Book a Call

The 3 common emotional challenges of IVF

ivf Dec 07, 2021

The emotional impact of IVF feels never ending. It bears weight on just about everything we do on a day-to-day basis. I want to discuss the three most common complaints I see in the IVF world because it’s not always what you expect. If you’re just starting your journey, you may think the physical aspect will be the hardest, or even the fear of giving yourself the shots. But the shots tend to be one of the easiest hurdles to overcome.

The 3 biggest challenges of IVF:

  1. The waiting
  2. The lack of control
  3. The overwhelming sense of feeling alone, left behind, or like you don’t fit in

The IVF waiting

Waiting through IVF is such a big challenge because you are literally waiting at every stage. You wait for your first consult, then you wait for your cycle to start for testing. You wait for your schedule and you wait for the meds. You finally get started and feel that sense of excitement, but then the wait continues from stims, to the egg retrieval, all the way to your transfers and results. 

So how can we best handle the feeling of constantly waiting through infertility? It’s all about focusing your thoughts and energy on the things that you CAN control. Don’t think about the big picture right now. Just focus on the present moment and the next step, that’s it. Focus on today. Focus on the next shot or the next appointment. Focus on putting one foot in front of the other. Otherwise you will be wishing your life away. And in our 20s, 30s or 40s, that’s not what we want. This should be an amazing time in our lives, so be present. Think about today and take it one step at a time.

The lack of control through IVF

We like to be in control. We like to plan. We envision that we’ll get married and then get pregnant, but for us infertiles, it doesn’t work that way. Then we have little control over when our appointments are or what the clinic says. It constantly makes us feel nervous and uncertain.

You can get a sense of calm just by taking back 5% control in your life. Just 5%. I get it, you feel like your whole life is out of control. But I promise, you can control 5% of your life. If you’re not sure how to do this, check out this blog post.

The feeling of loneliness during IVF

I get it. This journey feels isolating. But I can’t stress this enough: You are not alone. You are not alone. You are not alone. There are so many people going through this. 1 in 8 couples go through infertility. That is a lot of people. 

Next time you’re in the waiting room for your appointment, look around you. I know we often avoid eye contact with the other women waiting, but these are your people who are going through what you’re going through. You may feel hormotional and not want to talk to them, but just recognize that they’re around you. They’re in the room. They’re right there.

When you go through something challenging or hard, your dopamine levels actually can improve by going through it with someone else. This is why support groups are so successful and important. We all need emotional support and we need to talk to people who get it. Below are a few ways to find your community support:

  • Resolve.org offers in-person support groups for people all over the US. Just enter your zip code to see what’s in your area.
  • Ask if your infertility practice has any group support meetings
  • See if your church has a support group, or another church in your area. (I went to one that was not at my church but open to anyone struggling to grow their family)
  • Talk to a fertility therapist 
  • Talk to an infertility coach (ahem, I know a great one if you’re going through IVF...ME!)
  • Social media can oftentimes feel like an enemy, but I actually leaned on Instagram a lot during my IVF. I made a secondary instagram account that was private to find the support I needed, so even if you don’t want to be public about what you’re going through, you can lean on social media and hashtags (like #ivfjourney #infertility #ivfwarrior).
  • There are a ton of Facebook support groups, including mine, the IVF Sisterhood
  • Online infertility Workshops (I offer one of these as well)

If you only take away one thing from reading this, I hope it’s that you realize there are so many options to help you get the support you need. You may want to connect with other people in the struggle like you, or you may want to connect with someone who has an expert opinion. I became a life coach that supports women going through infertility so I could be both - having the personal experience of IUI’s and IVF and fresh and frozen transfers, but also with the tools and resources to help you as you go after your goal of becoming a mother.

Even though you have a plan and checklist, infertility is not a straight line from beginning to end. It’s a rollercoaster ride. You might feel like there’s a cloud over you that’s not moving, but I hope these tips help you bring a bit of positivity to your life. And if you need even more support, I am happy to help. Book a free discovery call to find out how coaching can help you.

Get infertility tips straight to your inbox

Join our mailing list to stay in touch and receive tips & inspiration for your infertility journey