Our reader Liz in London wants some tips on coping with IVF stress without alerting her husband’s family – who are against IVF for religious reasons. 

Dear Jo,

I’ve had one hell of a journey so far with egg collection and freezing during the pandemic. One minute it’s all systems go and then it’s cancelled. It’s very stressful.

I’m taking all of the vitamins my doctor recommends, plus some healthy supplements too so I’m physically healthy. I’m just stressed out with it all!

My husband’s family don’t know we are going through IVF as some of them don’t believe in it, so I’m careful who I reach out to for support. I’m not keen on them finding out, so I have to keep my stress to myself for now. 

How can I stay calm and relaxed, when I don’t know what’s going to happen & I can’t talk about it much?

Liz from London

Aunty Jo says:

Dear Liz,

What a journey you’ve been on and are still on! At such a difficult time my heart goes out to you. I haven’t published part of your message because it’s your personal medical details, but your plans look great to me.

So much about the fertility journey is crossing your fingers and hoping for the best, and this can leave you feeling uncertain and exhausted. Feeling more in control & making a conscious effort to relax are the keys to being less stressed in this situation.

Holistic therapy to help with IVF stress

Have you considered looking into holistic and complementary therapies? Taking some time to focus on yourself from a holistic point of view can really help to calm your nerves and feel more confident. Mindfulness and meditation can also be very helpful.

Gut health for IVF and general health

It sounds like you have a lot of bases covered in terms of health, but there’s always room for improvement. From a purely fertility POV I would also suggest some reading up on gut health. Sounds peculiar I know, but your gut’s microbes can hugely benefit the way you can respond and your whole body works. 

You can improve your gut health through diet and lifestyle alone, with fermented foods and a diet that supports healthy bacteria. You can also use a gut health supplement designed specifically for fertility such as NUA.

As for talking to people, you can’t be expected to keep this all to yourself 24/7. There are private Facebook groups dedicated to people with fertility struggles (I run one, but there are lots of others too). There are also anonymous platforms such as Reddit, where you can simply browse IVF forums to learn about other people’s journeys, or take the plunge and create an account yourself.

Something that can really help is watching videos of people on their own fertility journeys. The ups and downs and emotions that people go through are totally normal, but it can easily feel as if you’re the only one going through it. You’re not alone and do check out our IVF-focused videos on our video portal, particularly those featuring Jessica Lester.

I wish you all the best in your journey! We have a very active hub here at Best Fertility Now, and we’re all supportive of everyone’s fertility journeys, so feel free to stick around and get involved in our social media. If you have any specific questions you can always shoot us another message, or comment on our Facebook or Instagram!

Very best wishes, and remember – we call you ladies “IVF Warriors” for a reason!

Jo x