Relaxation during IVF.
Tips for relaxation during IVF!
Anyone undertaking a cycle of IVF knows it is not a relaxing experience. There are therapies to take (sometimes in the middle of the night), blood tests to do on the right day, medical visits, time off work to organize, money has to be found to pay for it all in many cases, and at the end of it all an interminable wait for the result. Furthermore, since assisted reproduction is designed to provide you with a baby, and we all know that the technique is offered to those having difficulty to achieve this objective, a great deal of stress lies within the expectations of a positive result and the fear of ‘failure’. It’s enough to send even the calmest person into a tailspin of panic and confusion. Relaxation is all in the head, so it’s important to keep your head calm despite the stress you are under.
In all of this, you must however stay relaxed for many reasons:
1) Your body won’t respond to its best ability towards the therapy if your mind is in confusion.
2) Not relaxing puts pressure on yourself, your partner and the team dedicated towards achieving your objective, so any unnecessary stress is counterproductive and can have long-term effects on your relationships.
3) Since a lot of mental and physical energy goes towards a cycle of assisted reproduction, you should keep extra energy expenditure to a minimum.
4) Remember that if the outcome is positive, you have a long journey ahead so it’s important to start in the right frame of mind.
5) Particularly, relaxation is vital when it comes to the embryo transfer procedure because the more relaxed you are, the easier the procedure will be to perform.
Therefore, we suggest the following simple relaxation exercises to perform during the IVF cycle:
1) Every evening, find a quiet moment for yourself and your partner (even just before going to sleep). Just lie or sit down, and try to switch your mind off. Think about something not related to your situation (such as a holiday or happy moment). Just focus on that for a moment.
2) If you have ever done relaxation classes such as Yoga, now is the time to refresh yourself. Yoga is very good for the body in that it teaches you to relax under stress (such as the painful positions assumed!!). Try to learn the lessons from these exercises.
3) Don’t think about the immediate, but about the objective i.e. if the injections are painful, try to focus on the eggs you will produce. Stress will be significantly lowered if you remember why you do certain procedures.
4) The best help would be to try to forget completely why you are taking treatment and think about something else, therefore lowering in your mind the importance of the objective to your future.
When all is done, and you are ready for embryo transfer, a few tips will certainly help the procedure:
1) Again, consider the procedure a routine visit and try not to think about the consequences.
2) To relax, start with your breathing. Is it short and rapid? Then you are not relaxed. Start to take slow, deep breaths to calm the body down.
3) With breathing under control, start to focus on individual parts of the body. Start with the feet, trying to ‘observe’ how they feel. Tense the muscles for a few seconds and then relax. Then proceed to the legs, the arms, hands and neck. Repeat these exercises until you are called to the transfer room.
4) If you want to engage in conversation, feel free to do so, otherwise stay quiet. Don’t feel the need to do something you don’t want to. Remember the transfer is your moment and you must make the most of it.
5) When you lie on the transfer bed, try to think you are somewhere else, switch off your mind and let the team do the work. Do not resist since this could affect the outcome. Remember all of the above and keep an eye on the long-term.
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