Realising How IVF Can Affect Your Mental Health

In This Chapter

^ Realising how IVF plays havoc with your emotions ^ Being there for your partner ^ Coping with pregnancy loss ^ Avoiding letting treatment run your life ^ Healing over time

A\ lthough IVF doesn't pose a great risk to your physical health (see ¥ • Chapter 10), the possible risks to your mental health and general wellbeing from IVF are probably greater than from most other medical procedures. As well as your immediate reactions to the ups and downs of each step in the treatment process (which I describe in Chapter 9), IVF impacts on the way you feel about yourself, your partner and your life in general — especially when the treatment doesn't work.

In the last few years numerous researchers have studied the ways in which infertility and infertility treatments affect people's feelings and functioning. Evidence shows that such unexpected and unwelcome life events can shake you up in all sorts of ways. In this chapter, I draw on what's known from the research literature to explain how infertility and having IVF treatment can affect your life and your relationship in the short and longer term.

You can't blame the emotional difficulties that you run into while attending the IVF program — and afterwards — entirely on the IVF procedure itself. The fact that you really want a baby and it's not happening plays a great part, too.

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