Undergoing IVF and the decision to do so will undoubtedly be stressful. Many experience anxiety before, during, and after treatment. Prior to seeking treatment, the struggle with infertility creates psychological stress. You might wonder why you are having difficulties creating the family you have always wanted and perhaps have had to deal with invisible tragedies, such as miscarriages, on your own.
When you seek professional help with a fertility doctor, much of the anxiety you experienced prior will dissipate; you will obtain real answers to questions, understand why you are having difficulties achieving or sustaining a pregnancy, and have treatment options. Seeking treatment will empower you throughout the process. In spite of these newfound strengths, during fertility treatments, your body will undergo a series of changes and trials which create physical challenges. You will undergo hormonal changes, which alone create an emotional roller coaster. A strong support system will help you cope with these emotional and physical changes, as well as help you manage your hopes and expectations in a healthy way.
IVF, infertility, and the treatment process also lead to many unexpected anxiety-inducing issues. Although the treatment journey is different for every couple, IVF can sometimes lead to feelings of isolation from friends and family while a couple or individual struggles through the process. Everyone’s specific situation is different, but without really strong, healthy communication between couples and their existing support systems, these relationships can experience strain due to a lack of understanding or perceived lack of understanding.
Types of Support Available for Couples During IVF
Although infertility treatment can be a difficult time, putting lots of stress on couples and the individual undergoing treatment, support which eases the emotional and physical process is out there. Seeking treatment with an experienced fertility doctor is the first and most important step to take in securing the type of support you need throughout the process of attempting to create the family you have always wanted. If you experience anxiety during treatment, feelings of isolation, or simply have questions, consider the following:
- Ask Your Fertility Doctor – Undergoing IVF is a complicated process. If you have unanswered questions, ask your doctor. Write down questions as they come to you, so you will not forget to mention them during your next appointment.
- Additional Professional Support – While a fertility doctor’s primary responsibility is to help you achieve pregnancy, fertility doctors are also accustomed to assisting patients with additional physical and mental support throughout the process. A fertility doctor will recommend additional help, if desired, such as experienced psychologists, psychiatrists, hypnotherapists, acupuncturists, and massage therapists. Taking a well-rounded approach to fertility treatment is crucial to managing the emotional and physical challenges which fertility treatment involves.
- Resolve – The national infertility association, Resolve, has a wealth of information regarding fertility treatment available for individuals and couples to use, including helplines and a directory of infertility support groups.
- Join the Community Remotely – If you do not feel comfortable with a support group that meets in person, consider reaching out online. Making connections with others who are going through processes similar to yours will help you feel less isolated, give you different perspectives, and help you to feel supported and embraced during the treatment process. Try Googling “fertility message board” or search “infertility” on Facebook. You will find a plethora of resources and online support groups where you can read about others’ experiences with IVF, post questions, or simply talk about how you feel.
- Strengthen Existing Relationships – During treatment, maintain your existing support group of friends and family by keeping an open dialog. Although these individuals might not fully understand your struggle, you can help them to grasp what you are going through with clear communication.
Talk with Our Fertility Doctor about Getting Proper Support
At Viera Fertility Center, our fertility specialist, Dr. Chamoun, can help you obtain a strong support group before, during, and after your treatment. Our doctor will recommend professional mental health support and even additional treatment with professionals who have experience working with infertility patients. Ask our doctor how you can create a strong support system during your treatments.