How To Stay Positive After Failed IVF

How To Stay Positive After Failed IVF

Failed attempts of IVF, IUI or other fertility treatments are commonly faced by couples who are trying to conceive but suffering from some or the other form of infertility. Fertility treatments are not only heavy on pocket but also cause physical and emotional stress which generally goes unnoticed by their own close circle of family & friends. Many couples have expressed that, a failed IVF or IUI attempt causes similar pain like demise of someone dearest. But the worst part is,
 

YOUR GRIEF IS NOT UNDERSTOOD.

 

 

Why Failed IVF Causes Emotional Stress?
 


IVF treatment carries strong emotional relevance and it psychologically impacts the patient in a significant manner. Difficulty in conception? - IVF gives you a ray of hope to fulfil your parenthood dream. You embark on the IVF journey with excitement, doubt, fear and curiosity. After understanding the process, with the roller-coaster of hope and despair you go ahead step-by-step. Surgical process (if at all requires), medication, blood work, injections, etc. all makes the process overwhelming, but the desperation of having baby remains the key driver for you to go through all this. Even knowing the unpredictability of IVF outcome, metaphorically woman feels pregnant as they know embryo(s) is/are inside their body after Embryo Transfer (ET). Despite having realistic expectations (that it may / may not work) you get emotionally attached to the inserted embryos as your baby.

Thus, psychologically you are an expecting mother during initial two-weeks wait period and you take care of yourself (eating good, sleeping well, very punctual in taking medicine and injections, etc.) in order to nurture your expected baby. The moment when the negative result is known, all the above preparations stop all of a sudden and you feel an unexplainable void.

After going through all this, when the IVF cycle fails, the women’s emotional response is more or less similar to a pregnancy loss and she goes through the same grief stages of denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.

 

Woman Emotions After Failed IVF

 

Some common woman or couple emotions after IVF failure are -
 

  • Denial - “The report is false, I am pregnant”, “Still I feel embryo inside”.

  • Anger – Gets angry on God, doctor, on clinic or oneself. “Why me”

  • Bargaining - I should have not eaten this, I should have taken better care, etc.

  • Depression - The feeling of hopelessness, helplessness and worthlessness is at the peak.

    • Hopelessness – I will never have a child

    • Helplessness – Nothing is working out in positive way

    • Worthlessness – Feeling of inadequacy and inferiority

  • Acceptance - Realisation of the IVF cycle failure along with the extreme psychological distress.

 

IVF cycle failure can be devastating for couples. It is a loss at multiple levels like loss of your dream, hope and even social position.  

 

How To Cope With Failed IVF or IUI

 

There are mainly two kinds of strategies which can help to cope better and stay positive after failed IVF. They are-

  1. Emotionally focused

  2. Problem focused

 

  • Emotionally Focused

 

 

These coping methods are helpful in release of negative feelings, fulfilling need for support and validation. Some of the ways this can be done are:

 

  1. Identify what you are feeling. Accept your difficult emotions (feeling sad, guilty, etc.). Thereafter, acknowledge and accept them. All these feelings are normal and natural to feel after a failed IVF/IUI.

  2. Try to navigate your emotional pain in a healthier way. Give yourself permission to cry/grief. You have right to grieve on unsuccessful IVF cycle.

  3. Have mindful awareness of your pain and observe it minutely and notice bodily sensation like breathing changes, aches and pains, muscle tightness, heaviness in chest, etc. All these are the sign of manifestation of emotional pain in psychosomatic form.

  4. Don’t supress your feelings. Vent it out by talking to dear ones or by engaging yourself in some activities like writing, painting, etc.

  5. Please don’t grieve alone, take your partner along you, “I” makes you isolated and vulnerable and “We” unites you and you feel being supported.

  6. Express your true feelings to your partner and tell how you want to be helped and treated.

  7. Join fertility support group(s) where you find folks going through the same experience and you can share, relate and resonate.

  8. Meditation, yoga, physical exercise, deep breathing and other mindfulness and relaxation techniques would be helpful to release your emotions.

  9. Self-kindness and self-compassion are highly recommended.

  10. Engage in positive self – talk and affirmations. “I am powerful”, “This is not an end result of my fertility treatment”.

  11. Use positive reminiscence, recalling past and good memories and visualize it to feel positive emotions.

 

  • Problem Focused

 

 

This strategy helps to empower and device an action plan by understanding the problem. Some of these can be:

 

  1. Talk to your treating doctor. Every failed IVF gives some clues to do some different or add some advanced tests to make next IVF cycle successful. Trust on your doctor and understand the process.

  2. Educate yourself through right/reliable sources and take informed decision for further cycle. Do not over-do your own research which can be misleading sometimes.

  3. Make a holistic self-care plan and work towards it. Self-kindness and self-compassion would be highly recommended.

  4. Don’t blame yourself and try to understand it is not your personal failure, it is a treatment / procedure failure.

  5. Usually, couples isolate themselves when going through such times. Although you can limit the contact but at least have connection with your dear ones with whom you feel comfortable.

  6. Count what are the other positive area of your life. Make your day-to-day life meaningful.

  7. Seek professional support if you are not able to manage.

  8. Give yourself some break from social media and people giving you unsolicited advice. Avoid negative people.

  9. Focus on the end game of you having a healthy baby and maintain the optimistic outlook toward future life.

  10. Take it just as another challenge of life and try to build resilience.

 

Though just after IVF failure your parenthood dream gets shattered, your heart breaks and you feel vulnerable and see no hope to have baby. With the aforesaid adaptation and strategy, you can bounce back and would not drop out prematurely from the IVF treatment. Believe in yourself, your body and medical treatment, which all collectively would play critical role in achieving your goal of having a healthy baby.

 

  • If you want to share your pain

  • If you need an expert guidance in your infertility to parenthood journey

  • if you want to be a part of fertility support group where women of same or similar fertility issues discuss their issues & solutions

 

Then connect with Fertility Dost and fight your battle with more positivity, determination, strong support system, healthy body & mind as well as better fertility health which will help you conceive faster.

 

Call us today and book your first FREE consultation with us. We are all ears for you. Baby dust!

 


About the Author 


Indu Malik, Fertility Counsellor, 

M.A Psychology

7 years of experience in handling infertility cases

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Excellent. It covers all that we need to know.

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