Most women undergoing through fertility treatments describe the two-week waiting period as the most difficult part of the treatment. Anxiety, worry, frustration and uncertainty are high while waiting to know whether the treatment is successful. A woman's most common thoughts during that time are:
- Will my period be late this month?
- How will I explain it to my parents, friends or colleagues if the treatment isn't successful?
- If I go cycling or swimming or if I lift heavy things, will I jeopardize treatment success? The list of the "what if" questions can be endless.
- I am experiencing weird symptoms that make me think I may be pregnant. Is that normal?
- How worthwhile is it to keep on trying if the therapy doesn't work this cycle?
The list of questions and concerns is infinite, and each woman has her own personal concerns, worries and ruminations.
Couples agree that the two-week wait is very difficult. However, it would be a waste to spend 2 weeks out of every month feeling depressed or anxious. Below are a number of survival tips. They may not take away all the anxiety, but hopefully they will help make the 14-day holding pattern a little more bearable.
- Stay engaged in positive elements of your life. For example, see some movies, read some good books, and continue to do the things you enjoy, such as cooking, swimming or gardening. Spend time catching up with family or friends. Engage in creative activities, such as painting, dancing or craft projects.
- Dedicate time as a couple to do the things you enjoy together.
- Send time with people who help you feel good. Don't feel obligated to talk about the treatment; use the opportunity for distraction and friendly company.
- Emotionally, infertility is very difficult; you don’t have to go it alone. You can find support in different ways, including:
- Joining an infertility support group
- Hooking up with people online, like on an infertility forum
- Locating a therapist who specializes in infertility
- Use relaxation techniques. There are so many ways to deal with anxiety, including breathing exercises and meditation. Acupuncture helps relieve stress, and may even help improve your fertility.
- At times, just getting the "what if" questions down on paper can help reduce obsessive thoughts.
The objective is to role play a therapist with yourself. It's surprising how insightful you can be at addressing your own anxieties, if you just take the time to talk to yourself through it and truly accept and respect your worries and fears.