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How to Manage Stress During IVF Treatment?

Many factors contribute to stress during IVF treatment and hence it’s an important topic to discuss about. These stresses include emotional stress, strain caused between relationships, financial cost involved, and the time it takes for the entire process, the loss of work, side effects of the medications used and other concerns regarding this process.
These stresses can be managed easily during the IVF treatment journey if the following steps are followed, before, during and after IVF.

HOW TO MANAGE STRESS DURING IVF TREATMENT?

Before Starting IVF Treatment:

Before IVF treatment starts one must complete all the prerequisites as advised by the doctor in order to avoid any mishaps during the treatment. It is understood that there are a lot of different emotions when a couple is going through infertility, they may feel nervous as well as excited. In order to calm yourself down it is important that you ask your doctor any questions you may have before starting the treatment.

Here is a list of the common concerns:

  • Money: Most couples are concerned about the cost of IVF treatment, it is advisable to discuss the payment options, total payment and any additional costs beforehand, managing your finances before the treatment commences is how to handle this stress. Because IVF is an expensive procedure, this stress should be taken care of by talking to your doctor as well as the concerned administrative department of your Infertility Center. Most often the additional costs that a couple is asked to pay for is freezing and storage of eggs, sperms or embryos. Besides freezing if the embryo transfer is to be done under general anesthesia then it costs additional charges. Also if the current cycle gets unsuccessful due to any reason, then payment may be needed if the couple wants to go for additional cycles.
  • Time: Second most common concern is the time it takes for the complete IVF treatment process. Some couples come from out of country, some are working individuals and some have more kids to manage, so their concern is the total time required. IVF treatment can take around two weeks to up to one month, along with that when treatment is commenced, you will be asked to come in to the clinic every day for almost two weeks. This is required because every alternate day, blood test and scan is required to keep track of the follicle size and hormone levels. These two factors tell us about the ovarian response of the female, if we get the desired response it indicates that the cycle is going well. Before beginning one should keep this schedule in mind to avoid any undesired circumstances.

During IVF Treatment:

Once treatment starts a couple goes through multiple phases, emotionally, physically as well as mentally, especially if it’s the first cycle they are going through. Handling them is easy if the female has a strong support system.

  • Personal relationship: It’s important to choose who to share your treatment details with, not everyone has to know you are going through IVF treatment. Best way to handle this is by choosing your husband as your partner to share the treatment details with given that your husband and you have a strong relationship. Strong enough to handle the pressure caused by this treatment, which requires time and commitment by your partner. For those patients who don’t feel comfortable with anybody else, they can share with their doctors.
  • Avoid Stressors: During treatment it is advisable to avoid stressors in life, as well as any major lifestyle changes. These include changing your job or shifting houses or traveling plans etc. Stress cannot always be avoided so it’s better to stay prepared for something unexpected, so that nothing comes as a surprise to you.
  • Stress relieving tips: A light exercise is advised to patients, regular yoga, any hobby that the patient must have should be taken up to release stress, meditations, health spa and staying humorous should be practiced.

AFTER IVF TREATMENT

After IVF Treatment:

Once the process of embryo transfer has taken place the most stressful period starts. This period takes its toll on most couples because this is the time when the fate of their pregnancy is being decided. It is better to decide what to do during this time beforehand, plan a schedule for yourself in such a way that you don’t sit idle during the waiting period. Of course strenuous activities won’t be advised during this time since your embryo has been transferred and so you need to be careful.

IVF Treatment Result:

If Positive: First pregnancy test is performed after 2 weeks of embryo transfer, if it is positive you will still be monitored closely and get regular pregnancy tests in the initial period and then will be asked to come for a scan.

If Negative: In this case don’t count it as a failed cycle, instead the infertility team would have a better idea of what protocol to follow and what changes to make in the following cycles. In this case you can meet your consultant without fee and plan your next cycle of IVF.

 

By- Dr. Alvina Arslan Meer

ART Coordinator (MBBS) and Online Counselor

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Angel Trust

Please “SUPPORT” Non-Affording Infertile Couples by extending financial assistance through “ZAKAT”.
Your “ZAKAT”can help bring Joy of a BABY in deserving Infertile Couples Life.
Mrs. Razia Sajjad
Chairperson
Angel Trust

Zakat for Angel Trust

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Ramadan Kareem

May this holy month bless you and your family with togetherness and happiness and all your good deeds, prayers and devotions get acceptance by Allah Almighty!

