Stresses associated with infertility

In vitro fertilisation (IVF) treatment can be stressful and intrusive.

There are various reasons for this including:

  • The demands of stimulated treatment (daily injections, the need for blood tests early in the day, ultrasounds, etc)
  • Stresses associated with procedures (having an invasive procedure; the discomfort sometimes experienced; providing a semen sample on the day of egg collection)
  • Stresses associated with periods of waiting (such as waiting for fertilisation results; pre-embryo checks; and the long wait between transfer and pregnancy test, then the wait for the pregnancy test result)
  • The possibility of treatment not being successful.

Thankfully, stress itself does not jeopardise the chance of IVF working.

Many people have remarked that they have felt worn down by the stresses associated with infertility. It’s not uncommon for people to experience grief in response to the losses they may experience, as well as other emotional responses such as depression and anxiety. With this in mind, you should be aware that Hollywood Fertility Centre provides counselling services that can greatly assist in managing this emotional impact.

Strategies for coping

Talking to supportive friends or family members can be helpful for some people, while others find it only adds to their burden. Some people have found distraction to be a useful coping strategy – pursuing activities or hobbies that require their full attention – in order to ‘take time out’ from the process of treatment.

Other people have reported that engaging in activities that give a sense of achievement was of some benefit. Some people learn specific relaxation techniques, for example yoga or meditation, to help them manage some of the stresses, while also reducing muscle tension and enhancing wellbeing.

Others have reported that being able to talk to one of the nurse coordinators, who can answer questions and provide reassuring support, was helpful to them. Many people also report that
attending one of our support groups has been helpful.

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