Anxiety and IVF


#1

Hi ladies! I must say that I turn to this support group often for advice and personal life experiences. I can not express enough my gratitude to all you ladies for your continued support.
I have a question about stress/anxiety and IVF.
My family members all think that I stress to much and that is why I have not been able to get pregnant. I have to admit, when I get negative results I am more than devastated. I have been very bummed lately, but I am excited to start Lupron on Dec. 1st and my first IVF cycle.
I explain to my family members that I wasn’t stressed the first year of ttc and still did not get pregnant, so there is something more going on, but they don’t buy it.
I guess I was wondering if anyone has experienced these remarks and what are your thoughts? Could I really be so anxious that I am causing my body to not conceive?
To all those who have done IVF, are there signs that I may be stressing too much? Any ways to help reduce the stress? In your experiences did the meds. cause more anxiety, or does the fact that you are doing all you can do to have a baby help you overcome the stress?
Thanks in advance for your replies ladies


#2

Hi there. I suffer from anxiety, and I am also a worrier by nature. I get these types of comments a lot from my dad and grandma. “oh, you shouldnt stress so much, it’s not good for you” (gee, really!) and how if I just stressed less my body would be more relaxed. I honestly just ignore it, because I know I have fertility issues (I wasnt having a regular period) and it has nothing to do with me being a worrier, etc.


#3

I think IF and stress go hand in hand! While it’s not good to worry and stress (physically or mentally), I also don’t think that it is the cause of NOT getting pregnant. How many times have I heard “just relax and it will happen”…“quit worrying about it so much”…no people - I don’t have tubes, it ain’t happening!

With that being said, I did acupuncture which really helped me to relax…also did bi-weekly massages…and tried to keep busy with hobbies.

GL!


#4

The anxiety is horrible. One thing that helped me and DH is renting every comedy DVD out there with popcorn and candy during the big days like night before ER, ET, nights before fert phone calls and 2ww. DH takes me shopping :clap: when he sees me stressing. Communicate how you feet to each other and and be extra sensitive to each other.
:pray: for you!!!

Ps- r u a RHONY fan??


#5

Hi -I can totally relate and it’s really frustrating to hear from people that because you are stressing, you are not getting pregnant. I was stressed at my old job, got a new job and wasn’t stressed at all there and my first round of IVF was a BFN. It’s really much easier said than done to not stress, but that said, I do yoga, exercise when not on the awful 2ww, dinner with friends, QT with my husband and I think that helps me. I honestly just try to tell myself that there is so much I cannot control in this process, so I need to try my best to control my anxiety and my worry. Worrying gives me something to do, but it just makes me feel more emotional and out of control… Worrying is not the reason that I’ve gotten BFN’s. I know complete stressballs that get pregnant. Just try to relax, take a breath, and let whatever is going to happen, happen. And vent here when you need help. Good luck :slight_smile:


#6

My DH & I started TTC 10.5 years ago… for the 1st couple years we were very relaxed. Bought our 1st home a year after we were married, had good jobs…etc. Despite the fact I had gyno probs, I never once thought I wouldn’t had been able to have children… especially when I was so young when we started… which brings up the topic of “you are young”… I started TTC when I was 18 & just had married my HS sweetie of 3.5 years… here I am years later & still no baby. We did take a TTC break after about 6 years, but noneless, we have tried for YEARS. Over the years we have been on LOTS of vacations with plenty of relaxtation, but still have not been able to have a baby. Relaxing doesn’t make my endo go away or open up my blocked tubes… I had to go to a RE for medical help. I didn’t start fretting about not being able to have a baby until a couple years of trying… I started in 2001 & started going to docs in 2003. While I do believe we should try to stay as calm as possible through this (ugh… sooo hard)… IVF is VERY stressful… I don’t believe stressing over not being able to have kids is playing the key role in my incapability of having children.

I am so sorry you are going through this. I know all too well about being anxious. I tend to be a “worry wart”. Anxiety on top of IF is horrible. We shouldn’t have to worry over not being able to do something our bodies are meant to do. I do tend to get bouts of major depression over not being able to have children. We just have to have FAITH in time it will happen!!! That’s what I hold onto… all these years & I still cling to faith.

:grouphug: to you… this path is a hard one!!!
Wishing you lots of :babydust: !!!


#7

Hi! So, I think that we all worry during IVF…how can’t we? It’s always the “fertile” ones that say, “Don’t worry so much and it’ll happen”. Oh really? Gee, I didn’t know that not worrying will make you pregnant! I had a friend say to me the other day to staop putting so much pressure on myself and it’ll happen. So I guess that my DH having very little sperm and me not ovulating on my own has nothing to do with conceiving! So frustrating!
I don’t think that stress causes us not to get pregnant. My cousin is the most stressed out “type A” personality that I know and she has 2 healthy little girls.
I really feel that whatever is going to happen is going to happen and all of the worrying in the world isn’t going to change the outcome. However, if I’m feeling especially stressed I’ll take the dog for a walk or read, spend time with the hubby. I also do acupuncture weekely which is very relaxing.
Good luck to you! :babydust:


#8

I just recently read a study about IVF and stress and it found that even high amounts of stress have no effect on IVF success but all of us who have gone through it know that already.

Additionally,if you read the packaging of your IVF drugs for more than half of them anxiety and worry are actual side effects, so I would tell your family it is the drugs and it is their job to help you relax.


#9

Hi-I also get anxiety and worrier by nature. I get the same comments and the thing is, no matter who the comments come from, those people do not understand unless they go thru this experience!!!

