You might be thinking ‘Is this even possible?’

If you were trying to conceive naturally before IVF, you’ve probably already had too many people telling you to ‘just relax and you’ll probably fall pregnant’ or telling you that stress is probably ‘causing’ your infertility. This type of ‘well-meaning’ comment can just add to the pressure and isn’t helpful. Stress alone doesn’t prevent people from conceiving, but infertility can cause stress and it’s good to be able to find ways to reduce it.

Taking your mind off of your treatment, especially when everything is constantly being done to time and monitored, isn’t always easy.The waiting time to find out if you have any viable embryos and if you have conceived can also seem endless.

So, is there anything you can do to relieve some pressure, to relax your mind and to shift your focus? We have come up with ten suggestions for you to try.


1.    Quality time with your partner (or a friend if you are single)

Going through trying to conceive naturally and not being successful, followed by questioning and examinations from medical professionals, can take its toll on any relationship. Think of all of the things that you used to enjoy doing together, as a couple. Sit down together and make a list of those things. Which ones would be practical to do at the moment? You are already scheduling everything to do with IVF, so try scheduling in some of these activities too to build in more quality time.


2.    Try crafting

Lots of crafts can be done with no risks involved, sitting down and at a time that suits you. Knitting, sewing, crocheting, card making, jewellery making, pottery and watercolour painting are many options that can help you to focus your mind on something else and achieve a state of flow.Choose crafts that don’t involve the use of solvents or chemicals, however, as they can affect fertility and an unborn child. You could join an in-person or on-line craft club too, to meet new people and mix with others removed from your IVF situation.


3.    Escape into a good book

Whether you favour light-hearted modern fiction, a classic novel, autobiography or other non-fiction, or even just a magazine, reading provides a great opportunity for escapism from everyday life.


4.    Get stuck into a new box set or dig out your old favourite films or comedy episodes

Watching TV can help you to switch off from everything you are currently going through.It’s easy to slot in between appointments and can be done in the comfort of your own home, curled up on your own or together, with a cuppa and snacks.


5.    Have you considered meditation?

Many people believe that yoga is great for stress release and relaxation and can also direct blood flow to the reproductive organs. Some yoga poses are recommended and considered safe for use at some stages of IVF, but it is very important to speak to your fertility specialist and other experts before starting, as some poses should be avoided.  


6.    Join a gentle exercise class

Ask your fertility specialist or GP about which exercise classes might be suitable for you during IVF treatment and what should be avoided at different stages of the process. It can be good to get out and mix with others.


7.    Arrange to meet up with good friends for a meal out

Socialising can help to take your mind off of your IVF treatment and can reinforce friendships too.


8.    Go for a gentle walk

Gentle exercise is good for your body and mind and taking in your surroundings can be a great mood booster.


9.    Go to the cinema

Like watching a film at home, going to the cinema is a great form of escapism, but by being out of the house, you’ll also not have any little reminders of your treatment around you and you can tag on a meal out too.


10. Have a spontaneous night away, somewhere fun and familiar

Pick a time that you know you won’t be needed for an appointment and book a last-minute night away. A change is as good as a rest and you can have a rest as well!

Hopefully, some of these ideas will have given you food for thought.

Here, at The IVF Network, we provide information and support, through our dedicated channel of experts, our website and our blog posts, to help you to make informed choices at every stage of your personal fertility journey.