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  • Navigating IVF- 3 Tips to Try

    Starting a family, creating a life, being successful. Did you ever realize how hard it all could be? Life. It has many layers including stress, emotion. It’s like a roller coaster of ups and downs. Never knowing the cards we’re dealt. Life is unpredictable and many times out of our control. We just have to be and do our best each day. No matter what. 

    Take fertility for example. Some of us get pregnant easily, others have to work a little harder and then for some a totally different path awaits. None of which is shameful or wrong. Some things are just out of our control- no matter what we try to do. 

    The good news is over the years there has been an increase in knowledge and medicine.Those going through fertility treatments now have a vast array of options. And you’re not alone. In fact 1 in 5 couples go through fertility treatments in some way or form. In the past, treatments were new and even the clinics you could visit were limited. Now, the opportunity to choose a doctor that best meets your individual needs (shop around if you need to) and choose a plan that best suits your unique situation, such as IVF are all over.

    IVF or in vitro fertilization is one of several techniques available for those trying to conceive. But if you’re reading this, you probably already knew that. Hopefully you’re reading this to gain some comfort, find different ways to navigate your journey, keep yourself centered and do your best to be successful. All while staying sane! Yes, it is possible.  

    Truthfully speaking IVF is a hard process. It consumes most of your thinking, seems to take over your emotions and can leave you exhausted.  Quite frankly it’s draining. Doctor’s appointments, cycles, medication. It’s a lot. But stick with me here because there are things you can control to make your journey a bit easier. 

    1. Stress Reduction

    Stress is an ugly monster. It affects the way we think, leaves us sleepless, depressed and is associated with several negative health factors such as headaches, high blood pressure or irritability. All the wrong things we want to experience, especially when trying to get pregnant. Yes, in some cases stress is inevitable but there are tools you can learn, strategies you can use and steps to take that’ll help reduce stress and come out calmer and in more control. When you minimize stress, you also balance the hormones in your body. This in turn improves your mental health and chances of conceiving. Give some of these a try-

    • Yoga- Yoga is an easy tool. It brings balance, centers you and connects your body and breathwork with simple movements. The best part of yoga is that anyone can learn how to do it. Yoga is so versatile and with a variety of styles such as gentle yoga, reiki and yoga nidra you have lots of choices. Better yet, yoga isn’t just for women. Men also benefit from yoga and when done together, you and your partner also strengthen your connection.

    • Meditation- Meditation is another tool many use to reduce stress and bring calm to their bodies. Thanks to technology, you can search “meditation” on Youtube and have a vast amount of guided instruction to choose from. It’s important when going through IVF that you take care of yourself. Meditation is a great way to do that. It helps you visualize and find inner strength for your journey. 

    • Exercise- Another tip when going through IVF is to keep your body healthy. This is actually pretty obvious. You should always make health a priority, but if you’re going through infertility treatments, making simple and healthy changes to your daily routine will make all the difference in the world. Set aside 30 minutes, that’s all 30 minutes a day to move your body. Whether walking, running, hiking or biking. And while you’re at it, get outdoors. Being outside stimulates your senses and triggers feel good hormones that make you happier, healthier and being your best. 

    2. Stay Connected with Your Partner or Someone You Care About

    One thing’s for sure, IVF is hard. And it’s something you shouldn’t feel guilty about, or shamed about doing. Let alone go through it alone. This is your life, your body and your unique journey. But despite all that, it’s important to stay connected and lean on your partner or someone you cared about or trust, like a therapist.

    Even if you don’t have a partner, those around you who love you, a therapist who understands or close friends you can count on are all part of your team. A team that supports and cares.  It’s important not to push these people away. Yes, it may feel hard at times, and you may feel unsure of your emotions but IVF is something you shouldn’t face by yourself.

    Your feelings are completely normal. IVF places stress on so many things, including your relationships. So what can you do to stay more connected? Make time for those who mean the most. 

    • Plan a social event once a week.

    • Set aside 5 minutes each day to really talk to someone about what you’re feeling.

    • Stay active (take a walk, go see a movie with someone, simply be)

    And if you are in a relationship, remember your partner is a big part of the IVF process. Even though you’re the one taking the medications, injections and having the procedures your partner is right there with you. If possible, have someone go to appointments with you or participate in conversations you have with your doctor. Being isolated only harbors more negativity and frustration. 

    3. Reach Out for Guidance 

    If it’s difficult opening up to friends, family or even your partner about your infertility, then seeking outside support and guidance can help. IVF is complex and for those not going through it, very hard to understand. There’s a constant strain on your body and emotions. Most likely you’re tired, feeling up and down, not sure what to do next or weighed down by the worry of “what if this doesn’t work.” No matter what you’re feeling or what stage of treatment you’re currently in, reaching out to therapists who specialize in guiding and providing knowledge, strategies and tools to help you navigate your journey is a step forward. 

    No matter what lies down the road, you can always use these tips to bring some calm and balance into your life. Sometimes you just need a little guidance in the right direction. But above all focus on you and believe in your journey.