Your Fertility and Your Wellbeing

Al comienzo de la Semana Mundial del Bienestar, Jamie Forster , socio asesor de fertilidad de IVF-Life UK, nos da una “ventaja” sobre el efecto de nuestra salud emocional en nuestra fertilidad. Ya sea que esté al comienzo de su viaje de FIV o comenzando otro ciclo de ICSI , considerar su bienestar es vital para el éxito de su tratamiento.

Stress is something that affects us all from time to time. There has been so much focus in the media about how it can appear physically, emotionally, and in the way we think and behave. From headaches, poor mood or sleep quality, to high blood pressure and panic attacks, managing excessive stress in our busy lives is something we all must think about. Except sometimes it is simply not possible to avoid the stress in our lives. This is particularly true for people undergoing fertility treatment which can be an exceptionally tense experience.  So how do we improve our fertility emotional health?

Calming the rollercoaster

Balancing everyday life and the demands of treatment, while managing the rollercoaster of emotion associated with treatment can be very challenging. This is why it is so important to pay close attention to your own personal wellbeing, both emotionally and physically.

The great news is there are many things you can do to boost fertility wellbeing and build strength during fertility treatment. The key is to apply good self-care routines and practices. Having a strong self-care plan is the most valuable thing you can do for yourself in life, in or out of treatment.

What is self-care?

The World Health Organization defines self-care as ‘the ability of individuals, families and communities to promote health, prevent disease, maintain health, and to cope with illness and disability with or without the support of a healthcare provider’.

By this, self-care not only promotes positive health, but helps build the strength necessary to manage stress and live a longer and happier life!

So why is it, when we find ourselves in a difficult or stressful situation, are we so quick to criticise ourselves? Why is our self-talk so negatively? Why are we so quick to ignore the physical and emotional needs of our bodies? Why do we continue to punish ourselves?

Imagine

Please take a moment to imagine the person you love the most in life sitting in front of you, suffering in some way that is familiar to you. Think about how you would care for and soothe them. You might lower your tone, speak softly, telling them that it is going to be ok. Perhaps you would make them a cup of tea and give them all the reasons why they are amazing and going to get through this difficult time. Maybe you would run them a bath, make them a nice meal, or just sit quietly next to them holding their hand, giving them time and space to process these difficult emotions.

Now, imagine yourself experiencing the same suffering. Think about using the same comforting techniques you used above, to soothe and reassure yourself. What if your self-talk was soft, comforting, and encouraging? How good could it feel to respond to your own needs as lovingly as you would someone you love dearly?

How much easier could difficult times be if you allowed yourself to take a break and feel all the feelings, rather than ignore or deny them?

This is self-care.

Self-care in practice

Self-care is about listening to your body, tuning into your feelings, and giving yourself permission to respond to your own needs. It is about taking responsibility for your own wellbeing with respect and compassion for the emotional changes that are a natural part of treatment.  This is your fertility wellbeing.

Often, we hear people say, ‘I have no time for self-care’, or ‘I’m just too busy’. But the truth is that self-care is not just bubble baths, holidays, and longs weekends away. It is as easy as pausing during your busy day, to focus on breathing for two minutes.

Self-care is the act of doing something that contributes to your emotional, psychological, and physical health, creating a sense of balance and overall wellbeing.

Let us have a look at examples of each.

Emotional self-care

Very simply, emotions are the physiological response to internal or external influences. We often think that emotions are processed in the brain, by thinking or talking, but the truth is, emotions are processed in the whole body.

So emotional self-care is anything that you can do to quiet the noise in your head and stop overthinking and overstimulating yourself.

Techniques for healthy emotional management might look like…

  • give yourself permission to say no to things that cause you stress. It is ok to say no to an invitation to a party or event that is going to cause you distress
  • allow yourself to take breaks or pause throughout the day is going to help you stay clearheaded. We wear busy like a badge of honour, but this constant ‘going’ can have a negative affect on your ability to self-regulate your emotions
  • take a break or limit your use of social media can help you stay in control of the external forces that contribute to your overall mood
  • limit how much news you consume can help you feel grounded, in control, and will help maintain a positive outlook on life in general
  • have realistic expectations of your time and emotional capacity (you can do it all just not at the same time!)

