IVF treatments can feel overwhelming physically, financially, and emotionally when you are going through it.  There are numerous doctor’s visits, lab tests, ultrasounds, hormone injections and it can seem very chaotic and unorganized.  It can also take a toll on your body physically with all the poking and prodding as well as dealing with some side effects like bloating and discomfort due to various medications and their effects on the body.  It might seem to be out of your control because you have to go along with what the specialist asks of you.  But there are some things that are within your control in order to make this IVF journey more pleasant.

Clear your calendar of any unnecessary things for the period of time that you will be undergoing IVF treatment.  Try to be realistic as to what you consider to be essential and what is optional.  Make time for lots of rest and downtime because you might feel overwhelmed during this period.  Be aware of your diet and what are appropriate exercises to do during this period.  It would also be helpful to do this together with your partner so that your schedules would be synced and you are aware of each other’s schedules.

Get your paperwork in order.  As you go through treatment, you will get a lot of paperwork.  It might be useful to keep a 2 or 3 ring IVF binder that can hold all the paperwork that you have received so far with separate tabs for categorizing them.  Try not to just stuff it all in a folder because it might then take a lot of time to find specific paperwork and it could all fall out if kept loose.  In it, you could keep your calendar with the various appointments in there as well as any special instructions, payment receipts, and information about the medication. You could also do it all on your mobile by scanning your receipts and various information as well as add your appointments to your calendar and add contacts for who to call if you have a question or an emergency.  You could also set timers on your mobile for when to take medication next as well as keep notes of any questions you might need to ask the doctor.

Organize your medications as there will be a lot of them to keep track of and it can get confusing.  They will need to be administered at various intervals or times in specific ways and some may need to be refrigerated.  You could use a pill organizer and have all of them sorted out for morning, afternoon, and evening so that an empty spot in the box means you have taken them for sure.  Have a specific storage place so that they are all kept together along with their appropriate syringes and needles.  Keep a diary of what medications you have taken so far along with notes in case you experience any side effects.

1)      Expect the unexpected in that you will not have control over how your body reacts.  Read up on the IVF process and all that it entails.  Be aware of what could happen due to medications and discuss them with your specialist so that you won’t be caught unawares.

2)      There will be a lot of time spent waiting for the appointments in the IVF clinic.  Use this time wisely to get work done if you are able.  If you aren’t able to focus on work during this time, maybe listen to some relaxing music to calm and soothe your mind and body because this too could be helpful for a positive outcome for IVF.

3)      It’s very helpful to have the support of your partner or other family or friends or a therapist who will help you through this process.  Keep them aware of what you are going through and they could help you destress when doubts start creeping in.

4)      Set one day to organize things like your medications for the week and look over what coming over the horizon so that you might be better prepared for what’s to come.  Try to be open and positive about whatever comes your way.   

5)      Carve out some time to do fun, relaxing things like a day at the beach or the spa.  Practice self-care during this period.  Make sure you get lots of rest and have peace of mind.  You will definitely need some time for destressing because the IVF journey can be filled with a lot of questions, anxiety, and stress.  Be kind to yourself and don’t berate yourself if something didn’t happen the way you might have imagined.  Try to be positive and do things that bring you joy.

By being organized, the whole IVF process could be a little smoother.  If you have any questions about how to be better prepared for the IVF journey, please feel free to contact us at Xenith Advanced Fertility Centre.