Self care during IVF

My patients often tell me that the most stressful time for them whilst undergoing IVF occurs just after the treatment itself. Not knowing at this point if it’s been successful and needing to wait two weeks to find out if the blastocyst has attached itself to the inner wall of the uterus.

Sitting around thinking and willing the blastocyst to attach I imagine makes time go very slowly and I’m told it feels like “forever!” with some patients finding themselves reading all sorts of dubious advice on the internet, and contemplating all the things that might happen during this time, which is never a good idea!

With this in mind, I wanted to share some of the most popular recommendations from my patients that might help the time go quicker and a more enjoyable experience. So, to beat the wait, why not consider the following:

Spending time with family and friends

Should we achieve the outcome that we’re all hoping for, spending quality time with family and friends will become limited in the future, so make the most of this time catching up. Talk about your fertility journey, you’ll be surprised how many people you know are able to empathise on some level, and the ones that haven’t experienced any similar situations, will be totally fascinated by your IVF journey.

Go to the cinema

Sitting in a darkened room staring at a screen for a few hours can be a perfect way to unwind. If the onscreen drama is compelling enough, you might even find that you forget all about the upcoming test. Just be sure that you’re picking something that you want to watch, rather than letting someone else pick. You’re not going to have as many chances to go to the cinema once you have a baby in tow, so now is the time to binge-watch.

Spa Day

There are few things more relaxing than a day at the spa, so indulge and be pampered. Maybe get a few of your girlfriends to join you, I’m sure they’ll be delighted to have an excuse.

Light Exercise

If you have an active gym membership, it’s time to make use of it. Now obviously isn’t a good time to push yourself to the limit, so avoid that leg-press machine. But you’ll still benefit from lighter forms of exercise. Light cardio and a few stretches should do the trick. Again, your opportunities for exercise are going to take a slight knock if things go well – so keep yourself in good shape now and give yourself a head-start and help with your energy level.

By preparing yourself with a day by day plan for this wait, you’ll be amazed how quickly that result will come around and in the process, you will have enhanced your wellbeing. Enjoy this time and I wish you all the very best with your fertility journey.


Mr Gelbaya is an experienced, senior consultant gynaecologist and subspecialist in reproductive medicine providing a full range of fertility assessments, fertility treatments and reproductive surgery for families in Leicestershire.

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