Stress and the emotional impact of IVF
For many, IVF treatment can be a stressful experience and the ongoing uncertainty around the outcome can create anxiety. The impact of infertility can pervade all areas of life, making it more difficult to focus on other things. It can impact on your outlook on life, personal relationships and interfere with planning and decision making. If fertility treatment continues for a long time, this impact can for some, become overwhelming and difficult to manage.
While the link between ongoing stress and fertility treatment is still being explored, studies have shown a link between depression, anxiety levels and infertility. Unsuccessful treatment has also been linked to increased rates of depression and anxiety. Some studies have also found a link between high stress levels and lower pregnancy rates. Additionally, some group programs aimed at reducing stress for patients undergoing fertility treatment have shown a decrease in anxiety and depression levels.
What is the Melbourne IVF ‘A Mindful Approach to IVF’ program?
The ‘Mindful Approach to IVF’ program at Melbourne IVF aims to promote increased psychological flexibility and acceptance. This is through exploring a variety of ways you can reduce stress and increase wellbeing whilst undergoing fertility treatment. The program explores the link between stress and infertility, so you have a better understanding of what is happening if you feel stressed. It combines education with experiential exercises and offers the opportunity to meet others in a similar situation.
This program has been developed by Melbourne IVF fertility counsellors based on years of experience in the fertility field. It is a culmination of worldwide research into programs that focus on promoting wellbeing and mindful approaches that assist in reducing the psychological stress of fertility treatment. It draws on the knowledge of mindfulness based interventions which have been used effectively in addressing a variety of health problems such as depression, chronic pain, cancer as well as infertility.
Topics included in this program
- The physiology of the stress response and coping with stress
- The role of breathing and relaxation training
- The role of thoughts in the stress response and an introduction to cognitive behavioural therapy
- Mindfulness and mindfulness practice
- The introduction of Yoga and participation in a Yoga session
- The impact of lifestyle behaviours on fertility and wellbeing
- Social support and the role of others
- The importance of self-care
- Fitting fertility treatment into your life
How could this program help me?
The goal of the Melbourne IVF ’A Mindful Approach to IVF’ program is to help you:
- Understand the physiological basis of stress and how fertility treatment triggers this stress response
- Learn ways to manage psychological stress
- Experience a variety of approaches for feeling calmer and more emotionally balanced as you undergo fertility treatment including mindfulness techniques, relaxation exercises and cognitive behavioural approaches.
- Examine lifestyle behaviours that may impact on fertility
- Experience the benefits of yoga
- Learn about self-care
- Explore how infertility and fertility treatment have impacted your life and create a supportive space to contemplate this
- Decrease the isolation surrounding infertility via a supportive group environment
- Help regain confidence and a sense of control in regards to infertility and your fertility treatment
Who is this program designed for?
The Melbourne IVF ‘A Mindful Approach to IVF’ program is a six week group program with each session running for two hours. It is designed for women who have had one or more IVF cycles and are patients of Melbourne IVF. It will be facilitated by Melbourne IVF fertility counsellors.
Where will this program be hosted?
The group will be held in Room G15 at Melbourne IVF, 344 Victoria Pde, East Melbourne.
When does the next program start?
The program runs on a Monday evening, from 6:00pm-8.00pm. Our next program dates are as follows:
- 29th May
- 5th June
- 19th June
- 26th June
- 3rd July
- 10th July
Please note there will not be a session on Monday 12th June (Public holiday).
How much does the program cost?
The Melbourne IVF ‘A Mindful Approach to IVF’ program cost is $300, which includes light refreshments at each session and program handouts.
For anyone returning to undertake a subsequent treatment cycle within six months of completion of the Melbourne IVF ‘A Mindful Approach to IVF’ program, the $300 will be applied as a credit towards their out-of-pocket for their subsequent cycle.
How do I register my interest?
If you are interested in participating in the Melbourne IVF ‘A Mindful Approach to IVF’ program, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Upon receipt of your registration a Melbourne IVF counselling team member will contact you to discuss your participation and availability within the program.
Places are limited to ten women per group so early registration is encouraged.
If you enrol in the program you will need to participate in a telephone interview with a Melbourne IVF counsellor and complete a short questionnaire(s). You will also be asked to complete a post program interview and evaluation.