By Kelly Pace
IVF is something that affects people differently, some see it as a little piece of hope and therefore look at it very positively whereas it can often feel like the last chance and therefore quite daunting. IVF brings with it a roller coaster of emotions that can be a strain both physically and financially but the more knowledge and understanding you have about the process, the less stressed you may feel. We have messages from lots of women going through IVF, or considering it so one of our trainers who has gone through IVF twice was kind enough to talk to us about some of the things that helped her get through it. For many couples it feels like everything is out of their control but Kelly tried to see it as action is being taken and that for them they were finally getting some help in achieving their dreams.
Writing from experience, here are a few of my top tips for dealing with the IVF process:
Research clinics. Whether you go through the NHS option (which is a postcode lottery as to how many times you’re allowed to have, often just once) or you decide to go private, really look into what options suit you best. Some are extremely time consuming, lots of drugs, lots of time but have higher success rates. Other clinics offer more natural approaches which are cheaper, less invasive but lower success rates. Choose a clinic that’s practical to get to, whether that’s near work or home as you may have to spend time there and often at very short notice.
Stay Positive. Think of it as a good thing that you’re taking action and getting experts in the medical profession to help you achieve where you want to be. Don’t feel like a failure or blame yourself, sometimes all you need is a little bit of help. Trust the process, and try to believe in it..
Get as healthy as possible. Before having IVF treatment it is advised for both the man and woman to be their healthiest selves. Research suggests that avoiding caffeine and alcohol and eating a well balanced diet can help massively. Be kind to yourself, do things you enjoy and prepare the body as best you can for the journey ahead. Exercise is good, but don’t over exert yourself. Your body needs all the energy possible to help make this work so make sure to recover properly around your exercise and add in some restorative work too such as yoga or pilates.
Be kind to each other. IVF can be a strain on a relationship, but for many couples the experience can make the bond even stronger and the partnership between the couple can be even tighter than before. If you do find yourself snapping at each other, try to take a step back and remember that you’re both feeling the pressure of it all and you’re anxious at that rather than each other. Give each other the space you need, but also try to plan some nice things to do together that are completely unrelated to babies, pregnancy or IVF.
Be kind to yourself. This is all a lot of change, both physically and mentally so it is perfectly normal to feel overwhelmed at times. Make sure you are having some down time where you can reflect on what is going on, if the tears come then that’s ok let them come. If you don’t want to see other pregnant people that’s ok. It can all seem very unfair and feel like everyone is conceiving no problem but try not to let others stress you further. Be honest with your close friends and they will more than likely be very understanding. You can’t always control feelings of jealousy and feeling low but if you want to politely decline offers to see people then that’s ok. Why not treat yourself and book a facial, or a manicure and enjoy some me time whist being pampered.
Everyone’s IVF journey is very different so try not to compare or set expectations based on other people’s journeys. But when you feel like its all a bit much, it can be a good idea to talk to other people who have been through it. It really is something that you can only fully understand if you have been through it yourself so whether it is someone on instagram or a friend of a friend, I’m sure they will be more than happy to chat to you about their experiences and give some advice.
Sending love and positive vibes out to anyone who is about to embark on their IVF journey or perhaps in the middle of it now. These tips may work for you, or they may not but remember you are not alone in this.