You’re about to embark on a journey to increase the odds that you or a loved one will become pregnant. Fertility treatment is incredibly daunting. There are so many things to consider going into it, from the chances for success to the physical toll it could take on your body. These concerns and worries could become overbearing if you do not address the emotional aspect of treatment. It is very important to mentally prepare yourself for fertility treatment, and get yourself into a headspace that will help you conquer any challenges fertility treatments may end up throwing your way. Here are some tips to adopt into your life before starting fertility treatment to help you get into the healthiest mindset possible.
Fertility treatment can be all consuming and it can last for a long time. Try not to let it stop you from living your life. Making self care part of your routine is an amazing start. Finding activities or practices that ground you and make you feel more connected to life will help. It is also important to remember that while this process is ultimately about creating new life, you matter too.
Do things that make you feel good about yourself, and build good habits to carry through your pregnancy or potentially a grieving process. If you experience an unsuccessful fertility treatment, there will be lots of emotions and grief. Making sure you are taking care of yourself and establishing a healthy emotional relationship to yourself will make any outcome of fertility treatment survivable. Don't ignore those feelings of grief and disappointment. They are part of your journey and processing them will better prepare you to try again. Loving yourself through it all will discourage self blame or shame that is entirely unproductive.
Stress when preparing for and going through fertility treatment is inevitable. Finding healthy and maintainable ways to combat this stress will do wonders for your mental state. Healthy and maintainable stress coping mechanisms look different for everyone. It could be physical exercise, like yoga or swimming or zumba class. As long as your doctor okay’s it, physical exercise is a wonderful stress reliever for many women.
It could be meditation. There are tons of apps on the market that will guide someone with any level of meditation experience through relaxation. This could be taking up journaling. Lots of people use journaling as a healthy way to process complicated emotions and expectations. You could immerse yourself in an old hobby, or find a new one. Arts and crafts is known to be relaxing and also fun and productive. There are tons of fun adult coloring books that will capture your attention while allowing you to create something tangible. You could even choose to fill your time with social interaction, if that’s something that reduces stress for you. It is really up to you, and few things are in this process, so embrace that.
Get a therapist or join a support group for other people going through fertility treatment. Getting real, expert advice and coping skills will completely change your experience. The benefit of finding a group would also be the ability to connect with others who intimately understand what you are going through and will be able to support you and commiserate with you through the entire process.
It can also be difficult to share your emotions and concerns with the usual support systems you have in your life, whether that’s family members or friends, so finding a group that will ease that necessary task of processing and talking about your feelings will make your life much easier. If you don't feel comfortable with a group, seeking out a trained professional who has worked with and understands the fertility process is still a great idea. You will learn tools and coping mechanisms essential for getting your emotions through fertility treatment in one piece.
There will be lots of questions that come up when you’re preparing for and going through fertility treatment. Don't be afraid to ask those questions. Your doctors and support systems are there for you to answer your questions and keep you informed. If you let questions or doubts build up you will just be piling on more unnecessary stress, especially not ideal because you’re already going to be going through a lot of stress.
Research other people’s stories and try to connect with them. So many people have experienced what you’re experiencing and will be experiencing, and there are many testimonies and stories available on the internet for the exact purpose of inspiring and helping people like you. Take advantage of them. Use social media to learn more about fertility and treatment. There are doctors taking over social media by sharing advice and tips that could be very helpful for you and keep you informed.
Fertility treatment is daunting. It comes with hundreds of new worries and fears and ‘what if’s’ and expectations and let downs. It is easy to lose sight of the mental health care aspect of fertility treatment because it is also such a physical experience. Try not to let that happen.
Your mental state is just as important in conquering the challenges of fertility treatment as your physical state is, if not more important. Prioritize it. Your experience will be better if you are openly processing your feelings and emotions, and you will be set up better for any outcomes or curve balls thrown your way by stabilizing your mental health before starting treatment.