Unexplained Infertility Anxiety in IV... - Fertility Network UK

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Unexplained Infertility Anxiety in IVF Process

Foodie23 profile image
Foodie23

Our cause of infertility is unexplained and I’ve never been pregnant. Because of this, I’m feeling anxious about what the quality of my eggs will be like, whether they’ll fertilise, whether they’ll get to day 5 and whether my body can support implantation.

I’m putting a lot of effort into relaxation and trying not to worry, but it’s hard to shake this nagging feeling that it may take failure and additional heartbreak through this process to figure out what’s wrong.

Can anyone else relate? I’m on day 4 of stims and any tips for self-talk or strategies to quiet down the worrying thoughts would be greatly appreciated. I’m already doing acupuncture, mindfulness and exercise, although I think the exercise will become increasingly more difficult as my stimulation side effects increase.

Thank you in advance for any support you can provide.

38 Replies

Try to up the mindfulness. It sounds like you are letting the thoughts of negativity rise up and thinking about every eventuality, where in reality what happens is something we haven't even thought of. Mindfulness should help you to allow the thoughts to be but not let them swallow you up. Xx

Foodie23 profile image
Foodie23 in reply to Camillage

Thank you Camillage. I’m going to sit for some mindfulness now and maybe add some mindful movement later today. I also have some CBT exercises I can try. It isn’t to the level of causing me distress, but I know I’m engaging with the thoughts a little too much, which isn’t helpful. Xx

Camillage profile image
Camillage in reply to Foodie23

Hope it works. Keep up the journaling too and post here as much as you need for support. You know we are all here for you. Xx

Foodie23 profile image
Foodie23 in reply to Camillage

Thank you for your generous support. Messages like this really help me to feel like I’m not alone and others who truly understand are happy to help when needed. I honestly don’t know how I’d get through this without this group. Xx

Camillage profile image
Camillage in reply to Foodie23

No worries, we really are all here for each other and understand like no others. How are you feeling today? Xx

Foodie23 profile image
Foodie23 in reply to Camillage

That’s so kind of you to ask. I’m doing pretty well, definitely better than expected. I’m just a bit tired with a little soreness and bloating. I’m feeling a bit anxious, but it isn’t really tied to worry. It just seems to be a physical response to the stress of the situation. I’ll try some mindfulness and breathing exercises. I also bought the hypnotherapy CD another lady suggested. It comes today, so I’m looking forward to trying it!

There are lots of us in the same boat who either have unexplained infertility or have had problems fixed and still not got pregnant. You are not alone. I have lots of friends also with unexplained infertility and they have got pregnant through this process. It’s why a lot of people end up on the IVF road. I’m sure your eggs etc will be fine, lots of us share your anxieties. It’s sadly all part of this process. But your starting your journey now....good luck x

Foodie23 profile image
Foodie23 in reply to Yogagirl37

Thank you yogagirl37! It helps knowing other people are experiencing anxiety through this process. I’ll just keep up my self care and looking for strategies to cope.

I’ve recently found an amazing yoga instructor. I’ve gone in close to having an anxiety attack and by the end felt completely calm and relaxed. Unfortunately I’m having to take a break until after egg collection because it feels like a little too much strain on the abdomen at the moment. Did you find any particular kind of yoga gentle enough for stims phase? X

Yogagirl37 profile image
Yogagirl37 in reply to Foodie23

I teach it but have also had to be careful. You can certainly practice the meditation and mindfulness side of yoga. Just take care of yourself x

Me has unexplained infertility too, never got pregnant naturally.

I was so hopeful with IVF and for us this was blessing as we got our son from.

