Stress-busting Tips To Help You Cope with IVF And Infertility
Can Stress Cause Infertility?
In most cases, stress is not the cause of infertility although extreme stress can affect normal ovulation in women and sperm production in men. Far more common is the stress that couples feel is a result of infertility. For many people, becoming parents is a life goal and one that they never expected to find so challenging. The process of conception is usually a very private and natural one. For infertile couples it can become a very public issue. In light of this, it can be hard to control fears and anxieties about the future.
These stress-busting tips will help couples cope with the complex emotions that arise with IVF.
Exercise is a great stress-buster for many reasons. When you exercise, chemicals are released in the brain that help you to feel good and raise energy levels. You don't need a complicated exercise regime or gym membership. Any physical activity like something as simple as walking to gardening counts as exercise. The best place to exercise is outdoors. The natural light and fresh air will provide a boost to your energy levels and studies have shown that regular exercise also acts as a natural anti depressant.
IVF treatment is physically demanding and during certain parts of the IVF cycle you may not feel well enough to maintain your exercise routine. Remember that every bit counts - even a short walk can have a positive impact.
Stress can often lead to insomnia with worries and anxieties keeping people awake. Unfortunately, a lack of sleep makes you tired which in turn raises stress and irritability levels. Use the following tips to help you combat sleep problems.
- Don't eat or drink too late at night as it can over-stimulate. Herbal teas such as Chamomile can be beneficial.
- Have a warm bath before bed.
- Avoid alcohol and other similar stimulants.
- Make sure your bedroom is not too hot or cold.
- Try and establish a regular routine before going to bed.
Take Time Out
Many people feel guilty about taking time out for themselves. Couples going through IVF have a lot of stress to cope with. It is very healthy to set aside some time for activities that you enjoy and that relax you. For some people this might be a hobby or an evening out but it can be something as simple as coffee with a friend. IVF often requires couples to take a lot of time off work or spend less time with family and friends. It is important that the precious moments of spare time are not only filled with 'guilt induced' activities. In the long run, your family, friends and colleagues will understand that you needed some time for yourself during this period.