Psychological self-care

Mental wellbeing is all about connection, self-belief, purpose and building resilience. Good mental health is what allows us to cope with the stress of life. It is particularly important during treatment. We sometimes hear patients talking about feelings of loneliness, disconnectedness, or frustration. So, anything that you can do to help build yourself up from the inside out is going to help you get through IVF treatment well.

Cultivating healthy mental habits is something that gathers over time and is necessary to create and maintain a positive outlook on life.

By this definition, self-care for mental wellbeing is going to be something that can be included in daily life, whether you are feeling strong or fragile.  This can only be good for your fertility wellbeing.

Algunas técnicas para promover una salud mental sólida podrían ser…

  • mindfulness o meditación que te ayuda a tomar conciencia del momento presente. Ayuda a integrar pensamientos, sentimientos y sensaciones corporales.
  • El ‘diario de gratitud’ lo ayuda a concentrarse en las cosas buenas de la vida, lo cual es particularmente positivo en un momento en que se siente abrumado o fuera de control.
  •  llevar un diario es una excelente herramienta para ayudar a liberar pensamientos rumiantes o intrusivos, y evita que las cosas se acumulen y se apoderen de usted
  • practicar la bondad (con uno mismo y con los demás) es optar por “salir un poco de tu camino” para hacer algo bueno por ti mismo o por los demás. La investigación muestra un vínculo claro entre mostrar amabilidad y la reducción del estrés y la mejora en el bienestar general
  • pasar tiempo en la naturaleza es vital para promover el bienestar mental y físico. Pasear, cuidar el jardín o pasar tiempo cerca del agua o de los espacios verdes: todos son enormemente beneficiosos para la salud mental

Autocuidado físico

El bienestar físico no es sólo la ausencia de enfermedad o padecimiento. Se trata de opciones de estilo de vida y comportamiento que ayudan a mantener un sentido general de equilibrio que afecta drásticamente el bienestar. Mantenerse activo, comer una dieta saludable y mantenerse hidratado mejorará significativamente su calidad de vida, tanto mental como físicamente.

De hecho, el tratamiento de fertilidad es una experiencia muy física y emocional, por lo que cualquier cosa que se pueda hacer para garantizar que su cuerpo tenga lo que necesita para pasar bien el tratamiento es esencial.

Las cosas más importantes que puede hacer para controlar su salud física son…

  • Consuma una dieta bien balanceada para proporcionarle energía y brindarle todos los nutrientes necesarios para la protección y reparación.
  • manténgase bien hidratado para mejorar la función mental, proporcionar energía y ayudar a eliminar las toxinas de su cuerpo.
  • el ejercicio mejora el sueño, ayuda a aliviar la ansiedad, reduce el riesgo de depresión y te ayuda a sentirte mejor contigo mismo.
  • el descanso es vital para la restauración y la curación de su cuerpo y mente.
  • la vida consciente también es una forma maravillosa de cuidar la salud física. Es tan fácil como alejarse de su escritorio para almorzar o tomar descansos regulares frente a la pantalla a lo largo del día.

Tratamiento de bienestar y fertilidad

La verdad es que el tratamiento de fertilidad es una experiencia emocionante, llena de altibajos, giros y vueltas. Organizaciones como la Autoridad de Fertilización y Embriología Humana (HFEA) , la Sociedad Británica de Fertilidad (BFS) y la Asociación Británica de Asesoramiento sobre Infertilidad (BICA) trabajan incansablemente para garantizar que el bienestar emocional y físico de los pacientes sea vital para un tratamiento seguro y eficaz. Todos están de acuerdo en que el tratamiento puede ser un proceso complicado para los pacientes y que las clínicas tienen la responsabilidad con los pacientes de garantizar que lo superen bien.

En IVF-Life UK , nos tomamos muy en serio la salud emocional y el bienestar de nuestros pacientes. Como parte de nuestra responsabilidad hacia nuestros pacientes, ofrecemos sesiones de asesoramiento gratuitas durante el tratamiento. Además, nuestro personal está siempre disponible para responder las preguntas de los pacientes u ofrecer apoyo. Su bienestar antes, durante y después del tratamiento es muy importante para nosotros y estamos aquí para apoyar a personas y parejas en cada etapa de su proceso de fertilidad.

Para hacer una cita con Jamie mientras está en tratamiento en IVF-Life UK, envíe un correo electrónico al equipo de atención al paciente de la clínica . Para obtener más información sobre los servicios de asesoramiento de Jamie, visite su sitio web .