To date, over eight million babies have been born worldwide as a result of IVF*. That’s a massive achievement. So many families that are able to hold their baby and know that they have achieved their dreams. Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) such as IVF, has literally offered a lifeline to those who were previously unable to conceive . Making the decision to pursue fertility treatment is a positive step on your journey to become parents. As with everything that has meaning, IVF can be a time of high stress and anxiety. There are a number of ways you can make the journey easier and take good care of your mental health during infertility treatment. Happy Minds Psychology, a Geelong Psychologist practice, provides independent support for singles or couples experiencing infertility or undergoing IVF.
Coping With Stress During IVF
The reality is that fertility treatment is hard. Therefore, it’s extremely important to practise self-care and find support so that you can thrive through this journey. Here are some of the things you can do to help prepare for the rigours of IVF in Australia.
Prepare For The Emotional Side Of Fertility Treatment
Talking to people who have been through or are undergoing fertility treatments can be very beneficial. Finding others who have been through what you may experience and are able to provide you with empathy and understanding is worth its weight in gold. Finding a support network can make an enormous positive difference to your mental wellbeing during the IVF process. Bear in mind however, that their experience might not be yours.
Get Help From A Fertility Psychologist
A Psychologist who is experienced in infertility can help you navigate way the mental and emotional side of the infertility treatment process. Additionally, many of the decisions you will need to make might be complex and hard. Counselling can help both you and your partner to uncover what is important to you and how to tackle various matters together as a team. Fertility treatments can be stressful on a couple’s relationship. You may have very different coping techniques to one another or may handle stress in very different ways. Learn how to work together and support one another as early as possible. Happy Minds Psychology can help you get the right support with experienced Psychologists in Geelong, Torquay & Ocean Grove. Sessions are also now available across Australia due to the availability of Telehealth.
The Importance Of Self Care
Often, we can be surrounded by people who unknowingly seek to simplify or underestimate the effects of fertility treatment. The side effects from treatment can affect your wellbeing on several levels. Your physical, mental and emotional wellbeing can be impacted. So it’s essential to acknowledge everything you are going through and experiencing. Accepting that you are undergoing a time of heightened stress can be assisted by avoiding downplaying or denying its effects.
Similarly, resting and taking care of yourself is crucial during infertility treatments. Give yourself permission to take frequent breaks and remember to spend time engaging in re-energising activities you enjoy.
Infertility treatments can mean a whole set of new additional stressors. For those who have to undergo a number of treatments in order to conceive, months of appointments, hormones and procedures can be draining. It’s important to give yourself both physical and mental breaks during this time. It is helpful to discuss your feelings with a Geelong Psychologist specialized in providing support for the unique stress that IVF brings.
As much as possible only make commitments to activities that will help you to feel happy, revitalised and supported. It’s perfectly ok to say ‘no’ to obligations that are draining, and try to be kind to yourself with any feelings that arise from this. This is a uniquely difficult time so it’s ok to let others down by putting your self care as a priority.
Taking Back Some Control
For many, becoming informed and learning as much as they can about their situation helps to regain a sense of control. Feeling in control of your infertility journey is really important. Feeling empowered and capable of making decisions from a place of knowledge will help you feel confident about your experience. There are many sources of information such as books, support groups, online forums and websites. Make sure to always seek the opinion of your fertility specialist who will be there to support you. Speaking with a specialist Psychologist in this area is another way to talk through how you are feeling and get non-judgemental, non-directive support for any difficult decisions fertility treatment might bring up.
At a time when looking after your mental health has never been more crucial, it is important to be able to access support as it is needed. It is a good idea to consider getting help from a local Geelong Psychologist specialized in working with couples who have experienced infertility as a way to cope with the stress a cycle brings.
To find out some more about why IVF treatment is so stressful, read our blog here.
Happy Minds Psychology is here to support you and we currently have some limited availability for appointments.
All our appointments are currently via Telehealth so we are able to work with clients across Australia. Feel free to contact us on 0431 666050 or email us [email protected] to find out more about our services.