IVF Pregnancy: Making it Through the IVF Process
We won’t mince words: the IVF process can be a grueling, difficult experience. But if having a baby is your greatest desire, the physical and emotional stress will be well worth the outcome. We often see patients putting on their best face while going through the IVF process, but any difficulties you run into, or discomfort felt, are understandable and completely valid.
At CHR, we understand the emotional and physical toll IVF treatment takes on you. We’ve provided a few of our best tips to deal with the IVF process.
Tips for Getting Pregnant With IVF Treatment
- Choose the Right Team For You: Choosing the right IVF clinic or doctor isn’t all about success rates. Make sure you choose someone who you feel comfortable with, and can guide you through the emotional moments coming up ahead. Choosing the best fertility team for your needs is critical, and it can determine the success of your fertility treatments.
- Find a Way to Release Stress: It may seem unnatural to put such an investment on an uncertain return, and this can be a massive cause of stress for patients. However, this stress can negatively affect your chances of getting pregnant. Try a yoga class, walking outdoors, or taking up a new hobby or craft. Find your best way of relieving stress and keeping a clear head.
- Let It Go: For many women who have found success in life, IVF treatment can be doubly frustrating because it takes away some of your ability to control certain aspects of your life. Medical care in the U.S. is notorious for being fragmented, which means you may need to navigate parts of the healthcare system that don't talk to each other - for example, you may find that no one at the pharmacy can find the order for your medications (that you need tomorrow!), and your nurse is off today. Monitoring visits during the IVF process can disrupt your morning routine, and you won't know exactly when you'll have to take a day off work for procedures until very close to that date. All these little things can add up to stress you out. While there’s no quick cure-all, our patients have told us that learning to live with these small uncertainties in their own ways helps cope with the rigor of IVF treatment.
IVF Pregnancy vs. Natural Conception: Physical and Emotional Differences
- Awareness: The biggest difference from natural conception reported from IVF patients is the level of awareness after embryo transfer. Most women who conceive naturally aren’t conscious of the fact they just got pregnant, while during an IVF pregnancy, women are typically hypervigilant to pregnancy symptoms or signs. If you’ve gone through embryo transfer and are waiting to see whether you’ve become pregnant, our best advice is to take it easy--at this point, you’ve done everything you can, and thinking about it won’t make a difference!
- Pregnancy Symptoms: Unfortunately, many of the fertility drugs taken by women who undergo IVF mimic the first signs of pregnancy. This can make those two weeks between embryo transfer and pregnancy tests confusing. Some symptoms include tiredness, bloating, nausea, and mood swings. You may miss your period or have light spotting. Try not to think about these symptoms too much.
- Starting at Your Fertility Clinic: Typically, the first 2 to 10 weeks of your pregnancy will be monitored by your fertility clinic before you are “discharged” to your obstetrician. You’ll probably be monitored a little more intensively and thoroughly than a patient who conceived without IVF. This constant checking is to ensure the health of your baby. If you’re newly pregnant by IVF, don’t compare yourself to experiences of women who conceive naturally. Your situation may be different and require more care during those first 10 weeks.
Make sure to always follow instructions given to you by your doctor to maximize the success of your IVF treatment and ensure the health of you and your baby.