IVF or In Vitro Fertilisation in itself is a life changing experience which can bring stress and potential stigmatisation. IVF treatments are time consuming, physically demanding, expensive and emotionally taxing. Many couples undergoing IVF treatments experience relationship issues, changes in social networking as well as disturbance in the married life. IVF stress develops in response to the uncertainty and demanding nature of the treatment. Feeling of depression, anger anxiety, sleep deprivation and loss of appetite are seen amongst couples undergoing the treatment.
What makes In Vitro Fertilisation stressful?
IVF treatment involves multiple steps which needs to understood in detail by the couple planning to undergo an IVF. Counselling needs to be undertaken in order to understand the procedure, benefits and risks involved with the treatment.
- The first step of IVF treatment begins with injections to stimulate the ovaries for increased egg production which is monitored through blood sampling and ultrasound tests. Blood sampling and ultrasounds are conducted to monitor the same .
- The second step involves the surgical retrieval of eggs by a medical professional under anaesthesia. After extracting the egg, sperm is collected from male and both are combined in the lab (in-vitro) to initiate the fertilisation process which can take 5-6 days.
- If the egg gets fertilised and converts into an embryo, the healthy embryo is then placed inside the uterus which is time consuming and requires frequent hospital visits.In addition to this, the outcome of IVF is highly uncertain which leads to stress
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Why is it important to manage IVF treatment Stress?
Stress tends to impact the treatment negatively. Various studies indicate that stress delays the conception rate and ability to cope with complications associated with the treatment
Techniques to cope with stress during treatments
There are many techniques which can be implemented to relieve stress during IVF.
- Educate yourself – Make sure you get your queries and doubts resolved by your doctor. Research and gather information from credible sources. .
- General stress relieving measures like eating healthy, lower caffeine intake, adequate sleep and positive thinking can help to manage stress during IVF.
- Relaxation techniques like meditation, brisk walks and deep breathing exercises can help by lowering blood pressure, by relaxing muscle tensions and easing out emotional tension.
- Seeking alternatives /options – It is advisable to have a “backup plan” in the event of repetitive unsuccessful cycles. Collect information on other procedures like ovum donation, surrogacy, adoption or foster care.
- Dealing with infertility and undergoing treatments can be stressful and challenging for individuals. It is crucial to identify the stress triggers and know ways of dealing with it. If you have trouble coping with stress,it is advisable to seek medical advice.
IVF treatment, despite being stressful and time consuming has given new hopes to many childless couples. Correct choice of infertility treatment along with supportive medical consultation has helped many couples in attaining parenthood.
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