PRACTICAL GUIDE FOR ASSISTED REPRODUCTION, STEP BY STEP
In a process of assisted reproduction, each step comes with its dose of strong emotions: bad news one day, good news the following day; joy and hope at times, followed by disappointment and despair. During each step, we need to fight to keep going forward, to keep believing in our dream.
During this fight, there is nothing more valuable than the advice of mothers who have overcome this same process, the experience of these tireless fighters who made their dream come true.
LAST DAYS OF STIMULATION, MONITORING PHASE
You’ve arrived to the last days of stimulation, during which you’ll multiply the doctor’s appointments to control the evolution of the oocytes and, in case of IVF, determine the optimal moment for the egg collection.
From the very first control, things are getting more real: doctors can then estimate the number of eggs, the date for egg collection, etc.
If you live abroad, it’s time to travel to Barcelona (or to the city of your fertility clinic). On top of all the emotions already present since the beginning of the process, you may experience stress related to the logistics and to the distance from your home and family.
During those days, it’s more than normal to be unable to think about anything else. Every day, at every visit to the clinic, you’ll receive different news, good one day and not so good the next day, related to the number and evolution of the eggs. Emotional ups and downs are more present than ever.
OBJECTIVES DURING THIS PHASE:
1/ LIVE YOUR DAILY LIFE AS SERENELY AS POSSIBLE
2/ PREPARE YOURSELF PSYCHOLOGICALLY AND PHYSICALLY TO THE EGG COLLECTION (IN CASE OF IVF) OR INSEMINATION
There’s no miracle recipe to control stress.
Of course, the advice we gave you for the previous phases are still valid, but these few days of monitoring represent a peculiar phase in the process, with an emotional impact that is often underestimated.
CONSIDER EVERY MEDICAL CONTROL A FORMALITY: DON’T FOCUS ALL YOUR ATTENTION AND ENERGY ON IT, BE ACTIVE THE REST OF THE DAY TO KEEP YOUR MIND BUSY
If you’re in your own city: keep working, go out with friends and family, organise some quality moments with your partner, go to the movies (it’s a simple activity which allows you to easily switch off for a couple of hours), etc.
If you had to travel to another city or country: obviously, now is not the best time for an exhaustive touristic visit, but you can still take advantage of your stay to discover a few things and enjoy some aspects of the city: go and rest in a park, take a walk in a nice neighbourhood, have a coffee on a nice and quiet terrace, etc.
At She Oak, we’re developing a mini « guide » of Barcelona, specially adapted to a few-days stay for fertility treatments: the best places to have a relaxing cup of tea, far from the animation of the city; the best park to relax in peace; some unknown and quiet places; a cinema with movies in their original language, etc. Contact us!
IF POSSIBLE, HAVE A PHYSICAL ACTIVITY, ALTHOUGH MODERATE
You won’t want to practice violent or thrilling sports right now – what’s more you may start to feel some discomfort in the ovaries. However, walking in the city or in the middle of the nature can only do you good and help you activate your body and relax your mind. You can also practice yoga with specifically adapted positions: ask a professional of therapeutic yoga to show you which positions you can do.
The objective is for you to feel better with your body, to generate positive and pleasant sensations and not focus only on the negative sensations (injections, pain, etc.)
Don’t relate your body only to the medical treatments: it can also be a source of pleasure and satisfaction, even though we tend to forget this in these difficult moments.
KEEP DOING RELAXATION EXERCISES EVERY DAY: INCORPORATE THEM IN YOUR DAILY ROUTINE
Not only will it help you with the injections, but it will also help you relax on the day of the egg collection or insemination: the more you practice before this day, the more easily and quick you will be able to relax at this key moment.
Discover our relaxation exercises here.
PUT INTO PERSPECTIVE THE INFORMATION YOU GET DURING THE CONTROL VISITS
Each control will give you new information, positive or negative, about the number of eggs, their maturity, etc.
Don’t consider this information definitive and don’t fall apart if the information of the day is not as good as you’d hoped. This monitoring phase allows the doctors to adapt the treatments daily to improve the results of the stimulation and to define the best moment for the egg collection or insemination. There are still a few important phases and other determining factors until the day of the transfer.
The number of eggs, for example, doesn’t determine the quality of the future embryos, nor 100% of the result.
“For my 3rd IVF, I was very nervous and depressed because I didn’t have as many eggs as in the previous attempts. The egg collection confirmed this result with only 5 mature eggs. The days between the egg collection and the transfer were very hard as this number was getting lower every day and was reduced in the end to 2 embryos. I was desperate, convinced that it wouldn’t work. But the day of the transfer, the doctor was very positive as both embryos were of excellent quality – far better actually than in my 2 previous IVF. Two weeks later the pregnancy test was positive.”
TAKE ADVANTAGE OF ALL THE DOCTOR’S VISITS TO CLARIFY ALL YOUR DOUBTS
Have always with you a list of questions, so that you can write down every doubt or question that occur to you during the day. Don’t be afraid, or ashamed, to ask all your questions during the consultations: there is no stupid question, and it’s the doctors’ job to answer them anyway.
KEEP SPOILING YOURSELF, PHYSICALLY AND EMOTIONNALLY
Make yourself a little gift from time to time, organise yourself a massage, buy chocolate, take a few hours for yourself only, etc. Provoke positive sensations, (almost) everything is allowed if it makes you feel good!