After infertility treatment

This section discusses what happens after infertility treatment.

We have discussed in great detail the causes of infertility, the tests and treatment available and the costs but what also has to be addressed is the issue of what happens after all of this.

The whole process has been compared to an emotional roller coaster and that is a very good way of describing it. For many couples, having a baby is one of the most, if not THE most important thing in their life. And being unable to do so can be upsetting, not to mention extremely frustrating as well.

Success after treatment

If you are one of the many couples who have been lucky enough to conceive then congratulations on your pregnancy. The feelings of happiness and excitement will make up for the months or years of heartache and despair.

There will have been times when you wondered if all of this treatment was worth it but the main thing is that you have become pregnant which has made all of it worthwhile. Even the constant tests, scans and monitoring your monthly cycle!

This is not the end of it as your next concern is the pregnancy itself. It is entirely normal to worry that things might go wrong but many women experience this and that’s without undergoing any fertility treatment. Most pregnancies run smoothly and there’s no reason why yours shouldn’t be one of these.

There are risks and complications with pregnancy which apply to all women, but you will be cared for throughout this time by a team of healthcare professionals. These include your GP and midwife who have seen it all before and can deal with any issues you may have.

You will undergo regular antenatal checks and you will be advised about having a healthy diet, taking exercise and avoiding alcohol and cigarettes.

Infertility treatments such as IVF or GIFT do increase the risks of multiple births so you may find that you are carrying twins or triplets. If this turns out to be the case then you will be monitored more closely than usual. You will also find that there is little difference between carrying one baby and two or three babies.

Unsuccessful after treatment

There is nothing worse than undergoing a whole battery of tests and treatment to find that you are still unable to conceive. The whole process is stressful to say the least and you will have experienced many highs and lows throughout.

Constant tests, invasive procedures and feeling as if you have relinquished control of your body to the medical profession are all extremely draining. And even after going through all of this there is no guarantee of success.

Being infertile is difficult to deal with but knowing that fertility treatment has helped other couples to conceive gives you something to aim for. And fertility treatment has changed over the years due to medical advances which have resulted in increased success rates.

Sadly this treatment doesn’t work for everyone. There are couples who undergo repeated cycles of IVF and are still unable to have a baby.

And there are couples who do manage to become pregnant but don’t go the full term because of a miscarriage or an ectopic pregnancy. And this can be even worse for these couples than those who have been unable to conceive following treatment.

This is where having a good support network can help. Talk to your partner, family and friends who will be sympathetic to this outcome. The fertility clinic can also help as they have trained counsellors who are there to provide a sympathetic shoulder to cry on!

Give yourself as much time as you need to come to terms with this before deciding what to do next. If this failure has happened after your first cycle of treatment, for example, after an IVF cycle then you may able to undergo another cycle of treatment.

It may be the case that you try another form of treatment. Your specialist will be able to advise you about this and other treatment options.

And, if at the end of the day, fertility treatment is unlikely to ever work for you then you may wish to consider fostering or adoption. If this is not an option then it is a case of facing up to life without children which is a very difficult state to be in. This is where talking to others in the same predicament can help as they will have faced the same issue themselves.

It may be the case that your family or friends can suggest ways of dealing with this such as helping out with their children. Whilst this will be too painful for some couples others may find that it enables them to include children in their lives albeit not their own.

Everyone is different in this aspect and only you can decide what is right for you. Take time out to decide your future and explore all options available.

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