What should you be thinking about during your IVF cycle?
During your IVF cycly you need to focus on making sure that you're taking all your medications correctly and that your doctors are monitoring your cycle properly.
There many possible answers to this question ! For one, you need to focus on making sure that you're taking all your medications correctly and that your doctors are monitoring your cycle properly. You need to be well informed about your ultrasound scan and blood test results ; and you need know all the medical details about your follicles, eggs and embryos. Many patients spend a lot of time fantasizing about success, while others are paralysed by the possibility of failure. The most important thing you need to pay attention to during your IVF cycle is what you should do in case your cycle fails. This might seem paradoxical , and in fact a lot of patients get quite agitated when I give them this advise. They think I am being negative and pessimistic - and feel that I must not be confident of my medical abilities.
Actually, all I am doing is helping them to be realistic , so that they can come to terms with the fact that not every IVF cycle will succeed. If you only live in a dream world of - It's going to work this time, this just adds to your stress levels and makes the two week wait even longer . It's far better to think about - What are we learning during this IVF cycle , so that we can do a better job with my next cycle , in case this one fails. This is a constructive use of your intellectual abilities during the IVF cycle , and helps for many reasons .
If the cycle does fail, the fact that you are prepared for failure makes it much for you to bounce back. If you do succeed , you are likely to be doubly happy ! Using your head helps you control your heart - and ensures that you understand that IVF is not a sure shot affair. The important thing is to learn from each cycle , so that you can keep on fine-tuning your treatment , until you achieve your goal. Of course, many patients will hit the jackpot in the first cycle itself , and that is the holy Grail for IVF clinics ! However, given the limitations of today's technology, we are still far away from that point, which is why it's important to critically analyse your cycle while it's going on, so that you ask yourself daily - what's going right ? and what's not going right ? What can we learn from this ? What can we do differently the next time , to increase my chances of success. This is a much more positive approach , rather than blindly following the traditional wisdom of "positive thinking ", because if the cycle fails when you are all geared up for success, you are likely to be shattered , and will find it very difficult to bounce back.
I like the quote by Dr Petroski. "Success is success but that is all that it is - it is failure that brings improvement."
It's best to be alert, aware and critical during the cycle itself, when matters are still fresh in your mind. Make notes and ask questions, because both you and your doctor are likely to forget a lot of this stuff after your cycle is over!