The Fertility Clinic and Stress
The fertility clinic carries with it an underlying level of stress – whether it’s from past experiences, the reason you’re going in for that day, or that generalized heightened feeling of floating in a space of unknown.
If you approach your fertility clinics in a calm and grounded manner, you’re more likely to make rational decisions, ask thoughtful questions, and in general lower overall stress which is beneficial for fertility.
This stress busting technique is a must-do for all stressful appointments or social encounters. I used it during my fertility treatments and still use it today for when I go to the dentist. Give it a go and see the difference it makes.
It’s 4:02pm and you’re rolling into the parking lot of the fertility clinic for your 4pm appointment in a hot mess – the traffic sucked, work was stressful, and you have to pee.
You burst through the door like a tornado, out of breath declaring your arrival, run to the bathroom, and then take a seat in the waiting room.
And then there’s the waiting room awkwardness…
Silence, phone scrolling, twitchy feet, watch checking, mindless magazine flipping, hand wringing – anything to burn some of your wired energy away.
The tension is thick. Your body is buzzing. You can feel the buzzing of other’s bodies – Your mind is darting around as you try and remember the questions you were going to ask your doc.
I don’t know about you, but my heart rate and blood pressure has gone up just thinking about this…and this is what we want to avoid…
But – It could play out differently. You could be calm and grounded when you go to your next appointment. YES – it is possible.
And here’s how…
The key to an easeful entrance and doctor’s visit is setting yourself up BEFORE you walk through the fertility clinic door.
Here is my Fertility Clinic Stress Buster Technique – it only takes 3 minutes!
Leave yourself enough time to get to your appointment with a few minutes to spare. I know, not always possible, but REALLY make the effort – like REALLY REALLY. If your doctor’s appointment starts at 4pm – YOUR appointment really starts at 3:45 and that is when you’re aiming to get to the parking lot.
Back your car into a spot so you’re facing forward. Lock your car door. Put your keys in your bag, pause, and take a deep breath or two.
Identify and name what you’re feeling – anxiety, fear, anger, sadness, anticipation, excitement (I know, this is everyone’s least favorite thing to do – BUT DO IT!)
Sit comfortably – feet solidly on the floor, hands palm down on your thighs
✮ rub your hands slowly about 6 times up and down your legs ✮ feel the heat you create, hear the sound, and feel the texture of your clothes on your hands ✮ notice the tingling in your hands after you’ve stopped moving them
Close your eyes and begin to take deep full breathes
✮ the inhale travels through the nose all the way down into the pelvis – let the abdomen inflate – total freedom in the ribcage, belly and pelvis
✮ exhale slowly out the mouth with slightly parted lips – like you’re breathing out of a straw
Bring to mind the emotion you’re working with today
Visualize your emotion as something you can breath out of your body
✮ give it a name, a color, a visual
✮ here are some that I use, but feel free to create your own
Anxiousness – breath out bumble bees
Sadness – breath out clouds
Anger – see red light leave your body
Anticipation or Excitement – exhale the color blue
Do this at least 10 times – use your fingers to count
When you are done, slowly open your eyes. Take one more big inhale and exhale with your mouth closed this time, and look around. What do you see? What do you hear? What do you feel?
Walk mindfully to your appointment – calm, steady, and clear.
Here’s the science behind the techniques…
Naming your emotion allows you to be more specific when visualizing and giving your body what it needs. It also takes away some of its power over you
Rubbing your hands on your legs and paying attention to the sensation brings you into the present moment
The deep full breath into your belly activates your vagus nerve which quiets your nervous system and leads you towards the relaxation response
Exhaling through the mouth gently allow some of the frenetic energy that is built up in your body – to leave the body
Visualizations are anchors for your mind and can shift your internal environment
Why 10 times? The monkey mind will wander at around 4 or 5 – so aiming for 10 brings you over the hump of distraction. Using your fingers to count keeps you on task and present.
10 breaths is about 2 minutes with a slow and sustained breathing pattern – often thought to be the magic number when it comes to breath and nervous system regulation (5 breaths per minute).
Naming what you see, hear, and feel brings you back into a mindful and present neutral state
ONE LAST EXTRA CALMING HACK- use your essential oil inhaler or roll on before and after you breathe – check out the fertility specific essential oils (or listen to the podcast) that I recommend – and the ones to stay away from while you’re TTC.
I hope that this brings you some peace on your next fertility clinic visit.