As fertility rates decline in Singapore, visits to infertility clinics are getting more common. For women who are unable to conceive naturally, in-vitro fertilisation, or IVF, procedures can be a glimmer of hope.
However, IVF is a complex and challenging process. From painful hormone injections to the overall time and money invested, it can be extremely disappointing when the end result is a big, fat, negative. Much like losing a loved one, experiencing failed fertility treatments can be a great blow.
In Singapore and around the world, women have shared that this feeling is akin to suffering a pregnancy loss. So, how should one cope with the grief following unsuccessful IVF treatments?
Understand the IVF Process
The IVF procedure is a complex one, and it can also be exhausting. On average, an IVF cycle takes about six to eight weeks from consultation to transfer, and then the waiting game begins. Before this, however, there are quite a number of injections, blood tests, medications and scans to undergo. This can draw out the entire process from weeks to months.
Your specialist would already have shared what to expect during a cycle, but it is good to be reminded that this journey can take some time and help you to process the disappointment, anger and sadness after a failed procedure.
Learn the Stages of Grief
During a grieving process, you will likely experience denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and then acceptance. With so much control during the early stages, and even going as far as learning the gender of the fertilised egg, it can be hard to accept that what happens after conception is out of your control. Grieving Is normal, but prolonged grieving can make it hard on yourself and those around you.
Being aware of the grieving process gives yourself the space and permission to accept the sorrow, and then move on to heal and reclaim your spirit.
Find Solace in Statistics
During assisted reproduction treatments, the live birth rates of women who have undergone IVF procedures decline with age, starting from 40% in women below 30 years old. Incidentally, miscarriages also happen to about 25% of all pregnancies, assisted or not.
These statistics tell us that such issues are fairly common, and that you should not blame yourself. A failed conception or miscarriage does not mean that your next one will turn out the same or that you will never experience a normal pregnancy. Ask your fertility specialist to provide you with the statistics in Singapore and possible outcomes to better prepare you for the whole journey.
Talk to Your Loved Ones
The good thing about trying to conceive is that there are usually two closely connected people involved. Seek the comfort of your partner and give time to hear each other out. At times, you may wonder why your husband or wife is reacting to this differently than you – but it is important to remember that people respond to trauma in their own ways.
Sit down and talk about the pain you are going through and bond without trying to fix anything. Or simply take comfort from friends and family around you and know that they will be there for you.
Grief is an ongoing ebb and flow, and sometimes there are just no answers to the questions you are looking for. Instead, focus your energy and strength on taking care of yourself. Whether it is simply going to a cafe you love or booking yourself into a spa retreat, look for ways in which you can give yourself some love.
At the same time, you can also consider seeking mental wellness support from professionals, such as going for counselling or therapy to help you overcome your grief.
Discuss Your Options With a Specialist
Grief after failed IVF procedures can be hard to process, so look for your support pillars and march on as this too shall pass. Your fertility specialist in Singapore will also be able to help you process your grief and look for other solutions to bring you closer to your goal. At The O&G Specialist Clinic, our gynecologists helped many women become successfully pregnant by providing expert consultation and treatment options which are tailored to each individual. Our doctors will also offer you the right care and support you need to undergo this challenging journey without worry.
There’s no telling how far you have to run while chasing a dream, and you will inevitably face roadblocks along the way. Book a virtual consultation to speak to us today to see how we can help.