Taking a break during fertility treatment can be a real gift to yourself, if you can bring yourself to actually take the time off. Let's call it what it is—a vacation—from the doctor's appointments, monitoring, testing, procedures, blood draws and more.
Can't afford to spend more when you're spending your last nickel on fertility cycles?
3 Things to Consider When Taking a Break From IUIs and IVF
- When — Fertility cycles can take up to 8 weeks. Give yourself a hefty cushion of time so that you don't have to cancel, and so that you can start treatment again when you're ready.
- Where — Consider a staycation if you're planning to start a cycle or at the end of one. Take an "off" vacation; is everyone going north? You go south. Or vice versa.
- Budget — What can you afford? Infertility is expensive, even with good insurance coverage. This is a great time for using points for the plane or the hotel.
Should I Take a Vacation During Fertility Treatment?
So, do you plan a vacation? Is it frivolous to even wonder about it?
First of all, no it's not frivolous to want a vacation, even while you're in fertility treatment. Or more to the point, especially when you're in fertility treatment.
We all need time off for good behavior! Or bad behavior, or disappointing results. Taking time off is not always an easy decision to make when you're trying to conceive. We all want to be taking advantage of each reproductive cycle that we possibly can. Over 35? The feeling that time may be running out creates almost unrelenting pressure. No matter what your age, the thought that "this might be the fertility treatment cycle that works" makes it really hard to take a cycle off.
Up Side to Time Off From Fertility Treatment
What are the benefits to time off?
- No injections
- No ultrasounds
- No medications
- No doctor visits
- No testing
- No phone calls
Taking a break from these less than pleasant activities is both helpful and restorative, especially if you have been at it for awhile. It may only be apparent how stressful treatment has been when you do take a break and focus on other areas in your life. Time for the hobbies that you enjoy, books that you've wanted to read, friends you want to spend time with, something new that sounds fun!
Will you forget about trying to conceive during your time off? That's not actually the point. The idea of time off is simply that—allowing yourself to recuperate physically, emotionally and spiritually from the rigors of treatment. It's taking a rest.
It's taking a break. Here are some suggestions for 30 second breaks.
Taking a vacation usually means going back to fertility treatment less exhausted and more hopeful. Fertility treatment often seems easier after a little time off. Cycles can be more effective if the body, mind and heart is rested.
How to Plan a Vacation Around Fertility Treatment Cycles
- Fertility programs have down times where they don't do IVF cycles. Find out when they are and take advantage of those times for planning time off or away.
- If you are a teacher, summers are a great time to cycle and a spring vacation might be the best time to get away.
- Consider buying trip insurance so that if a fertility treatment cycle goes longer than planned, there will be no reason for panic because your trip can then be rescheduled.
- Plan a staycation. Look around at what you can do in an easy day drive. Rediscover the beauty and the fun in the area in which you live.
- With the money that you will save on flights and hotels, indulge in spa treatments or tickets to Broadway or your favorite bands.
- If you are going to fly, check the CDC (Center for Disease Control). They have an ever-changing and up-to-date Zika virus section on their website. Any possible exposure to the virus will postpone fertility treatment cycles. For men, freezing sperm may be necessary as the wait time after possible exposure is more than six months.
Work With Your Fertility Program
Taking a vacation during fertility treatment is more challenging than it would normally be, no question about that. One last suggestion is to work with your patient navigator or fertility nurse when planning a vacation. They will have specific suggestions based on your history that will make vacation planning much simpler.
Also, remember that even taking a weekend off can be restorative if you plan it around what you need, which may be swinging in the hammock while reading a novel of your choice, hiking a mountain or listening to your favorite band.
Find out more about the true length of an IVF cycle, what to expect during an IUI or speak directly with a New Patient Liaison by requesting a consultation.