IVF Survival Guide

So we’re starting again from the beginning. All you can do when you get a negative is to look for silver linings and try to be productive somehow. Embrace the break and get ready for the impending pin cushion session that’s coming your way.

Rally the troops, take the break and don’t be beaten, you can try again.

The list below is compiled of a mixture of things, some that I remind myself of often, some things that I wish I did the first time around and what I found helped the first time and will do again. If you’re about to start on a fresh cycle, knock yourself out!*

Stretchy Pants:

I now have a license to buy yet more leggings. I live in leggings anyway so I have plenty but it’s always nice to have an excuse to buy more. Any stretchy waist is key. 1. Because of the bloat and 2. They are easy to whip on and off for scans. If you’re not as much of a legging lover as me, skirts could be equally as beneficial to both the general experience and your wardrobe.

Easy roll sleeves:

Another excuse to hit the shops. You don’t want to get caught out like I did with a hoody I couldn’t roll the sleeves up on and nothing on underneath. Blood tests are frequent so easy arm access is a must.

Early nights & naps:

It’s totally OK to take naps in the day. The hormones make you sleepy and it’s tiring on the body full stop with all these prickly new habits and doctors appointments. Naps can now be scheduled in with zero guilt. #Win.

Talk to people:

Call friends more, even if you don’t feel like it. Not only does it help to talk but we should all call our friends more. Don’t text, don’t rely on Insta/FB – give them a call or book in a coffee so you can have a proper chat about what’s on your mind and a proper giggle about things that are totally unrelated to IVF and babies.

Limit your exertion and the gym:

Ok so we all generally feel guilt when we don’t get to the gym and if you are someone that really enjoys it then this is tough. But you need to be kind and gentle on yourself through this period so no guilt. Plus you will be eating healthy and not drinking so no weight gain needs to be feared.

Find a hobby, goal or new interest:

Don’t let IVF consume you. You are not IVF or infertility issues. You are ‘you’ and there is so much more to ‘you’ and your life than IVF. Remind yourself of that and if you find it hard, introduce a new focus, be it a goal, a hobby or a new interest. Shift the focus, think about it when you need to but retrain your thoughts when you don’t.

A love list:

Make a list of things you love about your life already and refer to it whenever you need to. Mine is pretty simple – husband, home, Tank (dog) & Dol (cat), friends and family. Remember that these things are unshifting, success or not.

Emla Cream:

Stacks of it.


To keep on the Emla Cream



I woke up in so much pain the morning after egg collection. It was in the weirdest places too – my wrists, fingers and toes – so odd. The doctor said I was missing a whole load of things my body needed (I’m not even going to pretend I remember what they were) and Dioralyte was the answer. I got some and it helped, so next time I’ll be drinking this before bed. Yes it says it’s for diarrhoea but I am well past being embarrassed by any of this stuff now – it works and that’s all that matters!

Bigger bras:

I grew out of all my bras in the first week of stimulation. Off to those shops again..

Water bottle:

A reusable water bottle makes it much easier to track how much you’re drinking as you’re supposed to drink A LOT.

A good book:

Those waiting room mags can get awfully dull and most of them are years old. What’s the use in knowing what was in in the summer of 2010!? A book is better.

Some sort of injection pouch:

This is so you can keep everything together in your bag if you need to go out or be at work when injection time is on the cards. I’ll take any excuse to buy a zip-up up pouch that actually has a job to do other than being yet another compartment I lose stuff in in my bag.

Sense of humour:

Always – the darker the better – it will help you no end.


*Disclaimer – that’s not advice for IVF, just a saying – you don’t want to be knocking yourself out. Although it would be nice if you could and wake up with it all done!


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