Coping With IVF
Statistics indicate that more couples than ever before are now struggling to get pregnant. For most of these couples, the potential benefits of IVF treatment far outweigh any risks or problems that the treatment may cause. But that doesn't mean that IVF is easy. Particularly for the female partner, who absorbs the physical impact of the IVF procedure, it can be hard to cope.
During IVF treatment, a woman essentially hands control of her body over to a fertility doctor. She receives hormone injections, which can have side effects, and is expected to drop everything and run to the fertility clinic whenever necessary. In addition to drug side effects, she may experience a loss of interest in sex, or general tiredness, especially if this is not her first IVF cycle. Steps can be taken to help a woman cope physically, including good diet and exercise.
A major worry for many IVF couples is their finances. Given that only around ¼ of IVF couples get pregnant per cycle of treatment, and that up to 3 cycles of IVF treatment may be recommended, the costs of IVF can really mount up. Financial worries can exacerbate physical and emotional stress for both partners. Financial support may be available to some couples. Furthermore, couples can follow sensible money-saving plans in anticipation of IVF treatment.
Both partners may struggle to balance their working lives with following an IVF treatment program. They may need to speak privately to their employers about the need to take time off work to attend fertility clinic appointments. A woman might find it hard to cope at work because of all the physical changes going on in her body. IVF couples should investigate their rights when it comes to working during IVF treatment.
By the time most couples get to the IVF stage, they have usually tried other, less-invasive forms of fertility treatment, but failed to conceive. The prospect of IVF failure is therefore probably on their minds. This can put incredible emotional pressure on both men and women. Reputable IVF clinics will provide counseling and support for couples undergoing IVF.
Men's Coping Mechanisms
Even though it's the female partner who takes on the risks associated with IVF, men can find it very hard to cope during this fertility procedure. A man may worry about the affects of IVF on his partner's health, and he may feel unable to help her. Many men are also intimidated by the prospect of having to produce a semen sample on demand. It's therefore important to consider the male partner's needs and provide him with mechanisms for coping with IVF.
Where To Start?
It's definitely a good idea to plan how you'll cope with IVF before the treatment begins. However, even if you've already begun IVF, it's not too late to start reading the information on these pages - which will help you cope better as your treatment progresses.