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Support during IVF

NHS ChoicesMedical Reference

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Undergoing IVF can be emotionally and physically draining. It's important couples are offered counselling when they need it.

Some couples may also find it useful to join a fertility support group or online forum for support, as well as speaking to health professionals.


The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) recommends that  counselling should be offered before, during and after IVF treatment (regardless of the outcome) by someone not directly involved in the management of the couple's fertility problems.

Counselling may be used to help couples understand the implications of treatment, or for support at a critical time, e.g. when an IVF cycle has been unsuccessful.

Read more about the benefits of counselling and how to access it on the HFEA website.

Unsuccessful IVF treatment

In many instances, IVF treatment is unsuccessful. Under these circumstances it's a good idea to have a break from treatment and give your body time to recover. A break of two months is often recommended.

This time can give you a chance to talk with the clinic about the reasons the IVF was unsuccessful, to talk to your partner about how you both feel and consider your options going forward.

It can help to talk to other people who have been through IVF. A support group or online forum may be helpful.

Read more information about what to do when fertility treatment fails on the HFEA website. 

Adapting to parenthood

Some couples who have successfully started a family with IVF can find it difficult to adjust to their new life. It's important to seek help from health professionals (e.g. your fertility consultant, GP, midwife or health visitor).

Contacting a fertility support group and talking with others who can empathise with your experiences can also be helpful.

Infertility Network UK and Fertility Friends both have online forums where you can find other people who have dealt with the same issues.

Medical Review: July 30, 2013

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