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What It Really Feels Like To Have IVF From The Women Who’ve Been There

If you’re about to embark on a fertility journey, the stats, scare stories and stress can leave you feeling more baby gloom than baby boom. But there is light at the end of the treatment tunnel and, though it’s bound to be a tricky time for you and your partner, knowing what it feels like to go through IVF can help you feel prepared for your own fertility journey, bumps and all

'IVF is an emotional rollercoaster'

The most challenging thing about the whole fertility journey is not the treatment itself but the emotional rollercoaster you’re on, and most importantly that your life feels like it’s on hold," explains Amy who’s had four cycles of IVF, and is now pregnant.

My tip for getting through it:
"Tell your friends – it’s amazing how it will make your life easier. Also tell your boss - it will take a lot of pressure off you at work."

'Unexplained Infertility is a waiting game'

“You always seem to be waiting - waiting for appointments, waiting for results, waiting to hear what you can do next. I get very frustrated when nothing is happening and I’m not taking any drugs or trying to help things along,” says Michelle who over two years has received fertility drug Clomid, four artificial insemination treatments, one IVF cycle and suffered two miscarriages.

My tip for getting through it:
‘Do your research! Particularly before your appointments - I checked out what tests can be done and knew everything beforehand. At the appointment I could really say what I wanted. I also checked we’d had all infertility tests and that nothing more could be done there."

'IVF made us closer'

"Working through the many different treatments together and all the ups and downs that came with them brought us closer as a couple," says Helena, who had two cycles of ICSI which they funded privately. Their daughter, Sienna, was conceived on the second attempt.

My tip for getting through it:
"Choose your clinic carefully. It's vital that the ‘fit' between you and your clinic feels right. We looked at a couple before settling on the one we went to."

'I felt let down by my own body'

"Initially, I experienced a deep sense of emotional disappointment, as if I had been let down by my own body. Over the next nine years my emotions veered between defeat to determination, anger and resignation. Although we didn't feel there was any stigma attached to being childless we felt left out because we didn't have a baby,” says Kate who after discovering she had PCOS went on to have three rounds of IVF.

She now has a son, Louis who was conceived on the third attempt.

My tip for getting through it:
"Find emotional support. Fertility clinics are places of science and medicine rather than emotions. Find someone outside your relationship to offer you TLC. Make time to talk through all the stages of your treatment with your partner. Attend appointments together and go for coffee afterwards to talk. Listen to each other without judgement and be loving."
 

For more patient stories offering advice and personal tips, click here

 

 
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