Infertility problems are experienced by 1 in 6 Australian couples.
That’s 1 in 6 couples with their hearts set on having a baby of their own, often seeking out IVF as a glimmering golden ticket to a viable pregnancy.
But what happens if reality doesn’t match the IVF brochure?
What happens if your hopes are dashed, and your excitement swiftly turns to grief as you face a negative pregnancy test and a failed IVF cycle you’ve given your mind, body, and soul to for months?
Allow yourself to grieve
A loss is a loss – no matter how, when, where, and why.
When you lose an embryo to a failed IVF cycle, you can feel like you’ve lost a piece of yourself and your future along with it. Allow yourself the time and space you need to be present with your emotions, acknowledge and validate them, and look inward for the same strength and perseverance you’ve tapped into throughout your IVF journey.
Grief counselling is another avenue of support you can explore to help guide you through what you’re feeling and get to a place of solace and acceptance.
Make your mental health a priority
IVF is a journey that can draw every drop of mental fortitude, physical energy, and emotional stability you have to give, and you give it your all. When you’re dedicating so much of yourself to the process, your selfcare and mental health can fall to the bottom of the priority list.
Women’s mental health during the IVF process has proven to suffer throughout treatment with as many as 25-60% of couples experiencing increased anxiety and depression due to their fertility problems. Many stay silent about their situation to family and friends often because of how personal and sensitive the topic is, meaning a big gap in support for couples.
Fertility counselling and IVF counselling services could help create a breathing space for you to offload your worries, fears, and frustrations, and guide you to a more positive headspace ready to take on the challenges of IVF.
Steer clear of ‘what ifs’ and ‘should haves’
It’s a natural reaction when something goes wrong to look for answers and someone or something in which to place the blame. Unfortunately, when an IVF cycle fails, most women tend to blame themselves. You might be tempted to fall into the ‘what if’ and ‘I should have’ traps, but ultimately, the outcome isn’t changed by this negative train of thinking. Instead, it becomes a damaging exercise.
Searching for where to lay the blame is better replaced by taking what you’ve learnt from the experience and using it to positively impact future rounds.
Consider a break from IVF
When you dive right into the IVF journey, you sacrifice a lot to keep things rolling.
With each round you’re sacrificing money, mind power, and personal freedoms.
When you’re playing the time and numbers game of IVF for a while, you might find you can become obsessive. You feel like every month draws you closer to a deadline you’re dreading while you’re racing against the clock to make it happen. As much as it might pain you to consider, a break might be just what the doctor ordered to reset your mindset, give your body a break, and allow yourself to fill your cup with things you love that have been brushed aside in the name of fertility treatments.
Do you need support with your IVF treatment?
Happy Minds Psychology in Geelong and the Bellarine are a clinic dedicated to women’s mental health through supporting and empowering you to tackle life’s challenges together.