Ah, the wonders of modern medicine. Without it, many would-be parents would have little hope of ever conceiving a longed-for child. But even so, the conception journey when fertility treatment is involved can be a little less romantic than the standard path!
So, is there any way to make an IVF transfer less like a medical appointment, and a little more like making a baby?
In lieu of sprinkling rose petals and popping champagne (a conception no-no), we spoke to Genea’s team of experts to find out. Here are 5 ways to bring the magic back…
Get out of town
“Several couples have told me that they plan a weekend away after the embryo transfer to reconnect and spend time together,” says Genea Fertility Counsellor Jess. While the actual transfer itself obviously needs to occur in the controlled settings of the clinic, booking a romantic getaway for afterwards can help to make it feel like a special occasion. And as an added bonus, a boost in loving oxytocin hormones, from spending quality time together, can’t hurt the conception process.
Make it a date
While popping your legs in stirrups may not be your ideal conception situation, what you do before and after can make a big difference to how you feel about the process. “Patients often talk about trying to do something outside their normal routine”, says Genea Hollywood Fertility Counsellor Cailin, “to acknowledge they are going through something special together during their cycles and make an effort to feel connected and show support for each other. That could be as simple as having breakfast together, go for a walk, give each other a massage, reclaim sexual intimacy for fun, watch their partners favourite show or share a favourite dinner. Essentially anything that helps build connection.”
Share the love
Under the care of Genea, patients are looked after by a team of experts who genuinely care about their journey. Having a great relationship with your doctors, and knowing that they are supporting you every step of the way, can help to make transfer day feel more personal. “I have had patients that have become so close to me that they have opened their arms and allowed me to share their journey with them”, Genea Patient Relationship Coordinator Lacee tells us. “So much so they’ve checked to make sure I am working in the office the day they have their procedure, so we can meet to enjoy a coffee together. Making life long connections makes this journey that much more special.”
Be kind to yourself
The sad reality is that there are no guarantees with IVF. And while the temptation may be to push away a failed cycle and focus straight on the next, Fertility guide Nina Ebsworth says that’s something that she would do differently now.
“I was so all-consumed with having a baby that I just wanted to push away and repress the heaviness of the emotions I was feeling around our losses, so I could move onto the next cycle”, she told us. “There was such a strong feeling of urgency, of desperation, of time running out, that rather than allowing myself to grieve fully, I would snap into planning mode, trying to control and organise. I didn’t realise that by keeping all of that emotion stuck inside me, I was adding to the imbalance within my body.”
And while the reasons a cycle doesn’t take can be a mystery, Nina feels sure that her attitude contributed. “Following cycles didn’t work. I am certain a huge part of this is because I simply was not in the right energetic space, physically, mentally, emotionally or spiritually.” So give yourself time to process each cycle, and reach out to counsellors for support if you feel you need it.
Give yourself time
If possible, try not to overbook yourself for the day of your procedure. If you’re rushing to and from your appointment, with lots on your plate, you won’t have time to enjoy the process and make it feel special. You may like to take a day off, if you can, or arrange your schedule so that you can take it easy. With any luck, you’ll have a baby on board…