09 Mar Preparing for Your First IVF Cycle
Preparing for your first IVF cycle requires attention in three realms: the logistical, the physical, and the mental/emotional. Take the time to review the following suggestions to enjoy a demystified and satisfying IVF experience.
The IVF Logistics
The more educated and informed you are about the process, the more you will diminish the inevitable nerves and anxiety that naturally arise when embarking on such a powerful and exciting (and a little bit scary!) journey.
Understand the various phases of IVF
Visit our IVF General Information phase to learn more about the history of IVF and concise bullet points that outline the process.
NOTE: It’s a good idea for you and your partner to discuss what you’ll do with unused embryos down the road. Your fertility specialist can help you, but knowing what your options are now can really help you later on when life takes over and it’s harder to make a clear decision.
Prepare yourself for injectable fertility medications
After the angst around whether or not the cycle will be successful, most patients worry about injectable medications and their side effects. There is no doubt that the daily injections can notably affect the way you feel physically, mentally and emotionally. Read all you can with your partner about the potential side effects, and consider working with a fertility specialty pharmacy that facilitate the process for you.
Try to schedule time off after your procedure
Work with your employer and schedule IVF treatments at a time when you can afford to take some time off to relax and take care of yourself after transfer day. Many women find it’s nearly impossible to focus on anything else during the two-week wait (TWW), making it difficult to function at work.
Get your financials in order
It can feel like no price is too high to make your dreams of pregnancy and parenthood come true. But, IVF costs are notoriously higher than other fertility treatment costs, and most couples require multiple cycles before they get pregnant. Make sure you’re very clear about how much it will cost, options for financing or bundled cycle savings, etc., so you’re comfortable with your monthly payment plan.
The Physical Aspects of IVF
The healthier you are and the more your take care of your body, the more comfortably it will weather the IVF journey.
Things you can do to support your IVF treatment cycles include:
- Preparing your body for pregnancy
- Eating nourishing foods, focusing on anti-inflammatory ingredients that reduce some of the more common causes of infertility such as endometriosis, PCOS, or fibroid tumors.
- Getting mild- to moderate- exercise, which reduces stress, builds stamina and strength, and reduces some of the natural side effects of both IVF and pregnancy.
Nourish Your Mind and Spirit
While your body is working hard to get pregnant, it’s not able to let your brain know what’s going on, and this can feel unsettling. Then there are the hormonal ups-and-downs associated with fertility medications and the potential stress and upset that comes with failed treatment cycles.
Take good, tender care of your mental, emotional, and spiritual self – before, during, and after your IVF treatment.
Enlist fertility support sooner rather than later
Up to this point, your fertility journey may have been more private than public. However, we recommend women and their partners begin to connect with fertility support avenues before their treatment, so they’re available if and when you need them. Even something as simple as reading fertility blogs in the privacy of your own home is a good way to remember you’re not alone.
Read Getting the Fertility Support You Need for specific examples.
Pamper yourself with spacious time, quiet, and physical healing
The rigors of IVF must be balanced with a hearty dose of pampering. First and foremost, try not to participate in the rat race. Clear your calendar and enjoy some quiet, spacious calendar squares to allow your body to breathe.
Then, thoughtfully plan ways to relax and pamper yourself during your IVF cycle and after to keep your body as calm and de-stressed as possible. Massage, acupuncture, restorative yoga classes are all ideas, but you can just as easily lay on a blanket outside and watch the clouds, or soak your feet in a warm foot bath, Epsom salts, and some essential oils.
Would you like to work with a comprehensive fertility center that works carefully to prepare our patients before, during, and after their IVF cycle? Learn more about us here at the Reproductive Medicine & Surgery Center of Virginia.