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The Center for Fertility and Gynecology

Stress and Infertility

By on February 11, 2013

Stress and Infertility

Fertility treatment in Los Angeles as well as the rest of the world can be a stressful experience; here are a few tips to make the process less stressful and hopefully, more successful.

Infertility treatment is one of life’s most stressful experiences.  When one considers the cost, time, effort, pain and emotion required to get through a treatment like IVF, it is no wonder why people feel stressed out.  With this in mind, there are many things a person can do to decrease the stress associated with fertility treatment. 

1.       Have a plan:

Fertility treatment can rightly be described as a journey.  The road is long for some and short for others, but one way of diminishing stress along the way, is having a general sense of what lies ahead.  This may mean specifically deciding that you are going to try 3 cycles of clomid then move on to injectable medications, or simply that knowing what IVF is, while undergoing IUI.  Either way, knowledge of what lies ahead can be a source of strength.

2.       Understand your treatment:

Fertility treatments are based on complex hormonal and physiological principles.  This does not mean however, that a patient cannot attain a general understanding of the practice.  Patients who understand more about their fertility situation have a greater sense of control and ultimately success.

3.       Choose a fertility clinic that is responsive and communicates well: 

Your doctor and clinic should be a source of reassurance not frustration.  You should expect that phone calls are returned promptly and that your questions (even the silly ones) are answered clearly and respectfully.  Anything less is unacceptable.

4.       Build a team:  

Whether you are single or a couple, gay or straight, male or female, this process is best endured with support.  Find a few people who you can trust and share with them your experiences.  At the very least, verbalizing your thoughts helps to get some of those anxious emotions out of your body and at the best, your friends or family may actually have some good advice!

5.       Non-Western medical treatments: 

Traditional Chinese Medicine (acupuncture), massage, psychotherapy and other forms of adjunctive treatments are important parts of dealing with infertility.  You should discuss these options with your doctor and find out if they could not only help with stress, but improve your chance for success.

6.       Embrace your stress: 

The only thing worse that being stressed, is being stressed about being stressed!  You should know that stress is going to happen and that it is okay.  Remember that for all of human history, women have been getting pregnant in stressful situations like war, famine, drought etc.  Stress all by itself is not likely to prevent pregnancy or cause miscarriage.  Yes we want to limit your stress, but we also do not want to make it into a bigger deal than it has to be.

If you have questions about fertility treatments or stress, feel free to contact us, we’d be happy to discuss it with you.  Also, you can see  more information about stress and infertility as well as Dr. Kalan's recent quote at allparenting.com. 

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