Infertility Anxiety - Ideas from Our Community
I write when I’m anxious.
Sometimes I eat. (OK, often I eat when I’m anxious.)
I meditate when I’m anxious. Or create a mantra and repeat it.
Infertility and fertility treatment sometimes causes anxiety. To be fair, it also creates hopeful anticipation and lots and lots of joy when it works.
Taking medication, having to come in for ultrasounds, noticing changes in our bodies, having to be aware of scheduling--all can create some anxiety.
Tips for Anxiety
Here are a few suggestions from our Fertile Yoga ladies -- tips for anxiety -- on how to handle those feelings:
- Writing in a journal - stream of thought. Releasing it to paper or onto the computer will allow it to flow from your head out. Seeing it out there is often calming as you have given yourself a way to see it, outside yourself.
- Listening to music - plug in! Find something that is so unbelievably beautiful that you just can't help but dive in. Sing along. Tap your foot.
- A side note to music - DANCE. Enjoy your body. Do it privately if it makes you less self-conscious.
- Read. Oh yeah. Dive right into a book. A nice, juicy novel.
- Educate yourself. Make that stack of books on your nightstand books that will help you understand the infertility and fertility treatment process.
- Work out! Take a walk. Go to yoga.
- Consider a brand new style of therapy. Profane therapy. Swearing evidently can help. Let loose. Then let yourself laugh.
- Movies - there are a lot of them coming out right about now. George Clooney. Need I say more?
Thank you Fertile Yoga Ladies for all these suggestions.
Any other ideas for managing anxiety?
Let me know. I'll post them here. Anonymously, if you like.
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The two weeks after an IVF transfer or an IUI was the worst part of any infertility treatment cycle I ever experienced.
There was nothing to do but wait.
I really hated that.
There was that possibility that there would be a joyous answer as well as that possibility of complete heartbreak. No exaggeration.
Heartbreak or joy. Yes or no.
And nothing to do but wait.
There are entries on this blog where I’ve given helpful suggestions on how to spend the time during a two week wait. There are entries that give emotional support around having to wait and other patients suggestions on how to handle it. Take some time when it’s relevant and read them.
Today, I’m just here to say that waiting stinks. That with or without great distractions, with or without loving, emotional support, it stinks.
Because ultimately it’s there, nagging the back of your mind.
Will it be yes or no?
Pregnant or not pregnant?
Heartbreak or joy?
And as most of you reading know, part of the pain of this wait is that it’s silent and unshared. Hidden away. We often hide our anxiety and don’t allow others to share it. We isolate in our anxiety and our anticipated pain. We don’t let others in.
This is not a criticism or judgment, simply an observation. I’m not even implying that letting others know what we’re going through would help. Often we don’t let others in because we know it won’t help. That we’ll hear incredibly unhelpful things. Often concerning God’s will and letting things be and other such unhelpful nonsense. Many of us believe those things on our own and it’s comforting or not. It’s decidedly not helpful or comforting when it’s inflicted by others.
So I’m here offering my sympathy and support from afar. If you’re in that dratted two week wait, anxious and alone, I’m sending love and support in your direction.
If you’re waiting, know that I am thinking of you.
Know that you are not alone. Even if you feel that way.
The wait will end and you will have an answer.
One way or another.
I’m waiting too. But not for long.
You know the joke. It’s only minor surgery if someone else is having it.
All joking aside, surgery never feels minor when it’s you who needs the surgery. It raises anxiety, a feeling, different than what you know about the surgery being minor. Here are some simple facts about laparoscopic surgery designed to help you understand the process better. The more facts that you have regarding surgery, very often, the less anxiety there is. When we understand something, it becomes much less frightening.
Laparoscopic surgery is minimally invasive surgery. It is a surgical procedure in which small incisions (approximately 0.5 to 1 cm) are made in order to place a telescopic camera system into the abdomen. This allows the surgeon to visualize your reproductive organs (uterus, fallopian tubes and ovaries).
Laparoscopy for Diagnosis and Surgery
Certain patients with fertility problems may benefit from a diagnostic and/or operative laparoscopy. At the time of your surgery, we will see if your fallopian tubes are open. In addition, laparoscopy will evaluate the relationship between your ovaries and fallopian tubes. Any adhesions or endometriosis will be removed at the time of surgery.
An ectopic pregnancy is located in the fallopian tube instead of the uterus. It can cause abdominal pain and bleeding. Laparoscopy is utilized to diagnose and treat ectopic pregnancies.
Advantages of a Laparoscopy
The advantages to laparoscopy over an open abdomen procedure include:
- Decreased blood loss.
- Small abdominal incisions.
- Shorter surgical recovery time.
- Less pain.
Operative laparoscopy Procedure
General anesthesia is used. Small incisions are made on the abdomen. Gas is placed into the abdomen. The laparoscope is put through the incision. This allows your surgeon to view your reproductive organs. The laparoscope produces images on a television screen.
Microsurgical instruments are placed through the abdominal incisions. These will allow your physician to cut adhesions or remove endometriosis.
After your procedure, the incisions are closed and you will go home the same day.
Most Common Problems After Laparoscopic Surgery
- Pain around incision sites.
- Hoarse throat as a breathing tube is placed during anesthesia.
- Abdominal pain.
- Shoulder pain.
If you have any of these symptoms, alert your nurse or physician.
If surgery is what is being recommended by a physician or group of physicians that you trust and feel comfortable with, then do what you can to understand the procedure. Be proactive. Ask questions. If there are things that you don’t understand, ask more questions. Surgery, being done for your benefit, is a healthy and smart option. Being as familiar as possible with what to expect can make the entire experience more comfortable.