Stress is your body’s way of getting you ready to either flee from danger or stay and confront it. You may have heard this adrenaline response called “fight or flight.” It makes you breathe faster, speeds up your heart rate, and puts all your bodily systems on high alert. Under the right circumstances, stress is a good thing.
But if your brain keeps sending stress hormones and your body is constantly in this emergency mode, it’s bound to take a toll. And if you’re about to begin your in vitro fertilization journey, the last thing you need is chronic stress.
Our team of expert fertility specialists and board-certified OB/GYNs at University Reproductive Associates understands the emotional ride you’ve been on leading up to your IVF treatment. We also know how important it is that you manage your stress to ensure your overall health and to optimize your IVF success. Here are five ways to keep stress under control.
1. Get educated
Information is power. The more you know about the IVF process the better equipped you’ll be at making decisions and avoiding surprises. At University Reproductive Associates, we join you every step of the way and answer all your questions.
Our approach to your journey is personal and individualized. We know that your story, beliefs, and goals are different from the patient before you and different from the patient sitting next to you in the waiting room.
We encourage you to gather information, talk to others who have gone through IVF before you, research, and ask us questions. As you do, you’ll feel more relaxed and at peace with each step.
2. Get prepared
Along with gathering information is taking action with what you learned. If you’ve done your homework, you know that IVF may involve some difficult decisions about what to do with eggs or embryos you don’t use. And those decisions may involve other people in your life as well as your moral, ethical, and religious beliefs. Ponder these issues before you begin your treatment.
You may also know that IVF requires time and financial commitments. Prepare ahead of time to take days off work if needed and to get your funds in order so that you don’t have to deal with the financials while you should be focusing on your health and well-being.
3. Get support
If you have a best friend who is a great listener and always there for you, that’s the friend to call on during IVF. There will be days when you feel cranky, moody, sad, or anxious, or you may have headaches or hot flashes. Confide in a person who will be there with you on your emotional journey.
Think twice about sharing your journey with everyone you know. Even those who love you may have a way of dealing with stress that isn’t helpful for you. You may find that people have opinions you wish they’d keep to themselves, or that they have their own agenda or expectations. During this time, it’s best to limit your inner circle to those who contribute to your journey with positivity and support.
3. Get relaxed
There are many ways to reduce stress in your life. Try a few of them and figure out what works best for you. Examples include:
- Breathing exercises
- Limited alcohol intake
- Healthy diet
- Talk therapy
Once you learn how to recognize your signs of stress, like a racing heart, irritability, depression, difficulty sleeping, and even depression, you can take steps to control it.
5. Stay positive
The power of positive thinking is real. If you make a conscious effort to be optimistic, you can improve your health and your relationships. We don’t mean that you should pretend to be happy when you’re not, but learning to develop a habit of positivity helps you cope with stress and may help boost your immune system and even lengthen your life.
As you know, IVF is not a guaranteed treatment. Positive thinking doesn’t mean you should have unrealistic expectations. In fact, part of the advantage of being a positive person is that setbacks and disappointments won’t derail you.
Your fertility is in good hands at University Reproductive Associates. If you have any questions about your IVF treatment or are interested in finding out if you’re a good candidate, call us at any of our three locations to set up a consultation today.