I think you might get lots of answers for your case, ironically ivf might bring some light into some cause of infertility, it definitely gave me. Please be hopeful, it might in fact happen that your first attempt will work! But if not don’t give up as with first one is sometimes or often a trail one and to see how your body react on drugs, egg collection and other parts. My son is from second attempt. Good luck hun xxx

Foodie23 profile image
Foodie23 in reply to Anya80

Thank you Anya80. That is such a helpful way to look at it. At minimum, we should get some information that will help give us a better chance in the 2nd cycle. It’s also comforting hearing about your success! Xx

Anya80 profile image
Anya80 in reply to Foodie23

Ive appeared to responding very well on all drugs and I’ve found out I’m ovulating earlier in cycles (cd9-10), also I was able to produce good number eggs and always went to blastocyst stage with good number to freeze, that was reassuring. But my first cycle was bust as I was only on pessaries supportive only which I was bit uncomfortable from start and this appeared that with my first ivf I went into period just 7days after transfer, I was devastated and angry as I always knew it pessaries are not enough for me to maintain pregnancy. I’ve pushed for changing this bit in second go and went into injections (hell that was painful😂) and this made the trick. My pregnancy was very easy book like one, I couldn’t be more happier. In a way I’m thankful we did this way as I was carry of my health from start and my body received all nutrition as needed. Ivf way can be difficult process sometime but it’s also structured and also helpful .

All the best you’ll get there😉

Take some time with OH and have some fun. I am in the exact same boat and have realised after a great deal of heart ache that I’ve been so obsessed that I’m letting life pass me by. My OH deserves some attention and I deserve to stop beating myself up xx Hope this helps x

Yes, it definitely helps to keep things in perspective. I saw a quote earlier today that said, “Never Let the things you want make you forget about the things you have.” I already have a wonderful partner in this life and that’s something to be very grateful for. X

That’s a lot of what ifs and whethers. Try to take things one step at a time, it’s less overwhelming. Don’t pin all of your hopes on ivf working the first time but at the same time have some hope. Try some mindfulness. Do relaxing things. Go for long gentle walks. We’ve all been where you are now, all had to start somewhere. You can do this 💪🏻 xx

Foodie23 profile image
Foodie23 in reply to Tugsgirl

Thanks Tugsgirl. I’m trying my best to be as open minded and flexible as possible. I just keep reminding myself that there will come a day when I’m able to look back on this experience and be grateful it all worked out the way it did. Xx

I am also unexplained and have really struggled with wondering why. However, stimms and egg collection all went great, all embryos were frozen after mild OHSS and I’m now starting a FET cycle. My new worry is that implantation is the problem and as a doctor told me this is the grey area of IVF this hasn’t exactly helped. As for strategies, mindful IVF is an app that was recommended on here (I do need to make time to do it more) and probably not Googling things! Good luck with your stimms xx

Foodie23 profile image
Foodie23 in reply to Core

Thank you for sharing your positive experience. I’ll check out the mindfulness app. And yes, I’ve deleted the internet from my phone because of the googling problem. 😂 xx

Good luck with your stims. Have you had the chance to see a counsellor about your anxieties? Sometimes just having an independent person to talk to and a non-judgmental space to share your feelings can really help x

Foodie23 profile image
Foodie23 in reply to LegoBatgirl

Thank you LegoBatgirl. Yes, I have actually. It really helped me let go of my timelines and expectations. I can see her again if I need it.

I think this is just a stressful process and if I can remember to recognise those anxiety-provoking thoughts as my mind’s natural way of coping with the unknown, that will be very helpful. I’ve found mindfulness is great for this, but this situation has definitely challenged my mindfulness capabilities. X

LegoBatgirl profile image
LegoBatgirl in reply to Foodie23

This whole thing is really anxiety provoking and I can totally empathise. It's just about finding what works for you. I like knitting and crocheting, it really brings me into the moment but I know that a lot of people run/meditate/bake and just embrace whatever works for you :)

