IVF, Fertility Treatment, Assisted Conception, pregnancy, Test Tube Baby
How Long Should You Really Do Fertility Treatments If They're Not Working?
Every month, we send some of your biggest questions on nutrition, health, and more to our panel of experts to answer. The question, 'I've been dealing with infertility for years, including many rounds of IVF. How do I figure out when to stop?' was answered by Elizabeth Anne Grill, Psy.D., associate psychology professor, Center for Reproductive Medicine, Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City.
Only your physician can assess the medical risks and benefits of continuing with or stopping the treatments. But you may want to see a mental health professional to help you evaluate that information—and cope with feelings of loss if you decide not to continue. (Feeling down? Treat yourself to a bath with these color therapy bath botanicals from theWomen's HealthBoutique.)
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Remember what your goal was when you first started this journey. Often, patients tell me their intention was to have a healthy pregnancy and child; to be able to take care of that child physically, emotionally, and financially; and to have a support system that involves living grandparents. For older patients or those at the end of their monetary resources, some of those are becoming less likely. Recognizing that can help some people make peace with moving on to other options (adoption, fostering, egg or sperm donation) or embracing a child-free life.
Here's what every woman should know about pregnancy tests:
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Many people feel relief after stopping infertility treatments. The emotional and financial strain are lifted, as is the physical burden of daily injections, possible medication side effects, and discomfort from procedures like egg retrievals. After mourning not having a genetically related child, they can focus on plan B.
This article originally appeared in the October 2019 issue of Women's Health. For more greatadvice, pick up a copy of the issue on newsstands now!
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