Couples who undergo in vitro fertilisation (IVF) may face emotional and physical challenges. The procedure frequently necessitates intense dedication, patience, and courage. Many couples find that having counselling and access to support services can help them navigate the ups and downs of IVF. As a gynaecologist who frequently works with couples seeking reproductive treatments.
In an interaction with Only My Health, Dr Rita Bakshi, Sr. Gynaecologist & IVF Expert, RiSAA IVF, explains the importance of support services for the couples going through ivf.
“Before beginning IVF, it is advisable for couples to meet with a mental health professional who specialises in fertility counselling. Addressing any concerns, fears or anxiety early on can help couples prepare emotionally for the road ahead. Counselling can provide coping techniques for dealing with disappointment and grief should IVF fail,” said Dr Bakshi, adding, it can also help identify any relationship challenges and work through communication issues. Counselling equips couples with tools to navigate the stresses of IVF while keeping their relationship strong.
Support During IVF Treatment
“The injections, medications, appointments and procedures of IVF can feel emotionally and physically exhausting. Support groups provide an opportunity to connect with others going through the same process and challenges. Online forums allow couples to anonymously share their experiences and advice at any time of day. In-person support groups also facilitate forming relationships with couples one can identify with,” said Dr Bakshi.
“Knowing you are not alone in your struggles is powerful. Support groups also provide an avenue to learn about resources that may help make the IVF journey a little easier,” She added.
Counselling After IVF Outcome
According to Dr Bakshi, the outcome of IVF – whether positive, negative or inconclusive – can lead to complex emotions that benefit from professional support. Counselling provides a safe space to process feelings of grief, loss, anger, depression, anxiety, isolation and more that may arise. If IVF results in pregnancy, counselling helps couples navigate fears over miscarriage or health of the foetus. If IVF fails, counselling aids couples in coping and planning next steps, whether that involves further IVF attempts, third-party reproduction or other family-building options. Therapists can also recommend support groups and other resources tailored to one’s circumstances.
“IVF is often accompanied by a rollercoaster of emotions – hope, anticipation, disappointment, and joy. Support services, including counselling and support groups, offer a safe space for couples to express their feelings, share experiences, and receive empathy from others going through similar challenges,” said Dr Bakshi.
Providing Hope and Encouragement
IVF is a process with no guaranteed outcomes, and couples may face setbacks. Support services offer hope, encouragement, and stories of resilience from individuals who have successfully navigated their fertility journey. This positive reinforcement can boost morale and motivation.
If you are going through IVF while maintaining the strength of your relationship can be aided by making use of available mental health support services. Seeking counselling does not suggest weakness. It demonstrates self-awareness and opens access to tools that can help you not just survive, but thrive on your fertility journey. Prioritising you and your partner’s emotional well-being makes the physical demands of IVF more manageable. Therapists and support groups understand the ups and downs of IVF in a deep way. Let them walk this road with you.