The process of in vitro fertilization (IVF) can be physically and emotionally exhausting. Patients often say the stress of undergoing IVF is equivalent to other major life events, such as divorce. If you’re starting IVF or another fertility treatment, here is the best advice from those who have gone through it.
1. Take it one day at a time
IVF is a marathon, not a sprint. Approach the process with the goal of taking it one day at a time.
Do the best you can to remain patient and stay in the moment. Don’t get ahead of yourself and dwell on things that haven’t happened yet.
2. Stay positive
It is completely normal to have anxiety about the IVF process. Some patients find it helpful to give themselves a time limit on worrying, for example, 15 minutes a day.
Once you hit your worrying limit, it’s time to change your frame of mind. For example, perhaps the journey is bringing you and your partner closer together. Find reasons to think positively about the experience.
3. Mentally prepare
Daily injections, as well as the costs of treatment, can take a toll. Ask yourself a few important questions as you’re preparing for IVF:
- How will I manage the day-to-day time commitment this requires?
- Are there ways I can offset stress associated with the cost of IVF?
- How can I improve communication with my partner or family during this process?
Jot down your thoughts in a journal and refer back to them when you need encouragement.
4. Don’t compare yourself to others
Every infertility case is incredibly personal and unique. No two situations are alike. For this reason, you can’t compare your IVF journey to anyone else’s.
5. Find a support system
Don’t go it alone. Find someone you can confide in when you need to talk about your journey.
For many patients, infertility support groups provide a safe place to ask for advice or talk with others who have walked in your shoes or are facing the same challenges, at the same time.
6. Continue to do the things you enjoy
Life shouldn’t stop because you’re starting IVF.
Continue to live your life and do the things you enjoy, whether that means reading a book, going to a concert, or any other hobby that makes you happy.
7. Do your research
Be your own advocate and arm yourself with knowledge.
Have questions? Don’t be afraid to ask your doctor. Reading books and articles from reputable sources can also help you feel educated about the process.
8. Manage your expectations
Sometimes several IVF treatments are required before a successful pregnancy is achieved.
Manage your expectations and remember that delays can happen for various reasons.
9. Get some rest
Sleep is important for everyone, regardless of gender and age. Make it a priority to get quality rest each night. This can keep you healthy and improve your mood, making it easier to stay positive.
10. Make time for self-care
Take time for yourself during the IVF process. Think about what makes you feel relaxed and completely content.
Whether it is a scenic hike or a trip to the nail salon, don’t forget to take care of yourself.
Learn more about your IVF journey
Starting IVF is both exciting and stressful. Follow our blog for resources as you begin your journey.
If you live in Louisiana and neighboring states and would like to talk to one of our doctors about IVF or other fertility treatments, contact The Fertility Institute of New Orleans today. We help our patients and their families navigate the physical and emotional aspects of fertility treatments.