Infertility is an experience that can both take a toll on your body physically and mentally. As humans, being able to reproduce is supposed to be one of the most basic needs that our bodies are genetically designed to do, so not being able to do that can make a woman feel inadequate or like less of a woman. The emotions associated with infertility can actually make you lose your sense of self.
Women who experience infertility often have feelings of sadness, anger, jealousy, and guilt for not being able to have children. Some will even get pregnant and then experience a miscarriage One of the keys to getting through these emotions is to get to the bottom of why you feel the way you do. If you feel guilty about not being able to conceive, try to figure out why you have these feelings of guilt. Once you figure out why you feel guilty, you’ll be able to better cope with these feelings.
Did You Know?
The thing to keep in mind with infertility is to not confuse it as a diagnosis when it’s really just a symptom or result of something else. A lot of people don’t realize this but if you think about it, it’s true. Infertility is the inability to conceive after unprotected sex for over a year. The definition doesn’t tell you why a person has infertility issues.
According to babyology.com, you can think of infertility as a cough; you don’t just have a cough for no reason, you have a cough for a particular reason. Your cough could be a symptom of the flu or it could be the result of taking a particular medication developing a cough is a side effect.
Preparing Yourself For the IVF Process
Understanding the Process
The best way to prepare yourself for the IVF process is to first and foremost, understand the process. Understanding the process will help you prepare yourself physically and mentally. In short, IVF is the process of taking a woman’s eggs, fertilizing them in a laboratory, and then putting them back into the woman’s body. That was an extremely condensed version of the process but take a look at the process explained in greater detail. Here’s the IVF five-step process:
Step : Ovarian Stimulation Through Fertility Medication
The IVF process first starts by taking fertility medications to stimulate your ovaries to produce eggs. Typically, the ovary stimulating medicine is administered in the form of injections of hormones. The hormone injections are to be done for 10 days. Through blood tests and ultrasounds, your fertility specialist will monitor your egg production.
Step : Egg Retrieval
Your eggs will be retrieved through a minor surgical procedure. During the procedure, a hollow needle will be inserted through your pelvic cavity to retrieve the eggs; the needle is guided by ultrasound imaging. Typically, the patient is given pain medication to lessen discomfort.
Step : Sperm Retrieval
Your male partner or donor will need to give a sperm specimen for the fertilization process.
Step : Egg and Sperm Fertilization
This is the stage when the egg and sperm are joined together to produce embryos.
Step : Embryo Transfer
This is the process of taking the embryos and putting them back into the woman’s uterus.
Once you fully understand the process, it will help you to better understand if it’s the right decision for you. But just do it on your own, as far as doing your research on the process. Set up a consultation with the fertility specialists at Advanced Fertility of Chicago; they’re able to help you and answer any questions you may have. They even do long-distance consultations to accommodate anyone outside of the Chicago area.
Get Ready to Make Important Decisions
During the IVF process, you are going to need to be prepared to make some decisions. Some of the decisions you may have to make might involve you to consider your religious and moral beliefs. For example, some of the decisions you will have to make are how many embryos you want transferred and what you want to do with your remaining/extra eggs or embryos.
Monitor Your Mental Well-Being
After enduring the emotional drain of infertility, it has probably taken a significant toll on your mental health. The metal toll it puts on you doesn’t just affect you either it affects those around you as well. The mental stress can not only change how you feel about yourself but it can also cause indifference in your marriage and relationship with others.
Before starting an IVF cycle, you need to have a strong support system and be in a good place emotionally with your partner and friends and family. To prevent rifts in your relationships, consider limiting IVF conversations down to 20-30 minutes per day. This might be hard because having a baby is at the forefront of your mind but its important that you try to limit your IVF talk.
Identify Your Stress Triggers and Methods to Cope With Stress
Everybody experiences stress and copes with stress in various different ways. With IVF, your stress trigger might be the ride to the fertility clinic while it might be the actual injections that stress another person. If you’re able to identify the things that bring on your stress early on, you can develop ways to cope. That’s part of some essential health tips to stay healthy in general, especially when coping with stress triggers.
For some people, just simply talking helps them get through their stress while others handle their stress by way of comedy or exercising. One thing to be mindful about in this section is that although it’s the female who’s going through the physical process of the IVF cycle, the male partner experiences the stress of it all too so it’s important for the two partners to communicate and support each other throughout the whole process.
Anticipating complications is not necessarily saying to have a negative outlook on the entire process, it’s just saying to have a realistic outlook of ALL the scenarios that could happen during the process. It’s actually much easier said than done but anticipating complications makes a possible disappointment less disappointing when you already know that it’s a possibility.
You, of course, hope for the best but just keep a realistic mindset. Your fertility specialist isn’t going to tell you all the positive aspects without telling you the risks as well. As a patient, you would need and want to be educated on all the risks and possibilities involved.