Not only does infertility cause a lot of stress to the woman (because she has to undergo so many tests and treatments), but it also causes a great deal of stress between husband and wife. This can lead them to a point where they feel they are going insane, if it isn’t handled maturely.

Here is a guest post from a patient who is concerned that her infertility is driving her around the bend.

" I failed my second ICSI. Both times I had 2 excellent embryos put. I  am 33, and that makes my chances of success high but I failed. I have dealt with failures before but always believed that if you work hard enough, you get what you want. I am not sure of that anymore and that bothers me. It's unfair, it's tough. This process can put your life on hold and consume you, you feel empty and in pain all the time and its terrible because in theory you know that you have so much to be grateful for, so many blessings but it gets harder to live in the moment and enjoy what you have.

That's the problem with being driven, you can't help but live in the future, keep stressing, analyzing and planning what you can do better next time. It's tough to accept that there isn't much you can do differently. This process can make you so irrational. I am a highly educated, rational person but I am seriously considering crazy thoughts like going to an astrologer to pick the next ICSI month, give up sweets and other things I like so God feels sorry for me and gives me what I want, these are just 2 thoughts, I go through a 100 such irrational thoughts every day. It has impacted my self esteem.

I have read so much about meditation, spiritualism but at times like these, it's all out the window, know it all in my head but so difficult to implement. I can't deal with free time, too many thoughts I hate thinking so whenever I am free, I watch tons of TV and movies just to numb my brain ! Gone are the days I would love sitting around staring at the ceiling, doing nothing. They say time is the best healer.

At some point, I hope one of 2 things happens to me. I will succeed and experience true happiness after a long time or I will stop trying and learn to accept and live with the pain, maybe with time the pain won't consume me as much and I will be able to focus on the blessings I have. Will have to wait and watch till my next and last ICSI and trust me I hate waiting...it seems never ending."

The negative impact of stress

I constantly tell my patients not to beat themselves up. The truth is that it isn’t the infertility that causes the stress, it’s the other way round. Even very normal, intelligent and well-grounded women find that they are behaving in a completely irrational manner when they are doing IVF treatment, However, in my experience I know that this is a very normal response from a normal woman caught in an abnormal situation.

IVF is a lot about how much control you can have on your emotions. After all, though it’s the best treatment  for infertility, it isn’t a sure-shot one. This also means, you have to maintain very realistic expectations, focus on doing everything right and remain positive through it all. That is the only thing which will help you maintain your sanity while you are doing IVF.

I tell my patients to remember the Serenity Prayer -

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; the courage to change the things I can; and the wisdom to know the difference.

Not happy with the attention you are getting from your IVF clinic? Need more information? Please send me your medical details by filling in the form at www.drmalpani.com/free-second-opinion so that I can guide you!

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

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