The ABC of IVF

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Whether you are going through In Vitro Fertilisation yourself or have a friend who’s taking the journey towards parenthood, or even if you just sat considering it for the moment, there is one resounding thing that almost everyone can agree on: this will be one of the hardest experiences of your life.

The great thing about this method of having a baby (apart from the actual baby at the end of it of course!) is the supportive community all over the world who are willing to answer any questions, give a shoulder to cry on and join you in your celebrations. For those who aren’t in the know about the very basic ins and outs of IVF, here are a few tips on how to support those around you who are going through it or thinking about it.

A is for Apples

Often when people are starting the process of IVF, they are recommended to try and increase their success rate naturally. This can include changes in diet, exercise routine or general lifestyle, i.e. getting away from all stress factors which may be contributing towards your difficulty in conceiving. This can work for some couples, but for the majority they have already tried these things and that’s why they’re trying to give IVF treatment a go.

B is for Baby

The success rate of IVF depends on several different factors, such as your age, general health and lifestyle. The general success rate for an embryo developing into a live birth is 33%, which is quite a relatively low figure. It takes a lot of work and attempts for this one 33% chance to even take hold; the pain and effort that goes into getting pregnant this way can be exacerbated by quite a lot of bad news and uncertainty that’s passed on by even the best of professionals.Your friend may not want to speak to you at this point, but don’t take it personally. It’s a very, very hard time to go through. When you want something so much and you feel like you’re taking all the right steps towards getting it, eat knockback can feel like a one step forward, five hundred back type thing.

C is for Clocks

When you go through treatment, you are done in cycles/stages. Each one is different and should ultimately lead to a viable pregnancy if all goes well. It takes a lot of time, but may seem like it’s taking longer than it should – it’s not. What may feel like a lifetime to you could seem even longer to your friend. Don’t focus on how long they have left, or if there are ways to speed things up; just be there to help and offer comfort without looking at your watch or calendar to estimate how much longer you’ll have to go. Some people can take multiple attempts and years to fall pregnant, if they do at all; don’t judge your friendship on the amount of time that you have to give to those who need it the most.

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