A treatment with in-vitro fertilization (IVF) is without doubt a totally new situation for the female body. All the treatment steps such as ultrasounds during stimulation or interventions (ovum pick-up, embryo transfer) are performed at the Kinderwunschzentrum and are monitored by our team of doctors. However a lot of our patient couples want to recover more control and individual responsibility for the treatment. The question “But what can WE or I do?” is asked very often. That is why we want to give you a few helpful tips in order to ideally prepare yourself for IVF.
Your emotional preparation:
During an IVF cycle you will be confronted with a lot of complex emotions. If you are using donor egg cells / donor sperm cells or if genetics are an issue in your case, those emotions will naturally be enhanced. Before starting a treatment using IVF we recommend that you get in touch with one of our psychotherapists which both have longstanding experience in the field of reproductive medicine. They can offer you gentle support and guide you through the concerns and feelings of this process.
What kind of emotions you may experience:
- Fear that you won’t become pregnant despite all the invested time, money and emotions. The truth is: the treatment may not work and you must be aware of this fact before you continue your journey. Our psychotherapists Ms Eveline Leitl, MSc and Ms Dr. Béatrice Danninger are of course here for you and will help you with this topic.
- A completely different but normal emotion is the fear of not being “adequate” parents. But your child will always be your child and you will always be its parents. You will be there when it falls from the bicycle for the first time. You are just like every other couple expecting a child, but with the difference that you had to fight harder in order to get to this point.
- Loss or grief for unsuccessful cycles, lost pregnancies or miscarriages. If you start an IVF treatment, chances are high that youo were already confronted with a lot of negative emotions within the last months or years. Of course you can’t turn off those feelings and will take them with you when starting a treatment.
- Do not worry if you question or rethink about the decision of having an IVF, egg or sperm donation. To have doubts is completely normal when people are dealing with big decisions like that. It is a big step and a process to which you have to get used to.
- Despite all these emotions you may feel something that you haven’t felt in a long time: hope. Although IVF doesn’t guarantee you to achieve pregnancy, you can still take the liberty of feeling hope.
How to prepare your body for the treatment:
- There are a lot of ways to prepare yourself before starting an IVF cycle. Of course you should reduce your caffeine intake, quit smoking and stop drinking alcohol. Gentle to moderate sports activities are good for your emotional and physical well-being and therefore have a positive impact on your treatment. Attention: Heavy training is counterproductive!
- Do not forget: You are not only preparing for IVF, but also for a pregnancy. We recommend that you start taking folic acid and prenatal vitamins daily before getting pregnant. Supplements like this create the best conditions for your unborn child.
- Green leafy vegetables, fruits, vegetables, calcium and proteins should be included in your daily nutrition, because those are ideal for pregnancy. We invite you to get in touch with our nutritionist Ms Johanna Wolf, MSc – she will help you find the best food and will create a plan with you. Do not start any strict diets with few calories or carbohydrates. Even if excess weight is not ideal for a pregnancy – this is not the right time for weight loss.
- In the preparation cycle before the treatment our team of doctors may give you the pill in order to regulate your cycle or – if you are getting egg donation – in order to synchronize your cycle with the one of the egg donor.
Should you still feel unprepared despite all of our tips: It is completely normal if you feel unprepared before the start of the treatment cycle, because you will never be able to feel 100% prepared or ready. The most important thing is that you made this decision, feel comfortable with it and that you take new steps towards your dream of having a child. 🙂