Infertile couples find that there is sometimes too little reliable information - or often, there's too much. This can lead to analysis paralysis !

When you are infertile, it can sometimes be very hard to make decisions as to what your next course of action should be, especially when your IVF cycle fails. There are always many options, but because this is such an emotionally charged issue, it becomes very difficult to think through this logically. Should you just repeat the IVF cycle again? or should you change your doctor? or consider using donor eggs? or surrogacy? Or should we just forget about all this, and adopt a baby instead? Having so many choices often leads to paralysis by analysis. The problem becomes even more acute when the husband and wife don't see eye to eye, and would rather adopt different solutions, because they have differing worldviews.

When you're stuck and don't know what to do next, it can be helpful to find a counselor who can walk you through your options and help you come to the right decision for yourself. A good counselor will never tell you what to do - she will help you find the answer within your own heart.

However, finding skilled counselors can be extremely hard - and another way of addressing this problem is to treat it as a business problem. You need to step out of your own body and pretend that this is a problem which is affecting someone else - perhaps a friend, who is confused, and needs to know what to do next, and has come to you for advise. You can then stop using your heart and start using your head. You need to approach this dispassionately and objectively, as a business problem, for which you can create a decision matrix and order your choices so as to maximize your gains.

While it may seem extremely heartless to take this approach, this is actually a far more efficient way; and will help you to make the right decision much faster.

Here's another tip which will help you listen to what your heart is telling you - try tossing a coin ! Now I'm not suggesting that you let the result of the coin toss determine your future course of action ! No - this is far too important a matter to be left up to such a random event. My point is that while the coin is in the air, you will find yourself hoping that it comes up heads, rather than tails - or vice versa ! If you find yourself clearly preferring one side to another, this clearly means that your heart knows what's right for you. It is telling you what to do next - and this simple trick is a useful way of being able to listen to your gut feel!

Authored by : Dr Aniruddha Malpani, MD and reviewed by Dr Anjali Malpani.

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