ssisted Reproduction Guide

While assisted reproductive technology (ART) opens up a variety of possibilities for women and couples having difficulty getting pregnant, ART can be a stressful, overwhelming experience. Because ART treatment can be an emotionally draining experience, it is important to develop coping strategies prior to starting ART treatment. Not only will these coping strategies make your ART treatment less nerve-racking, they will also help you be active in your ART treatment and reduce feelings of stress and anxiety, which can further reduce your chances of getting pregnant.

Here is a list of some simple ART coping strategies and tips that can help you on your journey to getting pregnant using ART:

  • Research and Plan Ahead. Make educated, informed decisions about your ART treatment and about which ART clinic is best for you. By increasing your knowledge of such issues, you’ll help keep stress levels down, which can impair your reproductive health, your overall health, and also negatively affect your relationship with your partner. For example, you might want to sign up for IVF classes or speak to others who have undergone the same ART treatment option that you and you are partner are considering
  • Prepare to Make Decisions. Try to anticipate some of the decisions you’ll need to make as you embark upon your ART journey. Consider how you and your partner’s religious or moral values might impact your ART plans. Discuss different ART options and which ones best fit your values
  • Take Care of Yourself and Your Relationship. ART can have a major impact on your mental health, as well as the health of your relationship with your partner. To avoid feeling overwhelmed by emotions such as frustration or stress, and to avoid feelings of isolation, make sure you maintain strong communication with your partner. Set aside some time each day to discuss your ART treatment plan and how satisfied you are with it, as well as any new concerns and fears that have arisen since starting ART and how you feel about the process in general
  • Establish a Support System of Friends, Family and Other Individuals Who Have Undergone ART. Choose which of your loved ones you want to talk to about your ART treatment; talking with other couples you know or who you’ve met through ART classes is an excellent way to find answers to your concerns and questions about ART. Consider joining a support group
  • Identify Stressors and Developing Coping Strategies. If needles make you nervous, practice visualization techniques that will help alleviate your fears and keep you calm during your medical visits. Practice maintaining a positive attitude by taking up yoga or meditation
  • Identify What You Have Control Over and What You Don’t. Eliminate any unnecessary stress in your life: the time when you’re getting pregnant is not the best for making major decisions, such as switching careers, going back to school, or moving. Simplify your life in order to focus your mental and physical energy on getting pregnant
  • Anticipate Problems. While ART often ends in a joyous event—pregnancy—there are difficult moments you’ll likely encounter during this process, such as the frustration of waiting for test results. Also, be sure to prepare yourself mentally for unexpected problems or delays that can arise during ART treatment
  • Look to the Future. Consider the outcome of your ART treatment—it can either be a success, resulting in pregnancy, or not. Visualize both outcomes in order to prepare yourself for whatever the result of this ART treatment cycle is. Consider the number of ART treatment cycles you are willing to undergo and how many you can afford, as well as other getting pregnant options you are willing to try if your current ART treatment plan is not a success. Recognize that you and your partner are trying your best to get pregnant, and that this is a great achievement in and of itself, no matter what the outcome of your ART treatment plan

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