6 Ways To Protect Your Mental Health While Undergoing Fertility Treatments
Around the world, there are many people who undergo fertility treatments. For some people, it takes longer than usual to conceive and that tends to take a toll on their mental health. To help us understand how we can keep our spirits high while taking these treatments, we spoke to Dr Rita Bakshi, IVF specialist with a distinguished backdrop from AIIMS, Lady Hardinge Medical College
and St. Stephens. She is also the founder and chairperson of Risaa IVF. Read on to know more.
Dr. Rita Bakshi
Infertility is a physically and emotionally draining experience for many couples. Infertility is when a couple is unable to conceive a baby in a natural way. When the couple tries to conceive month after month, they become emotionally distressed when they are unable to conceive. Experiencing feelings of despair while undergoing treatment is perfectly normal. The fertilization of a human egg outside the woman’s body, the growth of the embryos in the laboratory and the transfer of embryos to the uterus has assisted many couples worldwide to embrace parenthood. IVF is a journey with the hope of a joyful ending.
Keeping a positive outlook can help the couple cope with the situation in a better manner. There is a strong correlation between mind and body. A good diet, positive frame of mind, and stress-free environment can possibly improve the chances of getting pregnant. It proves beneficial to talk to your gynaecologist, your partner and your family and friends, with whom you can share your feelings.
Here are some ways to keep your spirits high while undergoing IVF treatment:
Share Your Feelings
It is a sensitive time, and the couple may wish to maintain some privacy. Open up to the right people. Talk to people who are willing to listen to what you are feeling and going through. There is a possibility to sink into the twirl of negative feelings, remember that not being able to conceive is not your fault. It is important to share your feelings with people you trust. Talk to your spouse. Couples are together in good times and hard times as well. Make some time for the things and people you love. Don’t keep your feeling bottled up. Avoid negative self-talk. It will only lead to more stress. Sharing your feelings with the right people is the simplest way to embrace positivity.
Talking with Your Doctor
Your doctor is an expert who can explain to you how to move forward. You can discuss the whole procedure including the basics of conceptions, emotional and physical complications before undergoing the procedure. Speak to your fertility specialist about the chances of getting pregnant. Be very realistic with the expectations about the IVF journey. Make the decision after getting all the insights about the procedure, pros and cons of the treatment. It is always suggested to begin the journey with a positive frame of mind.
You Are Not Alone
Meet and talk to women who are undergoing similar experiences. It can be empowering and extremely helpful. Do not consider yourself alone in this journey. You will get to know about the coping strategies that will be helpful. It can help you feel less isolated and build your sense of community. Many social media platforms are available where support groups related to IVF and infertility can be searched and joined to get connected with people with similar states of affairs.
Getting Expert Advice
Trained professionals and counsellors are upskilled to help people cope with the many hurls and flings that life throws at them. These professionals are counsellors, psychiatrists, psychologists. If the help and counselling of family, friends is not enough, then it is advised to reach out to professional help.
Stay Busy And Stay Fit
Keep yourself busy with work, hobby or any other work of your own interest that will make you happy. Take out some time to exercise. Even a small amount of exercise or walking will act as a mood enhancer. Meditation and yoga will help you to stay relaxed. Writing down your feelings is also an effective way to express your feelings. Read good books, re-energize yourself and continue your journey with good hopes. Our mind is very powerful,
feed it with positivity.
Fertility treatments can be physically and mentally stressful sometimes. Be kind to
yourself and do not blame yourself for this. Try to maintain balance in life, be grateful and kind. Reduce stress and anxiety. However, these won’t make you pregnant and there is no direct relationship between poor mental health and infertility. Fertility problems are mostly caused by a complex mixture of biological, genetic, environmental and mental factors. A negatively driven mind may affect fertility in ways but there is no harm in adopting positive thinking. Be an optimistic being and focus on the success rates of IVF treatments. Constantly remind yourself that there is beauty in this journey. Even if you have experienced a failed IVF procedure, remember, it’s just a bump on the road and not the end of it.
Remember, an IVF setback does not mean the end of the journey. Keep your spirits high, keep moving forward with positivity. There is a possibility of a ray of light here. Take a leap of faith and keep moving forward. Share your emotional burden with your spouse. Reflect and talk together, stress and anxiety can create distance between partners. Calm the mind! Practice mindfulness techniques, with all the complex thoughts racing through your mind, daily mindfulness activities can help keep you in the present moment. Never shy away from seeking support from others, particularly others in a similar position, which can remind you that you are not alone.