6 Ways to Ease Stress During IVF

In your journey to conception, one of the best ways you can reduce stress is to work with a caring and experienced medical te

Roughly one in eight couples experience infertility. In vitro fertilization (IVF) has helped many couples have children. With IVF, an egg is fertilized in a laboratory and then implanted in her uterus. While IVF is safe and effective, the process can be stressful.

While you may think stress is just a part of life, chronic stress can impact you negatively. Your body releases a cascade of hormones in response to stress, and when you’re under stress for a long time, these hormones can cause health issues. Fortunately, there are simple things you can do to lower stress. Some studies have found that reducing stress can improve your odds of getting pregnant during an IVF cycle. 

At Rocky Mountain Fertility Center, Deborah Smith, MD, is an expert in helping couples have children with IVF. In this blog, she lists six strategies that can help you reduce stress during IVF treatment, Most are available on-site at Rocky Mountain Fertility Center.

1. Yoga

If you think yoga is all about handstands and impossible poses, you may want to reconsider. Yoga combines rhythmic breathing and stretching, which can help you feel more relaxed in your mind and body. 

Some types of yoga are more intense than others. During IVF, you should seek gentle types of yoga, such as yin yoga. You should avoid hot yoga, which is done in rooms where the temperature is very hot.  Yoga classes are available at Rocky Mountain Fertility Center several times a week.

2. Reiki

Reiki is a Japanese technique for stress reduction that also promotes healing. Reiki is made of two Japanese words - Rei which means "God's Wisdom or the Higher Power" and Ki which is "life force energy".  It is based on the idea that the "life force energy" flows through us and is what causes us to be alive. If one's "life force energy" is low, then we are more likely to feel stress. Reiki treats the whole person including their body, emotions, mind and spirit creating many beneficial effects that include relaxation and feelings of peace, security and wellbeing. Reiki is great for reducing stress, especially in those afraid of needles associated with acupuncture. We have a Reiki Master on staff.

3. Acupuncture

Acupuncture stimulates areas in the body by the insertion of fine, sterile needles into the skin. Pressure, heat, or electrical stimulation may further enhance the effects. Acupuncture is used to decrease stress and improve health. Hundreds of medical studies on the benefits of acupuncture show that it successfully treats conditions ranging from musculoskeletal problems (back pain, neck pain, and others) to nausea (morning sickness), migraines, headaches, anxiety, depression, insomnia, and infertility.

4. Meditation and Aromatherapy

Meditation may seem silly, but if you think of it in terms of mindfulness, you may see how it can help reduce stress. With meditation you can practice calming techniques and help your mind by focusing intentionally on the present and stress reduction. You let go of worries about the future and regrets about the past, add Aromatherapy to your meditation time. Aromatherapy has been shown to be very beneficial for infertility. Hormonal imbalances are thought to be at the root of many female infertility problems. Essential oils (clary sage, frankincense, roman chamomile, lavender, rose, geranium and ylang ylang) are believed to support healthy hormonal balance, and improve infertility.  You can also combine meditation with Yoga.

5. Take a walk

The benefits of exercise when it comes to stress reduction are well-known, but vigorous exercise might be a bad idea during IVF. 

Walking is an excellent form of gentle exercise. Like other types of exercise, walking boosts the release of stress-relieving brain chemicals. Walking can improve your mood and help you feel refreshed and energetic. 

6. Keep a gratitude journal 

Focusing on the positive is a good way to lower your stress levels. When you’re feeling weighed down by anxiety or negativity, focusing on things that make you feel grateful can put you in a more positive mindset. 

Keeping a gratitude journal is an excellent way to become mindful of appreciating the good things in your life. To try it, simply make a daily list of things that you’re grateful for. Even small things, such as acknowledging the beautiful weather or a great dinner, can help you lower stress.

In your journey to conception, one of the best ways you can reduce stress is to work with a caring and experienced medical team, such as the one at Rocky Mountain Fertility Center. We provide a full range of services for couples dealing with infertility. To find out how we can help you, book an appointment online or over the phone today.

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