Getting pregnant, the journey of pregnancy, and going through childbirth is stressful enough. It becomes more difficult when procedures like IVF, or in-vitro fertilization, are involved. Many women find themselves troubled and anxious during this time, and this can affect your mindset and relationships.
The truth about IVF
If you are considering or going through IVF, you probably have a good idea about what to expect, how it works, and the physical requirements. However, many women aren’t aware of the emotional cost of undergoing IVF.
You might be asked to make decisions that impact you emotionally, morally, and religiously. While going through IVF and making these decisions, stress can become a serious issue. To avoid becoming overwhelmed, it’s important that you manage stress in a healthy way.
How can I manage stress during IVF?
Even if you’ve dealt with stress before, it might be different during IVF. You might find yourself experiencing mood swings and new feelings that are difficult to sort out. Here are five ways to alleviate and manage stress.
- Build a strong circle of friends and family
We all need people to lean on. Make sure that the people you choose to disclose your IVF with are understanding, compassionate, and available for emotional support.
- Don’t focus on what you cannot control
It can be easy to dwell on the things that we have no control over, but this can lead to feelings of powerlessness. Instead, focus on aspects of your life and treatment that you do have control over.
- Establish healthy coping methods and rewards
IVF sometimes takes a toll physically and emotionally, so it’s important that you reward yourself after the hard parts. Don’t be afraid to go out, see movies, and give yourself small rewards throughout the procedure. If you’re aware of any unhealthy coping methods you have, make sure to replace these with healthy ones like journaling, meditation, and hobbies.
- Consider therapy, counseling, or support groups
IVF can be difficult and not all of your friends and loved ones are capable of sympathizing in a productive way. In these situations, you might need to talk to someone with experience in the mental health field. Joining support groups for women undergoing IVF can help you find the understanding you need.
- Set aside time for your own needs
Many women find themselves overwhelmed due to the demands placed on them. Along with IVF, they might have a career or household to worry about. It’s important to set aside time for yourself. Don’t be afraid to spend time alone, or tell a friend that you don’t want to discuss your treatment and would rather talk about something else.