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Along for the Ride

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by Stephanie Fry, The IVF Companion, June 11, 2010

Infertility treatment cycles are often and accurately compared to roller coasters because they are filled with so many ups and downs. Moments of hope, excitement and determination can quickly become exhaustion, disappointment and sadness. It’s enough to make even the strongest of us feel like we are spinning out of control.

About halfway through my treatment I realized that my pattern of ups and downs was sapping my strength and making my cycles much harder than they had to be.

I was always excited to start a new treatment cycle but, when it came time to begin fertility meds, my little car sped downhill pretty quickly. After that first dip I pulled myself back up during the hopeful process of stimulation, only to fall back down again as I worried about fertilization and implantation.

The two week wait always started on a high note but by the end of the cycle, when I needed my emotional strength the most, my frayed nerves had about as much as they could take.

Sound familiar?

Each of has our own distinct pattern, but we all experience some form of highs and lows while cycling. The good news is that with a little effort you can begin to understand and better manage your unique ups and downs.

By better understanding yourself, you can learn when you need to hold on tight and when it’s safe to relax and throw your hands up.

Managing Your Ups and Downs

The first step is to be aware of and acknowledge your emotions and their underlying cause. To do this try keeping a journal or what I call an Emotion Log.

When you notice that you are in a particularly good or bad mood, jot down what caused the mood, the day or phase of your cycle and a note about how or what you are feeling. This way when things are not great, you will have a better understanding of why you're upset and you can try to change or avoid negative triggers in the future.

Similarly, by keeping track of your positive emotions you will be able to recognize, recreate and call on positives influences and events when you need a boost.

Simply being aware of intense emotions and their triggers can be a great way to change your perspective and your mood. Eventually you will begin to see your own patterns emerge and from there can work to stay level so you have a more positive cycle experience, no matter what the outcome.

Have you noticed any pattern or emotional triggers during your cycles? If so we’d love to hear them.

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