How to reduce the stress caused by fertility treatments?

Infertility can push you into a roller coaster of emotions. Feelings of guilt, shame, anger, helplessness and uncertainty can become a constant source of stress for patients.

They try to understand why something seemingly easy and natural for some, can be a struggle for them. It is also hard when something so private and intimate like a pregnancy is turned into something medical.

On top of all that, the fact that they have to travel to a foreign country to get the appropriate treatments adds even more stress.

At IVF-Life we know what our patients are going through, and we know what emotional baggage they have been carrying. That’s why we have placed the patient at the centre of our care, starting from the very first contact with us. Our goal is to try to reduce the stress that is caused by fertility treatments as much as possible.

Patient Care as a Priority

The role of personal assistants is essential for us. Their task is to advise, inform and accompany the patient throughout their fertility journey, from their first visit to the clinic until the moment they give birth to their baby.

“Our international team is composed of professional assistants who communicate with their patients in their mother tongue. We understand this is a process full of stress and anxiety. Our mission is to reduce the stress of our patients as much as possible and offer them all the trust and care they need to take one of the most important decisions in their life”,

explains Natasa Tuñon (Patient Care Coordinator).

Recent research results suggest that a high concentration of Cortisol (the stress hormone) could affect the chances of getting pregnant. IVF-Life offers an enhanced patient experience that helps patients feel comfortable and safe. The facilities have been designed to accommodate patients with intimacy.

Managing Patients Expectations

At IVF-Life every case is studied individually and adapted to each patient personally. That is the best way to find the right treatment and to offer realistic chances of success. Because our fertility experts take into account the possible influence that stress can have on the patient, we are able to offer realistic probabilities of pregnancy without creating false expectations.

“In our clinic, we believe that it is important to manage stress in three different steps. First, we reduce doubts, providing the patients with transparent information about treatments, tests and every single step of the fertility journey. The second step is personalising treatment to the maximum level, and to go over our success rates  with the patients, thus offering realistic expectations. The third and last step is to offer our patients all the support and guidance they need”,

explains Dr Oliver Pack, reproductive expert at the Fertility Centre in Alicante (Spain).

The Importance of Understanding

Another department that is in touch with the patients is the Embryology Unit. These professionals are in charge of the fertilisation, monitoring and selection of the best embryo for the transfer. A great part of the success of the treatment relies on the skills of the embryologists and that is exactly why the information they provide to the patient has to be clear, transparent, emphatic and easy to understand.

To help patients understand the complex development of the embryo development until blastocyst stage (day 5-6 of the development), patients get are shown explanatory videos. Most of the times, the patients admit that they had never seen an embryo developing that close.

Leonor Ortega, IVF-Life Lab Director, confirms that clear and emphatic information is the best strategy to reduce patients’ uncertainty:

“After an egg retrieval, the patient will get daily updates about the obtained oocytes and the embryos produced, no matter if own or donor eggs. The patients are extensively informed about the maturity of the eggs, the sperm quality, and the fertilisation rate. Likewise, patients receive daily updates on the embryo quality and cell division”

The embryo transfer is a crucial moment for patients. The embryologists work in detail and study the result of the puncture and the development of the embryos closely to inform the patients and recap information about their cycle of treatment, the development of the embryos and the reason for the selection of the embryo to be transferred. After this the patients receive a detailed report, so that they are fully informed about the entire process, which can reduce the stress involved in a fertility treatment.

Avoiding Misleading Messages

We know that fertility treatment is not easy. That’s why Raquel Pascual, psychologist and nurse at IVF-Life Madrid, explains to us how we can best prepare for fertility treatment:

Every little bit helps

Don’t shy away from alternative treatments and therapies. Emotional well-being can be achieved thanks to different factors.

Techniques like acupuncture or relaxing massages are services that can reduce the stress of fertility treatments and that the patients often ask for before embryo transfer.

Our clinic provides patients with the contact details of experts and professionals, like David Company, Physiotherapist specialised in Chinese medicine, who confirms that

“both relaxing massages and acupuncture are techniques that help achieve relaxation and de-stress.They are highly recommended anti-stress methods while undergoing fertility treatment”.

At IVF-Life, we are aware of the emotional difficulties that come with starting, undergoing and completing fertility treatment: failed attempts, just wanting to give up, but we are also witnesses to the fact that there is nothing that can stop a woman from becoming a mother.


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