This week is national infertility awareness week. I never knew this was a thing until a few days ago. In honor of this week, I’d like to tell you all a few things I’ve learned after doing a round of IVF.
Firstly, there are three people who know about this besides the doctors and nurses. So mom, if you’re reading this, I’m sorry. No one else knew either.
1. I really learned a lot about my body.
I was never given the opportunity to take sexual education and really didn’t know much about our reproductive systems. I knew we ovulated had periods, etc. I didn’t know when any of these things happened. As we went through the IVF process I discovered when I actually ovulate, how often and how nausea is normal during this time. This insight has really helped me connect to my body. When I’m not feeling well, it usually has something to do with my hormones and I can pinpoint the problem and find a solution.
2. IVF makes you so tired.
For my cycle I was on three different medications. Depending upon a woman’s needs, you my need one or more medication. I needed three and it just made me so tired. Not to mention you can’t drink caffeine of any kind. It’s a surprise we all made it out alive.
3. IVF is super invasive.
You may have a vaginal ultrasound your very first visit. Luckily, for me I had one child already, so it wasn’t that big of a deal to me. However, if you’ve never had a child and really hate going to your yearly ob/gyn visit you might want to prepare for this. They also check all other health factors and draw blood many times.
Speaking of that first baby many women get pregnant and then later learn they will need help for the following pregnancies. If you’re in this area, don’t feel alone. It’s not as uncommon as people assume.
I’m not afraid of needles, thankfully. But let me tell you, after two weeks of sticking myself and the nurses drawing blood every other day, I was over it. Mentally prepare yourself for this, too. If you aren’t going to be able to insert the needles yourself make sure your partner is willing or ask a friend if needed.
5. Drugs have to be taken during a certain timeframe.
Mine was 6:00 to 8:00pm each evening. We had to plan our activities around this or I had to bring my meds with me.
6. Having a psychologist is highly recommended.
While going through IVF I saw a psychologist and I’m so glad I did. She assured me my feelings were normal, I wasn’t crazy and since our IVF didn’t end in pregnancy I’m glad I had her to help me through this. I had a million questions. A ton of why’s and she really helped me keep my head on straight.
7. Speaking of no baby. It’s not the number of eggs that are removed, it’s the number of viable eggs that matter.
Your doctor will call and tell you all of this information, post egg removal.
8. If you have enough viable egg prepare for your return surgery for insertion and pray for the best!
9. It’s all worth it.
The invasiveness, needles and pain are all worth it to bring that little baby into this world!
If you’re currently someone undergoing IVF, or know someone who is you’re not alone. Please remember that and try to keep your head high as you go through this period in your life.