Coping with Fertility Treatment

Modern advancements in fertility treatments may help you realize the dream of having the baby you always wanted. But undergoing the treatment can also be a frustrating process – one that you and your partner should be prepared for by being informed.

When you are seeking fertility treatment, the type of treatment you are offered will depend on the problem(s) that you have been identified with. For example, if you are not ovulating regularly, you will be offered ovulation stimulation treatment. This involves taking drugs to try and increase the number and frequency of eggs you produce.

Sometimes, when the couple are producing both sperm and eggs but the two cannot meet, perhaps because of problems with intercourse, artificial insemination is used (the sperm and eggs are physically placed together in the woman’s womb) and nature does the rest.

In vitro fertilisation (IVF) is the solution if there are problems with sperm mobility or in cases of unexplained infertility. The sperm and eggs are collected and mixed in a test tube and when one or more eggs are fertilized, they can be implanted back into the woman’s womb. Where there are problems with the number or condition of the sperm, micromanipulation techniques may be used to place a single sperm inside the egg and then replace it back in the womb.

But before going ahead with a particular treatment, it is important that you find out what the treatment involves and your chances of having a baby at the end of it. What works for another couple may not work as well in your particular circumstances.

Managing Your Fertility Treatment

Couples who have undergone fertility treatment often find that fertility tests and procedures can “eat up” into your entire day. Waiting to talk to the doctor, waiting to take injections, waiting for scans, waiting for blood test reports – it’s endless and you may find that all that you are doing is wait!

Often, the treatment may seem to take all day – and you may not have time to be able to do anything else. Here are a few pointers that could help you minimize the anxiety.

Take Control Of Your Time

While some waiting is unavoidable, a lot can be minimised. For example, see if your husband can learn to give you the injections so that you don’t have to come into the clinic for them. Can you get the blood tests reports on the phone? Also, learn to make good use of the waiting time – you can read more about your problem or talk to other patients in the clinic – as an informal “support group”!

Don’t Put Your Life On “Hold”

The waiting to get pregnant also makes you put the rest of your life on “hold”. Suddenly you find you cannot make plans for the future because you do not know what lies ahead. For example, you may be faced with the dilemma “Should I plan to go on a holiday next month – what if I get pregnant? Should we accept the new job, even if it means a transfer to another city and will have to find a new doctor?” This can be frustrating – not only are you not getting pregnant, but you also cannot get on with the rest of your life! So it is better not to allow the treatment to take over your life completely. Instead, go with the flow and take things as they come.

Value Yourself

You need to try to separate infertility from other important aspects of your life – and remember that you are a worthy person irrespective of your fertility. Women often have a harder time, because they have been taught that their life revolves around their family – which has yet to be started! Often getting a job is helpful, because it keeps you occupied and bolsters your
self-esteem by confirming what you know – that you can accomplish useful things with your life irrespective of your fertility.

 

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