Getting off the merrygoround

Deciding to stop IVF treatment can be difficult, because it may mean giving up on your dreams of becoming parents or having another child. That's why some couples just keep going with IVF, even if the chance of the treatment working is virtually zero. If this happens to you, you need someone to stop the merry-go-round so that you can both get off. Interestingly, in one study about IVF experience a whopping 79 per cent of women thought that couples should be counselled about the option to stop treatment.

If you're ready to stop treatment but your partner wants to keep trying, you may have to find a compromise, like having one last try. Try to work out something that you both feel okay with. Failing that, you may need help from a counsellor so you don't end up falling out with each other over the issue.

There's no right or wrong time to call it quits: The only important thing is to find the right time for you. Some couples make plans in advance about how many times to try IVF and stick to their plans; others need time to feel that they're ready to close the IVF door. Take the time you need, because this gives you a better chance to feel that you made the right decision.

Time to stop

Susan and Andrew joined their IVF program full of enthusiasm and optimism. However, unfortunately they weren't lucky and endured several unsuccessful treatment cycles. Not wanting to give up hope, they decided to try one last time. Amazingly, Susan's pregnancy test result came back positive, but their joy was short-lived when the scan two weeks later showed a smaller than expected foetus without a heartbeat. Naturally, they were both devastated. They also felt that they couldn't stop treatment because they'd finally seen some positive signs. However, another two unsuccessful cycles followed, so they decided to see the clinic counsellor. She helped them reach the conclusion that it was time they stopped treatment and got on with the rest of their lives. Looking back, Susan and Andrew know that they made the right decision and are grateful that the counsellor encouraged and supported them through the tough process of letting go.

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