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Myths About Infertility

Myths About Infertility

MYTH #1 Infertility Issues are a Woman’s Problem Only.

This is the first and the foremost myth, not only in Pakistan but worldwide. No doubt the percentage of female infertility conditions is higher as compared to male infertility, however the involvement of males in infertility issues is not negligible in fact it accounts for 30% of infertility factors in males.

FACT: According to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, 30 percent causes of infertility are due to male factors, 35 percent due to female factors, 25 percent due to both partners and 15 percent due to unknown causes.  So we could say males are almost equally responsible for causing infertility as the females.

 

MYTH #2   Birth Control Pills Cause Infertility.

Some women believe taking birth control pills leads to infertility or takes longer to conceive than those who haven’t taken the pills. These women have in mind that since birth control pills alter the hormonal levels within their body, it may change the normal functioning capacity of their reproductive system and lead to infertility.

FACT: Taking contraception will never cause infertility, however different types of contraception have different time spans for fertility to return back to normal. Mostly implants or injections take several months, but pills, patches, rings and IUDs bring the fertility back to normal almost immediately.

Myths About Infertility

MYTH #3   Women Suffering from PCOS or Endometriosis are Unable to Conceive.

Poly-cystic ovarian syndrome and endometriosis are one of the leading causes of infertility in our country, females with these disorders are of the opinion that they can never conceive because they often face difficulties in conceiving and on their doctor’s visits or scans, and they are diagnosed with PCOS and endometriosis.

FACT: Out of the 50% of women facing infertility, around 20% have PCOS and 10% have endometriosis. Although these conditions do not meet the optimal requirements for pregnancy, they still do not fall in the category of infertility. All these women need is assistance, to help them conceive. Hence these women are advised to consult a doctor even when they are not yet ready for conception, in order to have an understanding of how to improve their chances of conceiving as well as have a basic knowledge of what to expect from their reproductive health system.

MYTH #4   Irregular Menstrual Cycles Mean a Women is Infertile.

Having irregular menstrual cycle is no doubt very frustrating for a woman who’s trying to conceive, reason being she doesn’t know the exact day or days of her ovulation, in fact at times she may not ovulate at all.

FACT: A variety of reasons contribute to irregular cycles, most common reasons are stress, over exercise and other serious problems like endometriosis. It is true that women who have irregular menstrual cycle have difficulty in conceiving; however irregular periods do not mean that the fertility is impaired.

Myths About Infertility

MYTH #5    A Female Doesn’t have to Worry about her Eggs Until she is 40 Years old.

A lot of women believe that the age bracket of 35 to 40 is when they should start worrying about their eggs. Some also think egg quantity can be improved with medications, this is impossible by any means as a female has an egg reserve when she is born, this reserve only declines with time and cannot be improved.

FACT: Every female is born with a certain number of eggs; this number is approximately 1-2 million at birth. So by the time female reaches puberty this number decreases to half its original number. This ovarian reserve of eggs continues to decline with age, and declines quite rapidly in the late 20s and 30s, reaching a noticeable decline after age 35. Not only the quantity but the quality of eggs also decreases with time.

MYTH #6    Taking an Appointment from a Reproductive Health Doctor or Infertility Specialist Means You will have to go for IVF Treatment.

Couples tend to think that going to an infertility specialist means they will have to go for a test tube baby immediately or eventually. At times they have been to so many gynecologists and failed to conceive, and hence they think that IVF is their only option.

FACT: Basically reproductive health specialists also called infertility specialists are there to educate couples about their fertility potential. First thing these specialists do is get the appropriate tests done for the couple. This includes blood tests like AMH; that tells about the ovarian reserve, hormonal profile that includes FSH, LH, PROLACTIN, ESTRADIOL and TSH, as well as Tran’s vaginal ultrasound on the required days. Semen Analysis is an important parameter that is checked by most specialists to identify male infertility problems as well as sperm quality and quantity. Once these baseline infertility tests are performed, the specialists then give you the possible options which may include medications, timely intercourse procedure, and intra uterine insemination and if nothing works or if the circumstances are such that IVF is the only option then only patients are given the option of IVF.

 

By- Dr. Alvina Arslan Meer

ART Coordinator (MBBS) and Online Counselor 

 

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