How does the fertility treatment affect your quality of life? Can I help you, to change focus?

How does the fertility treatment affect your quality of life? Can I help you, to change focus?

How does the fertility treatment affect your quality of life?

Many of IVF patients I talk to, have a long history with several IVF attempts behind them. They have tried for several years to make their dream come true; to have a child. Many of these IVF patients’ live like pregnant for years, though they are not pregnant. They give themselves restrictions; because they want to live as healthy as they can during their fertility treatment. That is good, but we also need energy and a good quality of life while being IVF patients, because we don’t know how much time it will take.

Most of the fertility patients I talk to, live a healthy life, they don’t need to be worried about drinking a coffee cup, a glass of wine, or not doing enough exercise.

Sometimes we think that we can affect the result and treatment, more than we really are able to. I talk to IVF patients that feel scared because they think that how they think and how they feel, will affect the fertilization.

Every week I hear this words; “my life is put on hold”. IVF patients change their life quality: they wait for their vacations, changing jobs, building houses/ moving, and even their weddings because they want to have a child first.
IVF patients are ready to move forward to their next phase in life, to become parents. Before they reach their goal, their focus, energy, money, time and emotions are involved in their “child project”. We are used to reaching our goals in life if we give projects all our effort. That is logical for us. So if the treatment takes time, or we experience several failed IVF attempts, it becomes meaningless and illogical for us. Instead of reconciling with the fact that we are not able to control the outcome of an IVF attempt, we try even harder to focus and affect the result. That can make us miserable.

Is it possible to focus otherwise, and make IVF patients’ life quality better during IVF treatment?

The child needs parents with energy, and you need the energy to continue treatment. The child cannot be responsible alone, to build up your quality of life. 

Ask yourself: “Who am I at the time when I am not the one that tries to get pregnant?”

You have five important areas of your life: Job, child project, relationship, hobbies and friends. Which arena gives you energy? If you take away the child project and job, what do you have left?

Normally the IVF treatment doesn’t give you energy, because it is out of your control, and it is an uncertain project. What you need to do, is to focus on the areas that are under your control and give you energy; your partner, your friends, your hobbies. I don’t mean that it is easy to move the focus, you need to practice!  Give away the responsibility for the “child project” to the fertility clinic; you need to trust that they will do their best to make you pregnant.  The most important process during treatment is happening in the lab at the clinic. Your thoughts and feelings do not affect the fertilization.

I give my patients one simple rule; live as pregnant, when you are pregnant, not before. Enjoy life: you don’t get pregnant by only focusing on the IVF treatment. As IVF patient you deserve a good quality of life. I am sure that you can write down a long list of everything that you have done till now in relation to the child project. I am sure that I will be impressed by everything you have done to become a mother. And I am sure that your child also will be impressed and feel special and wanted when he or she listens to your story.

Praise yourself for everything that you have done! Enjoy life until you become a parent!
Move focus, and give yourself a better quality of life!
The best of luck!

Family Counsellor

Tone Bråten

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