Treatments & Options - IVF - Resources

In this section, IVF Resources, we share 10 ways to cope with IVF stress. We hope you find these suggestions to be helpful.

Dealing with IVF stress

  1. Practice positive thinking and positive self-talk. Soothing words like, “I am taking it one step at a time” can help keep you relaxed.
  2. Reduce your fear of failure by framing your first IVF treatment cycle as diagnostic. If the first cycle is not successful, realize that subsequent IVF cycles will involve perfecting your medication and treatment protocol to optimize your chance of success.
  3. Find an infertility counselor that can offer emotional support. Your clinic may actually have one on staff. Some women may become clinically depressed during IVF treatment. Talk to your doctor if you think you need professional help.
  4. Join a support group with others who understand the IVF treatment process. Supporting others, even when you feel so in need of support yourself, can be very empowering, as it reminds you of the strength of your own inner resources in facing adversity. Studies show that women attending therapy groups are more likely to get pregnant than others.
  5. Compartmentalize your reproductive self from the rest of who you are. When treatment fails, it doesn't make you a failure.
  6. Memorize stress management and relaxation techniques. When you are feeling stressed, notice it, and then gently redirect your attention to the present moment and what is actually happening. Make a conscious breath in and a conscious breath out. Pay attention to what is right around you, feel the sun on your face, see the new leaf growth on the trees, and listen to the birdsong. This is an exercise you can repeat many times every day, with positive results. 
  7. Screen your family and friends. Who do you find to be understanding, nonjudgmental, and supportive? Let these individuals know when you need help and support. Lean on those you can trust.
  8. Balance the stress of IVF with activities that promote relaxation and wellness. Schedule regular spa treatments or date nights with your partner. Note: Get your doctor's approval before doing intense spa treatments like deep tissue massage while undergoing IVF.
  9. Keep other life stressors to a minimum. Avoid making other major life changes such as moving to a new house or starting a new job while going through the IVF process.
  10. Remind yourself that you are not alone. Worry and grief are common feelings associated with IVF and infertility. Above all, do not be ashamed or feel guilty if your emotions are overwhelming during this time. It is completely normal.

During the IVF process, your stress may increase with each phase of the IVF cycle. The two-week wait after the embryo transfer is often the most difficult. While the above techniques may not guarantee a pregnancy, they may reduce your emotional distress. Make sure to identify and practice helpful self-care strategies during this time.