Getting emotionally prepared for IVF

On top of cost being the biggest obstacle for couples who want to start on IVF, it is the emotional stress that may come along with it that may sometimes hinder couples from taking that giant step.

Having spoken to many mums who have been there done that, and also Fertility Counsellor, Tanja Faessler-Moro from Virtus Fertility Centre, I have jotted down some ways to help gear couples up for the ride. At least that's what I am doing for my own quest. 

While it sounds easy, let me admit it isn't. Hence ensuring we prep ourselves adequately will help cushion hard knocks, if there are any.

Do your homework 

IVF is often the ultimate hope for many couples to have kids of their own. 

By this stage, the couple would have tried most ways to conceive, be it natural, via oral medication, stimulated cycles, IUI etc. You name it, they've tried it.  This means the couple probably went through countless cycles of building up hope and then sliding down when the menses appear after the two-weeks-wait. It is a heart sinking moment. Some get immune to it, some sinks further into self blame and even guilt. 

It can be very draining, not only emotionally but also on the relationship between husband and wife. 

Some couples make the mistake of taking IVF as a guarantee to having a child. It is NOT. If you do not do you homework on understanding what IVF entails, you may be in for a shock as the process is definitely more arduous than all fertility treatments that I can think of. 

It is also about setting the right expectations. Know what's coming, and prepare for the outcome, no matter good or bad. 
" If you are aware of the roller coaster (you are going to go through), you will need to start thinking of ways to build a strong foundation (to support each other) …You need to be 100% ready mentally and emotionally. " - Tanja

Have a support network.

In our culture, IVF is almost a taboo topic. We hardly talk about it. 

Not only is it hard to find blogs in Singapore that shares about one's IVF story, we don't even talk to family and friends about our struggles.

Perhaps it is the fear of being judged, or in some cases, it is the fear of causing worry to the people around us. 

Having a strong and grounded relationship between husband and wife is essential in the journey. On the other hand, the couple will each need someone to talk to when things get a little rough. So, pick at least one person you can share things with, or just to have a listening ear close by. It can be anyone. A friend, family or even a colleague. 

More importantly, the husband needs one too. Men tend to bottle up their feelings. While they stand by and support their wife throughout the IVF journey, there will be times they need to release pent up tension as well. 


Husbands, be the rock. 

Because the men are distant from the clinical portion of the IVF journey, and because they don't get the horrid hormonal effects from the injections, they then become the pillar for the wife. Put it simply, other than the part of providing the sperm sample, the role of husbands is to be the one the wife can lean on when things get a little rough. 

Small things matter. Just being there when she has her mood eruptions. Surprise her with a date. Take her out to meet friends. 

Especially so for couples trying for their first child, they will be more and more isolated along the journey for various reasons. Get some quality back into your lives. Don't make the mistake of letting IVF rule daily life. 

If all else fails, be grateful. 

From years of trying, to having J and to experience loss, I have learnt to appreciate what I have today.

To be able to even continue to try month after month, in itself is a blessing. To be alive today, is definitely something to be thankful for. 

So, during the process, go to bed each day with a grateful heart. Trust me, you will feel better, and wake up fresher to face new challenges the next day.
"Each day before you go to bed, think about the three things you are thankful for and then have a very good and healthy sleep." - Tanja
Every one is different. The emotional journey can be vastly different too. But positivity helps moving on for the couple easier.

If you are thinking of starting on IVF soon, I hope my sharing helps in one way or another. Always remember, do not give up. Have faith and good luck!


This post was written based on an interview I had with Ms Tanja Faessler-Moro from Virtus Fertility Centre. 

Tanja works closely with individuals and couples to help them cope with
  • Successfully managing the fertility roller coaster
  • Replacing fears and anxiety with relaxation along their fertility journey
  • Staying mentally and emotionally calm while undergoing fertility treatment
  • Early pregnancy challenges and preparing for birth
  • Coping with grief and loss after miscarriage or stillbirth