Going through IVF is a notoriously stressful time. It is a period where hopes are precious, dreams feel precarious, relationships are tested – and, on top of that, the woman’s body has to cope with an influx of fertility drugs. It would be disingenuous to suggest that you can eliminate stress from the entire process, but here are three things you can do manage some of the stressors along the way.
1. Arm yourself with knowledge.
IVF can be bewildering with lots of information to absorb and digest, and feeling unsure of what to expect will only lead to increased anxiety. Read up on what is involved, and make a list of questions you want answering as these can often escape your mind when it comes to your appointment. Female gynaecologist Amanda Tozer encourages all those receiving treatment at her London fertility clinic to ask as many questions as they need, and is available by phone to help with any concerns, however small.
2. Choose your clinic carefully.
Large fertility clinics can feel impersonal where it is not uncommon to see different people at each appointment. For some couples, the absence of continuity of care can push up those stress levels so a smaller, more intimate clinic may suit you better. At her London fertility clinic, Miss Amanda Tozer offers individualised, one-to-one care, personally seeing couples at each step of the way, including pre-treatment consultation, egg collection, embryo transfer and early pregnancy scans.
3. Plan ahead.
It is important that couples take care of each other – and themselves – during the IVF journey, recognising early on that it is going to be an anxious time. Clear your diary of engagements that are not going to be a welcome distraction, fill your freezer with nutritious meals so you don’t have to think about cooking, and get into the habit of talking to each other about how you are feeling.