What Are The Reasons That Females Decide Not To Do IVF

 What Are The Reasons That Females Decide Not To Do IVF. 

"IVF is usually seen as a panacea," grief counsellor Sarah Roberts says.

"There is that this concept if you allow having kids too late, IVF will prevent ."

But she knows better than most that this is often not always true.

"I went through 10 years of IVF. We conceived and lost 12 children, and then I left IVF in my mid-40s," Miss Roberts says.

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She now counsels women, like herself, who have been unable to conceive, and says there are several physicals, financial and personal reasons why people decide to not do in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) at all.

We spoke to two females about why they made that call — and what happened next.

'I was so exhausted'

Vanessa Phillips was 33 years old when she and her husband Craig started trying to conceive. Now, at age 44, it is a period of her life she puts in words as "traumatic".

After initial difficulties, Vanessa had surgery for her endometriosis. She tried alternative medicines and acupuncture. She and Craig changed their diets, trying any little thing which may help. They then turned to medically-assisted ovulation: Vanessa had hormone injections monthly before timed sex (exactly 12 hours later) or intra-uterine insemination.

She says it was invasive and tiring, but the "constant heartbreak" was the hardest part.

"You build yourself up and up and up, then crash backtrack. You give yourself fortnight to urge back together then start the cycle everywhere again."

Vanessa says that cycle ultimately put her life "on a break". There was very little room, emotionally or financially, for fun and it created stress in her marriage too.

"There is the sexual side of it but also the stress and dealing with each other's feelings," she says.

"He did not say much about it. I was constantly weeping ."

She did this for 5 years — and then her gynaecologist put IVF on the table.

"I could not work out browsing it," she says.

It was not the cost that put her off, though that was significant (IVF can cost around $9,000 per cycle, which comes down to $4,000 out of pocket after Medicare).

She and Craig had already spent tens of thousands of dollars and "were willing to urge loans and spend more".

It was the psychological toll and emotional — one made worse by the nearest IVF clinic being a four-hour drive away.

Vanessa and Craig live in Bellingen, a town of around thirteen thousand on the mid-north coast of New South Wales. She would have had to visit Newcastle twice in each IVF cycle — once to urge the eggs removed and again to urge the embryo implanted.

"The thought of it had been an excessive amount of," she says.

"My ally was browsing IVF and had been trying for 3 years at that time. I just could not cope with that."

Vanessa says the choice to prevent trying still brings her to tears — but it had been ultimately the proper thing for her psychological state and her marriage.

'I was expecting that hypothetical partner to return along'

Penny Robarts, 48, assumed children would always be a part of her story.

"I spent my 20s and 30s thinking 'of course I am going to find my man and I am going to have children and I am going to tick off those boxes."

But in her late 30s, after a series of relationships that had not worked out, those boxes were unticked and she found it increasingly hard to be around children and with friends some of them assumed she just did not want a child.

"People did not understand that I was mourning," she says. "I was sobbing a life that I assumed I used to be getting to have."

It was around this point that she started the method for IVF.

"I went in and that I had the 6 psychological sessions, I filled out all the forms, then I need to the purpose where I used to be given all the documents with the sperm donors' information," she says.

"For me, it was a critical gesture where I realised I do not want to have a sperm donor or father for my child that I do not know and who is not going to play a part in my life."

Penny had some practical reasons for this decision. Being a single parent would be especially difficult as she did not have a solid support system: she lives in Sunshine, an outer suburb of Melbourne, and her family is in New Zealand.

And there were some complex emotions involved too. Penny didn't tell any of her family she was brooding about IVF because she feared she would be concluded.

She remembers loved ones looking down on fertility treatments saying "if you'll not roll in the hay naturally, then it's not meant to be", and casting pity on single mothers.

Looking back on it now, she thinks she internalised those judgements which come from problems in the wider culture and that played a part in the decision too. Years later, however, it is not something she regrets.

"My only reference for people that didn't have children was that they're sad. But there are so many great things about a life without children I was not being shown."


Miss Roberts says that females often feel tons of grief and shame once they stop trying for a toddler.

"Childless ladies are represented within the media because the 'crazy cat lady, or the 'career woman' or 'spinsters' and feminine can absorb these messages," she says.

"They feel this unbelievable sense of shame that they have been unable to travel on to become mothers."

Vanessa says she did not initially reach out for help because she "just felt too guilty and too ashamed".

"Through years of trying, your self-pride is dishonoured because you simply desire a loser constantly … I do not know the opposite childless women. I do not know anyone who is been through all these fertility treatments without coming out with the child. It is very isolating."

"People would say 'oh, miracles happen! Now that you have stopped trying, it still might happen. They just want to fix you but all anyone wants in this situation is companionship and empathy ."

Miss Roberts advises females in this situation to find a counsellor or psychologist that understands their needs.

It might take a few tries to seek out the proper person, but she says it's important to "take a while to have a glance at your relationship with yourself".


After calling off her IVF, Penny took a day off work and went travelling for nine months.

"I visited all my most favourable places and commenced new adventures, and came back feeling specialized about my decision," she says.

But a couple of years later, after a surprise pregnancy and subsequent miscarriage, she found herself in need of more support — and importantly, a community. She created a Facebook group connecting females who are going through similar experiences; a place for people to share their stories.

This group, et al. love it, were hugely helpful to Vanessa too. She spent an extended time just reading the posts, but is now comfortable opening up therein space and providing reassurance to others however she will.

"It is okay if you would like to suppress," she says.

"Your life goes to be okay albeit you're not getting to have kids. It is still getting to be fulfilling and joyous. And there are lots of females out there that can support you."


https:// www.abc.net.au/everyday/why-some-people-decide-not-to-do-ivf/100337096 

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