We help you to control your fears before starting treatment: how to listen to yourself
Having doubts and feeling some anxiety before starting treatment is normal. The experts advise you to reflect and to work on how to learn to master these feelings
Before making the decision to begin treatment for assisted reproduction, there are many questions and concerns that may arise. Every woman lives through it in a different way, and each has her own questions that need answering. Sometimes, however, the answer doesn’t come as quickly as one would like, and this uncertainty becomes a cause for anguish that delays the time to make the decision to start the process.
“When we go more deeply into an assisted reproduction treatment, both fear, as well as stress, or anxiety are fairly common emotions”, says Laura Venereo, a psychologist at Eugin. “It could even be said that they are emotions that one would expect and in order to deal with them, we should observe to what degree we feel them and do whatever we can, not only to prevent them from incapacitating us, but to use them to revitalize us. When these sensations give rise to unease, it is advisable to find a way of reducing them. One good way is to know how to identify the causes by always giving yourself the time needed to do so”, she adds.
Even though each patient has her own particular situation, there are some common concerns among women who are considering the possibility of starting treatment.
Fear of the diagnosis
“Before starting, some women who have been trying to get pregnant for some time, but without success, sense that they have a problem”, explains Cristina Rico, a psychologist at Eugin. “On the one hand, they are afraid of going to the doctor, assuming they will receive a diagnosis confirming their fears: that they have a fertility problem.” “Some patients tell us that they delayed going to the specialist because they hoped they would get pregnant naturally”, explains the psychologist.
“Apart from being afraid of a diagnosis of infertility, some patients worry about medicalizing the conception process and regret that fertilisation, which is such an intimate moment, is going to take place in the laboratory”, she adds.
“In these situations, we recommend taking time to think and eliminate the sense of urgency in making the decision,” she says. Although it is advisable to go to a specialist, if after a certain time you haven’t been able to get pregnant naturally, there is no need to make the decision in a matter of hours. “Visiting the specialist does not mean having to start treatment immediately,” she adds. “When we ask patients to consider going to the doctor, they find out their diagnosis, and afterwards they think about the time they need, which makes them feel calmer,” she claims.
Fear of resorting to donation
“Patients who for the first time face a diagnosis that leads them to resort to egg donation also typically go through a process of acceptance,” says psychologist Laura Venereo. According to the experts, this is a necessary phase that the woman has to go through, however long it may need, in order to understand her situation and understand what implications the process has.
“For these women, it can be helpful to go more deeply into what it really means to get pregnant with another woman’s eggs; thinking about how they will influence aspects such as upbringing and the environment in which their child will be brought up in when it comes to developing their personality, beyond the genetic information”, she says.
Desire for motherhood: doubts
“Although I’ve been with my partner for some time and the relationship seems to be established, I’m not sure if this is the time to have a child together,” Julie, a woman who just turned forty explains. “One concern like Julie’s,” explains the psychologist “is that it can also delay the start time of assisted reproduction treatment. As regards the women we talk to we recommend that they take stock of their situation and analyse what really puts them off starting treatment. Some have several reasons, others just one very specific one. In any case, we recommend analysing all the reasons, one by one, talking about it with their innermost circle, or if the woman prefers, with a professional”, the psychologist says, by way of conclusion.