Currently I am seeing a councelor for dealing with anxiety on a daily basis. It has helped me a lot and I decided to do this after our BFN from our first IVF cycle.

Another thing you need to consider is pampering yourself, this is a very hard time and going thru procedures are not easy so take time for yourself and pamper yourself, it will give you something to look forward to!


#10

Friends and family that make these comments have no appreciation for the fact that they are making us feel worse. In a way, they are implying that we have control over getting pregnant, and if we would just stop trying so hard and stop worrying, that it would happen naturally. In other words, not getting pregnant is [U]our own fault[/U]. I always found comments like these hurtful and bordering on insulting. Of course they don’t see it that way, and think they are just trying to be helpful. What they also do not understand is how devastating it is to go through cycle after cycle with BFN, BFN, BFN. But what’s absoultely critical, is that those of us struggling with IF accept that it is NOT OUR FAULT! It is beyond our control and no amount of relaxing or de-stressing will magically lead to pregnancy. Honestly, I wish people would just shut the heck up and stick with “I wish you the best, and will pray for your success.”!!!


#11

Hi,
I am so sorry to hear that you are getting those kind of comments. Sadly, I think many of us in the IF world hear them.

First, let me start off by stating that I think what you’re feeling is absolutely normal! I felt terrible amounts of pressure throughout our infertility journey. (No amount of “relaxing” was going to change the fact that my tubes are pulled so far away from my ovary that “natural” conception is impossible.) Still, people constantly insinuated that I just needed to (in not so few words) stop caring so much! This ALWAYS comes from people who have no problem conceiving but who are trying to be helpful. I’m not sure what your situation is but for us, we had to fund all of our IF treatments out of pocket as our state and insurance cover nothing. So, on top of the emotional stress, there was the financial implications. In summary, if you weren’t at least a little stressed / nervous, I would think there was something wrong with you and you weren’t really taking the process seriously :slight_smile: (I mean that in a totally loving way!)

Second, as can be demonstrated above, I was (and still am) a total basket case going through IVF. I worried at every turn. I tried to stay optimistic and consulted only my very best and most supportive friends when I felt down. And somehow, by the grace of God, i am pregnant. (I’m only 9 weeks along so I still worry with every US! Not sure that will ever end for me!)

Third, some things that helped me stay relaxed and optimistic:

  • Watching only light hearted TV / movies (I think someone suggested this above)
  • Confiding in only those with strong faith or truly supportive advice. (none of that generic “it will happen when it’s supposed to” crap! ha ha)
  • Letting yourself cry or feel upset when you need to. Give yourself some grace.
  • Stay off the internet. It can be the very best thing for support but sometimes, you’ll read horror stories and get yourself scared over nothing.
  • Tell your family how those comments make you feel. I confronted my mother about those comments that she used to make and she totally didn’t understand that I interpretted it as blameful.

Sorry for the length on my message. I just want you to know that you will not hurt your IVF chances just because you are nervous. Please PLEASE remember to be kind to yourself and your partner. I :pray: that you get your BFP very soon and that you find some calming moments in this difficult time.

:grouphug:


#12

Not your fault

[quote=Turtletime]Hi ladies! I must say that I turn to this support group often for advice and personal life experiences. I can not express enough my gratitude to all you ladies for your continued support.
I have a question about stress/anxiety and IVF.
My family members all think that I stress to much and that is why I have not been able to get pregnant. I have to admit, when I get negative results I am more than devastated. I have been very bummed lately, but I am excited to start Lupron on Dec. 1st and my first IVF cycle.
I explain to my family members that I wasn’t stressed the first year of ttc and still did not get pregnant, so there is something more going on, but they don’t buy it.
I guess I was wondering if anyone has experienced these remarks and what are your thoughts? Could I really be so anxious that I am causing my body to not conceive?
To all those who have done IVF, are there signs that I may be stressing too much? Any ways to help reduce the stress? In your experiences did the meds. cause more anxiety, or does the fact that you are doing all you can do to have a baby help you overcome the stress?
Thanks in advance for your replies ladies[/quote]
I can say you are not alone! I got those kinds of comments a lot when we could not conceive in the “average” amount of time. Especially since I was 27 when we started trying. I had a feeling that something was wrong but no one believed me until after a year of trying we went to see a specialist. I have always had issues with stress/anxiety and yes that can impact the chances of naturally conceiving. It doesn’t prevent it all together though in most situations…unless due to said issues you are severely overweight or underweight therefore creating other factors that impact fertility.

The good news is the stress factor does not come into play with IVF as much as it does during natural, unassisted means of becoming pregnant. I was worried that being stressed during IVF would somehow compromise it but it did not. You of course should be good to yourself and eliminate as much stress as you can for your own health and well-being during the process. I do not think anyone can honestly say they had a stress-free IVF experience. For me personally, the medications did not increase my stress. It was just a part of the process. I did relax a little knowing we were doing absolutely everything we could to try and conceive our child. It is a very emotional process so it helped me being able to talk about it with close friends. Maybe having a friend that you can talk to (that may not understand exactly what you are going through but is 100% supportive) would be beneficial to you as well. Try to block out any negativity from people around you though- you will be going through enough without them making things worse for you. The conclusion I finally came to is this was our decision- we knew it was right and anyone that felt otherwise I needed to create some space between so that I could focus on what I needed to do.

I wish you the best of luck with your IVF cycle and hope this time next year you are holding your baby!:cross: