Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Living through the 2WW of Fear, Trepidation, Optimism and Hope

Typically, the 2 Week Wait (2WW ) after an IVF cycle is a time filled with fear, trepidation, optimism and hope for patients. It’s a very stress-filled period, not just for our patients, but for us too. At times, week 1 is a little easier, but by the time the patient nears day 13, she finds it’s very difficult to resist doing that pregnancy test. Many of our patients tell us that they try to fight the feeling of hope during the two week wait; and I know exactly what they mean.

IVF isn’t easy, it’s no less than an emotional roller-coaster and the 2WW is a time for second-guessing and uncertainty. When patients come to our clinic for the first time, they are all hoping for a miracle. Many of them will have conducted a certain amount of research about IVF and know that it is their last option for having a baby. The patients who are not so well-informed about the treatment are still full of hope when they come to us and we try not to let any of them down.

Realistic Expectations

But while consulting our patients, we always stress that while it is important to be optimistic, it doesn’t help to go overboard with unrealistic expectations of the outcome of the treatment. The fact is that IVF is a very complex process; and this is not just with reference to the technology and procedure used, but the fact that there are just too many variables in play.

After all, conception is a biological process and once the embryo has been transferred in the patient’s uterus, we have no control over what takes place there and we too (just like our patients) have to wait through the two weeks to know whether the implantation has been successful.

The Fears

Women who have gone through multiple failed cycles are afraid of being hopeful and positive in case their hopes get dashed again, and as an IVF doctor, I address this issue over and over again with a number of my patients. The fact is that there is no cut and dried answer as to how to cope. A patient’s inherent physiology, past experience and ego will always have a role to play in the manner in which they experience the 2WW.

The best way to approach the dreaded 2WW is to create a balanced perspective and try to overcome the tug-of-war between fear, agony and hope. You might feel that you’re being very realistic by tempering your excitement about the possibility of a successful conception; and you may feel that it’s a useful self-preservation technique you are adopting- but under all that fear, you will also find that you go through some moments of pure joy when you start day-dreaming about how your life will change if all goes as planned.

I tell my patients that the best way to deal with this brew of feelings is to retain your poise. Hope is the one important factor that allows couples to cope with all the ups & downs that infertility and IVF treatment puts them through.

Maintaining this kind of perspective helps lessen the fear and anxiety that you have about the future. Though all this advice may seem idealistic, and every patient who is doing IVF feels that no one else can understand what she is going through, we as your doctors will do our best to support and counsel you every step of the way.  We are here for you !

Need more information? Please send me your medical details by filling in the form at www.drmalpani.com/free-second-opinion so that I can guide you!

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