Understanding How IVF Knocks You About Emotionally

Of course, people are different and the way you feel about being infertile and having IVF treatment depends on several factors, such as:

1 How much support you have: You can cope more easily with difficult patches in your life if you have a good support network and don't feel that you're alone. If you want to broaden your support network, refer to Chapter 2, where I talk more about finding various sources of support.

1 How you usually deal with difficult situations: There are many different ways of tackling problems (none of which are right or wrong), but some ways are better at helping you get through problems than others. I discuss the three broad coping styles for dealing with stressful situations in the section 'Talking about your feelings — often helps her, hinders him' later in the chapter.

1 Your personality: Some people are quite robust and seem to be able to take life's challenges on the chin, whereas others are more vulnerable and struggle under pressure.

1 Your relationship: If you and your partner support each other and talk openly about how you feel, chances are you'll have fewer emotional problems than if you have trouble communicating with your partner and don't feel loved and cared for. I give you some tips for working together with your partner throughout your IVF journey in Chapter 2.

You may sail through IVF without any difficulties and, if you do, good for you. But if you're like most people, you'll experience some negative feelings from time to time during treatment and when you do it may help you to know that these feelings are normal and that you're not the only one feeling this way.

How you cope emotionally with IVF depends largely on your personal circumstances. It goes without saying that if you're young, start IVF as soon as you find out you have a fertility problem and fall pregnant and have a baby after your first cycle, you'll be far less emotionally affected by the process than if you're 40, have been trying for a baby naturally for ten years, endure six IVF cycles and then suffer a miscarriage.

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