertility journey. Meditation can be a great way to avoid the stress that comes from overthinking. Yoga is a great activity for couples that may be beneficial. Additionally, some women find fertility affirmations to be helpful as they undergo IVF.
Exercise: Exercise is a great way to optimize health. Some couples incorporate daily walks into their schedule, as it is a wonderful way to spend time together while supporting health.
Be grateful: It is easy to question “why me” when going through fertility treatment. It is helpful to recognize the positive parts of this process. Gratitude helps combat negative feelings that come up. Be grateful for the small achievements that you make and be mindful that this process is a journey.
Share with others: IVF can be very isolating. Some couples choose not to share their journey with friends or even family members. It important that individuals have an outlet to share their experiences. Talk to each other. It may be helpful to also arrange appointments with a therapist who specializes in clients with infertility.
Self-care: Your body goes through a lot with IVF, so treat yourself when you can. Pamper yourself with a massage or acupuncture. Schedule some “me time” into each day. Do you love to read or paint? Perhaps you like to relax with some good music. Do whatever you can to take advantage of these small pleasures!
The IVF process can be an emotionally difficult time for couples. In order to promote your mental health and emotional wellbeing, there are many actions that can be done. Focusing on exercise, interpersonal connections, mindfulness and self-care are just some of the many ways to remain optimistic and positive during your journey to parenthood.
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What were your experiences with IVF? Are there any self-care techniques that you found to be beneficial? Please share in the comments below.