Answer from: Sarah Banks
Everybody says that when they’re struggling to get pregnant, they feel out of control. So they feel out of control of their life and their future. They feel out of control of their fertility treatment and body because they have to put it in the hands of their fertility clinics. It can leave you feeling like you don’t have control of the ultimate thing that you want, and being able to do anything to help that. It’s really important to remember that there are lots of things you can still take control of. So yes, you might not control when you have treatment or what happens in your treatment or whether treatment is successful, unfortunately. We don’t have any control over that but have a think about the things you can control.
I always say to think about three different things. How you can control your lifestyle. Think about the things you can control to make sure you’re in your optimum state to conceive. Eating well and maybe speaking to a nutritionist or a dietitian if you need some support with that. If you need to get your BMI down to a certain point to be able to have treatment, then you can be working on that while you’re waiting. Things like making sure you’re taking supplements that they recommend and that you’re getting enough rest. That you’re cutting out or stopping things like smoking, drinking, drug-taking things that do harm your chances of success. So you can take control of a lot of those things, and it’s something you can do as a couple. Your fertility, on both sides, is affected by things like nutrition and your body being in an optimum state. It’s something you can support each other on, together, as well.
So secondly, your mindset, things like making sure you’ve got support around you for when you need it. Getting a support network in place, joining a support group, talking to friends and family, if you feel comfortable, talking to a counsellor. Look at the different things that will help you get in the best mindset for starting treatment. Looking at coping strategies that work for you, whether that’s things like journaling, creating an action plan and goal setting. Whether it’s something like seeing an acupuncturist to help you those things and take control of that as well. What coping strategies work for you and things that recharge your batteries so that you are in a good frame of mind, you’re feeling strong going into treatment; you’re feeling calm. That could be things like making sure you’re planning in time to see friends and family and the people who make you smile. Taking time for self-care to make sure you’re in the best mindset for getting started.
Then there’s lots of things, physically, that you can take control of, so that could be researching treatment if you don’t know much about it. So researching online, speaking to your consultant about things you’re confused about and needing more information. Researching things like add-ons if your consultant talks to you about those, so you’re fully informed about them, and you know what’s happening with your treatment. It could be taking control of the logistics, so if you’re going to a clinic on a certain date, planning your journey, whether you need to stay over before or take time off work. So there’s lots of things you can control from a physical point of view as well. So when you’re feeling out of control, make a big list so that you’ve got it written down so you can start working on all the things from your lifestyle point of view, a mindset point of view and a physical point of view. It’ll help you feel like you’ve got some of that control back.
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