I completely relate to how you're feeling. After many a test we were diagnosed as unexplained- the doctor even used air quotes when describing it! My anxiety went through the roof and I actually started to have panic attacks. I found mindfulness and acupuncture really helped as well as walking the dog. I also bought some ivf hypnotherapy dvds from amazon- there are 3 for the different stages and I found those really helpful. We are fortunate enough to be pregnant after our first round of ivf which I am very grateful for but I still worry that since we never had a diagnosis it is likely we will need ivf again if we want to extend our family in the future. My midwife thinks we will be fine and that my body just needed' to learn how to be pregnant' which is a new one on me. Yoga or pilates is also great to do- the breathing exercises really helped me. I also visited animal shelters and spent some time fussing animals as a distraction which was also very rewarding. Mindfulness colouring books are great too as it helps you to focus on something else. I really wish you luck and hope you get your positive xx

mirah profile image
mirah in reply to CC2018

I know this feeling. I’ m also diagnosed as unexplained . Did my first round of ivf in October, 20 eggs collected 11 fertilised and finally 4 were good embryos upto day 5. Due to moderate OhSS I couldn’t do transfer and transfer is now in January. So please be positive that you will have the best embies without doubt. It’s hard but I would say take one step at a time that’s what I’m doing.

Foodie23 profile image
Foodie23 in reply to mirah

Thank you Mirah! Your experience gives me a lot of hope! Four Frosties is fantastic. Good luck on your first transfer in January! Xx

Foodie23 profile image
Foodie23 in reply to CC2018

Hi CC2018. Wow, thank you so much for this post! As soon as I read it I went straight to Amazon and ordered a set of the hypnotherapy DVDs. I’m excited to try it!

Thank you also for sharing that you experienced anxiety and you even got pregnant on your first try. That definitely gives me hope. Did you have anxiety before all this or was it brought on by the infertility?

I’ve completed a Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) course, which was fantastic. I’ve also found yoga and acupuncture to be extremely effective at helping me manage the anxiety. Unfortunately, I’m taking a break from yoga until after I’m done with stims and egg collection. My class wasn’t gentle enough for all this.

I’ve said for a long time I’d be very happy with one. It’s funny that now I might not have a choice or be able to have any, I’ve started to wonder if I’d want more than one. The mind is a strange thing. Do you have any Frosties or would you have to start from the beginning?

Thank you again for such a thoughtful, helpful response. Congratulations on your pregnancy! Xx

CC2018 profile image
CC2018 in reply to Foodie23

Hi! Glad my post helped- I hope you're feeling better. I used to have difficulty sleeping and I found doing the DVD before bed helped me sleep. Ibdidb't have anxiety until ttc and it didn't work. Our of 8 eggs 5 fertilised fertiliser and 3 made it to day 5 but our hospital are really strict on the freezing quality and decided the one put back was our best and the others weren't good enough. This upset me as I felt like begging for all 3 to be put back just to give them a chance (they wouldn't of course as i'm only 29) and knowing that after all that we only had one made me feel deflated and hopeless. However my husband's optimism was contagious and I continued with the acupuncture and mindfulness which made me feel better. I'm currently 18 plus 4 so just shows it only takes one. If we do want to extend our family we will need to start from scratch but now i've done it once I feel strong enough to do it again. I hope yours goes well xx

Foodie23 profile image
Foodie23 in reply to CC2018

Thank you for sharing your experience with me. I’ve done the CDs twice now and they’re really helping!

I don’t know anything about the freezing criteria with our clinic. I would think they’d freeze as long as they had confidence the embryo could survive it and the thawing procedure. I’m sorry to hear you lost your other two day 5s. I think round 2 should you decide to grow your family will be a lot easier now that you know what to expect.

My husband is very present focused and never worries about things in the future. That has really helped me as I have the opposite tendencies. That’s wonderful your husband is so positive and optimistic.

I hope you have a smooth rest of your pregnancy! Xx

I know just how you're feeling. My hubby and I also have unexplained infertility and have not (to my knowledge) ever conceived during 3+ years of trying. It's so hard not to imagine all sorts when you don't know what the underlying cause is, but on good days I can tell myself it's good news that all our tests came back normal and much better than finding out it was something difficult to treat.

We're also on our first round of ivf (egg collection tomorrow!) and like you I'm really worried that something is lurking there to explain why we're infertile. But again on good days I remind myself this whole process is 'assisted conception' - that it's all about just trying to help us do what we've been struggling with and that we're so fortunate to live in an age/country where these things are there for us.

