In vitro fertilization (IVF) is a godsend for couples who haven’t been able to conceive naturally, but it doesn’t come without a price. We’re not referring to the financial costs of IVF, but to the entire process: The doctor’s visits and daily hormone injections; the egg retrieval, fertilization, and implantation processes; and the wait time to find out if the treatment was successful.
On top of all that, the female IVF partner may also experience discomfort, mood swings, or other bothersome side effects from the fertility drugs.
At Effortless IVF in Fort Worth and Bedford, Texas, our experienced infertility specialists Dr. Kevin Doody and Dr. Kathleen Doody understand that undergoing IVF treatment is both an exciting and stressful time for any couple. Here, they offer concrete advice for helping your partner through the stress of IVF.
Listening is among the best things you can do for your partner during IVF treatment. Don’t offer solutions, attempt to fix whatever she’s struggling with, or make comments. Give your partner space to share her feelings and vent.
She doesn’t expect you to have a magic solution to make everything better, she just wants to know you hear what she’s saying and sympathize with what she’s going through. Holding her hand, giving her a hug, and simply being present can go a long way in easing her stress.
Make an effort to attend as many doctor appointments with your partner as you can. If she prefers, give her the daily shots, or if she’d rather give herself the shots, be there to support her during them. Ask the fertility specialists questions at appointments and show your partner you’re doing everything you can to help her through each step of the journey.
Studies show that even in our modern times when most women work outside the home, they still perform most household chores. Your partner is likely to experience stress and physical effects of IVF treatments that make her feel more tired than normal. To offer her some relief, take on responsibility for household chores that you may not usually tackle, such as planning and preparing dinner, helping with laundry, and household cleaning.
Some women suffer from self-esteem issues during IVF treatment. Combined with the mood swings and hormones, you may have trouble finding things to praise her about or be positive about — but she still needs to hear these things regardless.
Keep in mind that the goal of the IVF cycle is to have the baby you both want, and if the IVF treatment is successful, your partner will carry the baby and go through labor and delivery. She’s literally sacrificing her body and emotions so the two of you can achieve your dreams of becoming parents together. Let her know that you see how well she’s handling everything.