Infertility can affect the mental health of a person too. If a couple hasn't conceived, even after having unprotected coitus for a year (if below 35) or six months (above 35), then they are termed infertile. Couples tend to keep infertility treatment and IVF treatment a secret, as it's still a taboo in our society. When combined with their already grown self-doubt and sadness of getting termed infertile, the societal aspect can result in depression. For IVF, it is highly necessary to maintain good mental health.
In Vitro Fertilization is a type of assisted reproductive technique (ART). In this, male partner (or donor) semen is collected along with the female partner (or donor's egg) to be fertilized in a petri dish. Then the embryo is implanted back in the female partner. The mental and emotional health plays a more critical role in this procedure, then it is thought. The procedures and treatments can themself have a high impact on couples.
Emotional Aspects Of IVF
IVF is one long journey in which couples can expect to feel mixed emotions during various stages. Infertility, as we have mentioned, can have devastating effects on a couple. For Indian females, pregnancy is a very emotional subject, and as per our society, it has a natural child. As most of the females are homemakers, so being a mother is one of their primary dreams. Infertility can instill self-doubt and dissatisfaction from their regular life. For males, the effect is no different. Impotence is a taboo and a negative aspect of manhood as per the orthodox approach. The societal pressure and self-doubt are so heavy for certain males that they tend to go into depression.
But today, we have IVF and other infertility treatments. The treatments come with aspects like people might get to know, budget issues, uncertainty issues, and more. While keeping IVF only in consideration, there's are certain stress points like; maybe society won't accept the test tube baby (although it is a genetic offspring), for some couples even IVF can fail (but it can only be known after a couple of cycles), they might not have enough budget for multiple cycles, or there's always an uncertainty till the pregnancy is confirmed. These are among the primary reasons for stress.
During IVF, there are several tests and processes. One stress that we didn't mention earlier is the passing of genetic diseases or disorders to the offspring as well. The embryos are examined before implantation. In this, the embryologists check for the possibilities of any defect, disorder, or diseases in the particular embryo. So almost all the possibilities of your child having any issues are eliminated. Due to any natural issue, there's a slight and natural chance of a congenital disability in the child. This matter is beyond anyone's control, and rare to happen, but still, the couple tends to be worried about it.
Manage Emotional Disturbances During IVF Through Self Care
Self-care is any activity that you deliberately do to take care of our mental, emotional, and physical health. It's an effortless task but often overlooked. Excellent and regular self-care helping in maintaining a positive mood and reducing anxiety. As discussed so far, the IVF and infertility can cause feelings of stress, anxiety, and even loneliness. These feelings only tend to grow more as the couples move forward with the treatment. Especially in females, the hormones are highly fluctuating. So if they already have a busy schedule, it's essential to clear it and have free time for and after the scheduled appointments during IVF.
That's why self-care is crucial during IVF, and the couples need to be growing out of their negative emotions and bond together well, as they are soon to be parents. Self-care also includes being kinder and bit pampering to yourself. Be mindful of your daily activities, and embrace calmness in all situations. Your life and career don't stop during IVF, and they need not be, only you need to manage them in a way that there's time for you to take care of yourself. Set aside the exhausting and non-essential obligations, which can cause distress, or unnecessary fill up your schedule. Now you'll have time to add self-care in your routine, if not added.
Ways of Self Care To Manage Emotions
There number of ways in which a couple can practice self-care. The ways don't need to be very complicated and costly; the following are the simple and affordable ways you and your partner can ensure a good, relaxing, and healthy time for both:
Yoga- If you already exercise regularly, then scaling back from vigorous activities is highly recommended. Yoga is always a wonderful exercise for any individual. It's exercise vary from vigorous to simpler ones. For pregnancy, your instructor can instruct different types of exercise as per your pregnancy stage. Yoga encourages mindfulness, and it also results in long, lean, and well-toned muscles which help you in delivery. But remember to talk with your doctor about exercise during the IVF process.
Meditation- It is a type of mindful exercise that again provides you with several variants to choose from. It's the simple practice of clearing your mind, increasing your focus on breathing, and keeping your mind free of the anxious & negative thoughts. Meditation is all about staying in the present moment. For this, you can find a number of videos and apps online as well. There are simple requirements, like sitting in a quiet room for a short period. It indeed sounds deep, maybe a bit boring, but undoubtedly helpful. When done right, you'll feel like stopping the time and taking out time for yourself.
Dairy Writing- Let us ask? Do you like thinking about the baby? Of course, that's why you have come all through IVF and defeating infertility. Dairy writing doesn't only mean a daily account. It also means your imaginary, fantasy, or creative write ups and thoughts. Dairy writing also gives you time to evaluate your regular process to plan your days better. If you have an anxious thought on a certain day, you can acknowledge your feelings and be in peace with them.