I'm also trying not to look too far ahead and at the moment I'm really excited that we might have some embryos in a couple of days - like wow that would be so amazing just for them to exist! (sorry the hormones are probably making me a bit sentimental!)

That's great you're doing things like mindfulness, acupuncture and exercise. Some stress is inevitable but you're doing what you can. I would also recommend yin yoga which is very gentle and like meditation. Someone posted some ivf affirmations here about a week ago which I have also found surprisingly reassuring.

Hope stims are going ok so far. Take care of yourself xxx

Foodie23 profile image
Foodie23 in reply to Kcrochet

Hi Kcrohet. Thank you so much for such a detailed, thoughtful response! I really like your perspective, thank you so much for sharing. I also found the affirmation post you mentioned, which was really beautiful.

I’ll have to look into the yin yoga you mentioned. It sounds lovely, so hopefully it won’t be too difficult to find in my area.

Good luck with the remainder of your first cycle! I hope you have some strong embryos growing! Xx

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Hey lovely, I can second doing mindfullness and positive affirmations.

Can I recommend Bree Taylor Molyneux on Spotify? She is a hypnotherapist and there are free tracks for people going through IVF. Honestly, I’d never tried anything like that before but it surprised me how listening to it daily really helped.

If you tell yourself negative things all the time you believe it, the same for positive!

It’s so hard to stay positive and “just relax” and it’s ok to feel scared.

Be kind to yourself and I really hope that this round works out for you!

Xx

Foodie23 profile image
Foodie23 in reply to Hidden

Hi LittleBlue34. Thank you for your kind and helpful message. I tried the IVF hypnotherapy and it’s wonderful! Thank you so much for the suggestion! Xx

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Hidden in reply to Foodie23

Glad it helped! Keep going you got this 💪🏼💪🏼

Hey hun

My sister in law got ivf done 9 months back and now shes due anytime...from her experience she was told to relax alot she must keep herself stressfree i know its easy to say but hard to do...just keep in mind about what beautiful gift god will give u once its successful try not to stress

Once they implant the eggs dry drinking lots chia seeds with rose syrup, eat lots of bananas avoid eating steak and tc of yourself, rest alot and u will see it will go successful in the first trial

Wish u all the best hun xx

Thank you PrettyExceptional for taking the time to respond, the interesting suggestions and well wishes. I’ll definitely look into the food tips for the implantation phase. They all sound pretty easy. Xx

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I didn't have unexplained fertility, I had one blocked tube, other one was fine so I had a chance of concieving naturally but it wasn't happening so I was also worried about whether my eggs would fertilise with my husband's sperm etc- I think it's a normal worry when you've never done IVF before as its all unknown, anyways I would just like to mention I was extremely stressed during stims and got 27 eggs, I donated half of them so out of the 14 I got I ended up with 4 blastocysts and my first natural FET worked(I was also very stressed after FET and could not relax at all no matter what I tried) and I'm currently 7 weeks, just chill and do things you enjoy as well as taking each day as it comes xxxxxx

Foodie23 profile image
Foodie23 in reply to Hidden

Thank you Lianna. It’s a major relief knowing you experienced a lot of stress and it still worked out for you. Congratulations on your pregnancy! I attended a support group recently that says the research shows there is no difference in success rate between women who were relaxed and positive vs stressed, but it helps hearing it directly.

Wow, 27 eggs, that’s so many! No wonder you felt stressed. Your body was really working.

Thank you for your warm, kind words of reassurance. It really helps and means a lot. Xxx

I can really relate to your anxiety. It sounds like you are being really proactive in the strategies you are using to help manage it. I tried the techniques you mentioned too. I also downloaded a couple of IVF positive visualisation/guided meditations from Itunes which I listened to each day. They helped me a lot xx

Foodie23 profile image
Foodie23 in reply to Dunla

Thank you Dunla. It really helps knowing I’m not alone. I’ll definitely check out the positive visualisation meditations you suggested. Xx

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