Undoubtedly, the infertility journey is physically and emotionally stressful. Receiving the diagnosis of infertility and trying to conceive after failed cycles makes us feel as though our bodies have failed us, while yearning for a family is exhausts our emotions. Although this is a time we should take the best care of ourselves to optimize our health and fertility, stress often prevails.
Advice from our writers on coping during the holiday season
The holiday weekend is here! Feeling the stress yet? Juggling the shopping, work, parties and family ... the holidays can be stressful, and they can be even more stressful when you are coping with infertility.
Our advice? Take care of yourself, don't attend the functions that really bother you and check out our Holiday Infertility Survival Guide for great advice and strategies to use during this busy time of year.
The holidays can add undue stress to fertility treatment cycles. You may be feeling anxious about family gatherings and dodging questions about your intentions of becoming parents. Family and friends mean well, but their comments can come with bad timing.
So now that I've decided to call this: "Infertility is Hard Enough Without..." I'm just hoping this doesn't turn into a 6,000 word post. (Or more likely a 200 word post followed by a 5800 word rant where I just spray curse words all over cyberspace. Close your eyes. You really don't want to get swear spray in your eyes. It's like sunscreen.) Here we go.
Feel free to join our little kvetch-a-long with your own sentence endings. (A kvetch-a-long is like a sing-a-long with whining instead of guitars.)
When dealing with infertility,worry has many faces. It begins early with the first worries that maybe something is wrong. Once in fertility treatment, the worry continues with each new hope and each disappointment. You worry about your life in the present. You worry about your body. You may worry about your relationships, your social life and your finances.
If you find yourself worrying, here are some thoughts to keep in mind:
Have you ever been stressed about being stressed? Have you ever felt that you should be calmer, stronger, less upset? Have you ever tried to do mind-body or relaxation exercises only to create more stress by worrying that you weren’t doing them right?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, you are not alone. Many of the women I’ve worked with over the years have had this issue. They’ve blamed themselves for responding in the most natural way in the world. If you’re on a fertility journey, you’re on a rough road. You’re afraid of not being able to have something your heart cries for. It’s natural to feel the stress.
A recent UC San Francisco study observed 428 couples for 18 months after they visited a Bay Area reproductive clinic and found that nearly a quarter had used acupuncture and nearly 1 in 5 had used herbal therapy to treat infertility. Acupuncture has become increasingly accepted by the medical establishment as a treatment to reduce pain and stress, and there have been multiple studies on its effects on infertility in the past decade. But even as many patients use acupuncture to successfully help them have children, scientists still are unsure how it works, or if it's effective.
For one final time, I invite everyone to the Father's Day Twitterview this coming Friday, June 17, at 2 p.m. EDT. Barbara Collura, Executive Director of RESOLVE, will be interviewing me to honor all of the Wannabe Dads. Please feel free to comment or question. Hash tag #tvFD.
Note: You can follow the hash-tag #tvFD (representing Twitterview for Father’s Day) at this link.
Enrolling in a stress-management class might help women undergoing in vitro fertilization (IVF) get pregnant, according to a new study. In the current study, Alice Domar of Boston IVF and colleagues recruited 143 women who were about to undergo their first cycle of fertility treatment, and randomly assigned about half of them to a mind-body course intended to curb stress levels. The rest got a gift certificate to a spa. Their findings are in line with other recent work suggesting that stress relief might up the success rate for women who have trouble conceiving.