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What Are Some Specific Coping Strategies for Couples Who Are Experiencing the Emotional Pain of Infertility?

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This question originally appeared on Quora.

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Answer by Anon User.

We have just lived through something similar and know exactly what you are going through.

My advice to you is as below.

Keep your expectations low but be positive. Please keep in mind:
  • Medical assistance and IUI boosts the chances of pregnancy by ~ 5-7%
  • IVF has a success rate between ~20-25%. (less if frozen embryos are used)
We underwent ~ 16 months of infertility medication, 5 IUI cycles and 3 IVF cycles. The chance of success in each cycle is pretty low.

Please don't raise your expectations after each attempt. It is ultimately a numbers game.

Support your wife.

She is being pumped full of hormones and has strange people poking and probing her all over. She is going though far more than you are. Keep her spirits up. This is especially important on the day you learn that your latest attempt was unsuccessful.

Find a support group or create an informal support network.

We were (un?)lucky that a close friend had undergone a similar ordeal and thus were there to support, advice and encourage us.

My wife was also in touch with the other women who were undergoing treatment at the same time.

Reach out to friends and family: they can be a big support.

Information overload is your enemy.

While it is important to research doctors, medicines and procedures to make informed decisions, please do not try to second guess the doctor. If you have any concerns about the medication please discuss it directly with the doctor. Keep research to a minimum.

Do everything you can to de-stress. We tried:
  • Taking a holiday
  • Yoga/Meditation (very helpful, especially for my wife)
  • Light Exercise like walking and swimming

Stress levels have a direct impact of ability to conceive. Do EVERYTHING you can to stay calm and relaxed. It not only makes the process less taxing but I firmly believe that it helps increase your chances.

You have to take your mind off the process and the goal is to treat it as any other chore that you have. Do not let this process consume your life. Trust the process and your doctor.

Best of Luck.

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