Not Coping With IVF?
IVF is hard on your body and hard on your mind. People are all different and we handle these problems in different ways. Having said that, if you don't experience some degree of stress and anxiety during IVF, you're very unusual. The people who experience the most emotional strain are usually those who go through one or more unsuccessful IVF treatment cycle. The waiting period to find out if you are pregnant can be unbearable. Most fertility clinics provide some form of counseling to help with this burden - but how do you know if you need this kind of support?
Everyone Needs A Hand
Well, the short answer is, almost everyone going through IVF can benefit from some form of talk therapy or even psychological treatment. Remember that some medical researchers have found a link between infertility and depression. So, by sorting out your emotional issues with IVF, you may actually be boosting your chances of getting pregnant.
Even if your level of stress is mild, a therapist or counselor can probably give you some cognitive behavior tips - such as stopping what you're doing when you feel yourself starting to worry, and starting a different activity - preferably something physical.
In more extreme cases, in which IVF stress is tipping over the edge into depression, you may need a more intense level of support. If depression is negatively impacting on your whole quality of life, your therapist may even recommend that you stop IVF treatment for a while and focus on your emotional health.
As a last resort, your doctor may prescribe anti-depressants - however, these can be harmful during pregnancy, so it's vital for the health of the baby you've worked so hard to have that you are open and communicative with your fertility specialists about what type of medicines you're taking.
Signs Of IVF Depression
What follows is by no means an exhaustive list of signs that you are not coping with IVF, but it can be useful guide:
- Are you feeling sad all the time? Do you burst into tears for no apparent reason?
- Do you feel that there's really no point to life? Do you struggle to get up in the mornings and get on with your day?
- Has your sex life with your partner deteriorated or even become virtually non-existent apart from for conception purposes?
- Do you feel angry, upset or resentful when you see other pregnant women, or when you hear that a friend or relative has become pregnant?
- Are you focused on IVF and infertility all the time? Do you find there's no room in your life anymore for the activities you used to enjoy?
- Are you becoming increasingly isolated from friends and family? Do you find yourself spending significant periods of time alone with your thoughts?
If you are experiencing any of these emotions or thoughts, and indeed, if you're dealing with any sorts of feelings which leave you feeling overwhelmed or sad, the chances are, you probably need to some help to cope with your IVF treatment. Speak to your fertility doctor to enquire about further counseling. Remember that you also have the option of seeing an independent counselor if you would prefer to speak to someone who doesn't work in direct association with your clinic.