Six Emotions During IVF

by ICL
Jun 17, 2018

For many women, the acronym IVF might as well stand for Intimidating, Volatile, Frustrating, or any number of anxiety-related adjectives.

Below is a list of six common emotions that can be stirred up during the IVF process, and a guide to how seeing an experienced counsellor or psychotherapist can help you deal with these emotions, to make the fertility treatment process more manageable and hopeful.

Emotions During IVF - Counselling

IVF Treatment


There are several stages in the IVF process, less than half of them are invasive. However, for some women the dread of needles can evoke a great deal of fear.

There are also usually many fears around the failure of the process, and the impacts of the treatment: physical, psychological, and relational.

Why talk to a professional?

Counsellors have a number of ways to help you overcome phobias including fear of needles or blood. You can work with an experienced professional to understand where your fears may have come from, and to develop coping techniques to help you manage them.

Guilt and Shame

Research suggests that couples experience feelings of guilt more than 50 per cent of the time during fertility treatment. Guilt can arise in all sorts of situations, even seemingly innocuous ones, like the day you pop in to see your parents and they ask how the process is going. A general sense of inadequacy and helplessness also lead to feelings of guilt and shame.

Why talk to a professional?

Sessions with a psychotherapist will give you space to air your feelings of guilt and shame, which can be difficult to admit to others, and grow and fester if left unspoken. In sessions, you can also learn how to manage these feelings, when they come up outside of sessions.

Grief and Loss

During fertility treatments including IVF, emotions can be very volatile. A one-day delay in period, drives hope very high, and then a few drops of blood, makes the whole world crash down with grief and loss. Research suggests that 94% of women and 64% of men experience symptoms of depression after the failure of a round of IVF treatment.

In addition to the monthly grief, and loss, there is also a sense of continued loss of wanting to be a parent, to have a child (or another child), or the dream of family.

Greif and loss lead to feelings of sadness, restlessness, difficulty sleeping, and general fatigue.

Why talk to a professional?

Counselling sessions can help you prepare for the disappointments and losses. The sessions can be for one partner or the couple, to help manage the feelings as they come up, and how to better handle the lows and the highs.

Low Self Esteem

As women, we come to expect many changes in our bodies with the monthly cycle. However, with IVF these changes go into overdrive. The constant changes and discomfort are part of might lead to low self-esteem.

Why talk to a professional?

Counsellors can help you view what is going on with your body physically and manage the emotions that are coming up as result. With support, you can start reframing the body changes in terms of the role they are playing in your fertility journey.

Anger and Jealousy

During IVF, there are many feelings of anger, especially over not feeling like you are in control. Things do not get better, when people around you seem to have no difficulty getting pregnant and growing their own families.

Why talk to a professional?

Counsellors will not be hesitant to talk about the topics you need to. You can be as uncensored as you want to be, and you do not have to worry about the person you are talking to pulling away. Speaking to a therapist can help you manage the feelings of anger and jealousy.


Stress comes from so many triggers during the IVF process. Worry about money, fear over the stability of your job, marital tension, sexual issues are just a few of the common stressors.

Why talk to a professional?

During sessions with a psychotherapist, you can develop an array of techniques for managing stress. It is about building an armour in preparation for all the stressors that may come your way.


If you are going through fertility treatment including IVF, call us to access the emotional support you might need, on 0207 467 8548 to book a consultation.


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