IVF - The Nurses’ Perspective
By Iris Freiermuth, R.N. and Minerva Chavarria, R.N.
IVF Nurse Coordinators are at the forefront of day to day interaction with patients undergoing their infertility treatments. In this blog, we share with you nursing tips for concerns we frequently encounter.
Injections: Make your fertility injection a part of your daily routine rather than a chore. Allow enough time to get yourself prepared when giving the injections. Find a quiet area in your home away from others (i.e., bedroom or bathroom) and pick a timeframe that will work with your daily schedule. Lock the door behind you and leave your phone behind. As the days go on, the time to prepare the injection will shorten, and your anxiety will lessen.
Your Treatment Protocol: Beware of the Internet. Although there is a vast amount of information on the web, not all can be trusted or validated. Trust that your doctor has created the best personalized treatment plan for you. Treatment protocols can differ among clinics like chef’s recipes. The goal is always your successful outcome.
Your Treatment Calendar: Don’t be afraid of your treatment calendar and regimen. When we first email you your treatment calendar, you may think “oh my” and realize how much information you have just been given. Try not to absorb the entire treatment schedule from beginning to end right away since this may create an information overload. Take it one step at a time, dissect that portion of the treatment cycle, learn it, contact us with any questions, feel comfortable with what you are doing, and then move on to the next step.
Pamper Yourself: Often you will find yourself more fatigued than usual. Fertility treatments can add stress to your life. Your routines can be disrupted by office visits, blood tests, and side effects of the medication. Don’t let the treatment cycle consume you. Do something special for yourself. Take a walk to let out some steam. Rest and relax. Resolve to go to bed a half an hour earlier. Take a nap when you can. Take a 10 minute break in a quiet room to meditate. Go outside and have your lunch away from the office. Get a massage or a pedicure.
Share Your Feelings: It’s not me...it’s the hormones. Hot flashes, weight gain, bloating, and fatigue...it is no wonder you are not feeling yourself. The treatment process, clinic appointments, and the side of effects of the medication can be challenging, but you will get through it! Let your spouse, friend, and loved ones be there for you. Talk things over and know that what you are feeling is not permanent. Keep a journal if you are not feeling up to sharing.
We feel privileged to be a part of your treatment team. You can always count on us to be there for you to reach our shared goal: a baby for you!