When it comes to in vitro fertilization, or IVF, we can throw a lot of statistics your way. For example, approximately 10% of women in the United States between the ages of 15 and 44 have problems getting pregnant, and 5% of these women turn to in vitro fertilization for help. Of these women, only 30-40% are successful.
But, we’re sure you know these statistics. Like most, you likely didn’t wake up one day and decide to try IVF. Your decision probably came after years of trying to get pregnant using every option imaginable.
So, we’re not going to go down the numbers road. Our goal here at Vicken Sepilian, MD, is to help you deal with the stress of IVF, which can cost you in many ways, from heightened anxiety to financial worries.
We’ve helped many families in the Los Angeles area create the families of their dreams and, for some, it was a bumpy road, but they got there. Dealing with fertility issues can tax even the most optimistic person, but with a few techniques, you can manage the IVF process, keeping calm and relaxed throughout.
If you do an Internet search for breathing exercises, you’ll find no shortage of suggestions and benefits. From a medical standpoint, study after study has shown that deep breathing exercises do relax you by lowering your heart rate, getting rid of the heart-pounding that often comes with anxiety. Even a simple 4-second breathing exercise (breathing in for 4 seconds, holding for 4 seconds, breathing out for 4 seconds, holding for 4 seconds) is enough to settle your mind and body, keeping your stress at bay.
While we promised not to throw numbers at you, the fact is that there are thousands of women who are undergoing the IVF process at the same time. Many of these women can be found in online chat rooms offering each other guidance and support. Hunt around to find one you like and chime in with a question or a concern. Knowing you’re not going it alone can make a huge difference.
Get up and move
Exercise is one of the greatest tools in your stress arsenal. Exercise keeps you grounded, and the release of endorphins replaces your stress in short order. As well, keeping fit improves your overall health and circulation, which may increase your chances of successfully carrying a baby to term.
Make the time
The IVF process is time-consuming, and there’s no way to get around that. You need to undergo daily shots for increased ovulation, then we need to harvest your eggs, fertilize them, and implant them back into your uterus, all of which takes an enormous amount of time. Before you get started, talk with your co-workers or boss about your impending time-constraints and take some of the larger things off your to-do list. Clear your schedule as best you can so you can focus on your IVF cycle without having to stress about anything else.
People deal with stress differently, so you and your partner should be patient with one another during this time. Communicate often and openly about what’s going on in your mind and use each other for support.
One of the most stressful components of the IVF process is the waiting. Odds are, you’ve been “waiting” for years to have your own family, but don’t let those years pile up into this one moment. Try and distract yourself as best you can while you wait. Worrying won’t change the outcome, but it can make you miserable in the meantime. So, grab your keys and go for a drive with your music blaring. Or, conversely, get out into nature and take a long walk, concentrating on the quiet around you.
Our office is available to you for any questions or concerns you may have as you go through IVF, so feel free to contact us. When it comes to your peace of mind, there’s no question you shouldn’t feel comfortable asking. We’re in this together, and we’re here to help.
If you’d like to learn more about our IVF services, give us a call or schedule a consultation right here on our website using our online booking tool.