Fertility treatment reaches its peak with the embryo transfer, in the case of IVF, or insemination. All that remains is to wait for the blood test on which all your hopes are pinned. This test will measure the hormone that predicts pregnancy. This period, popularly known as the beta wait, lasts between 9 and 14 days, depending on what the doctor determines in each case.
The psychologist at IVI Madrid, Soledad Chamorro, talks to us about what happens during these days, when tension and nerves build up, sometimes leading to anxiety. How to cope with the beta wait? What to do to keep your mind busy and optimistic?
Stress in the beta wait
We often talk about the emotional rollercoaster when referring to the emotions of fertility treatment. For 40% of women, stress levels are so high that they lead to episodes of anxiety marked by obsessive thoughts, fears and sadness. This can have a very negative effect on relationships with partners, friends and family.
It may seem that the most complicated period is the pre-testing and administration of medication. However, Soledad Chamorro explains why the beta wait is also complex.
“The beta wait means transitioning from the first phase of treatment, where you have an established roadmap (punctures, consultations, etc.), to waiting times without knowing the result. It seems like forever and you have no control over it. Managing this level of stress is very important so that it affects day-to-day life and the process itself as little as possible”, explained Soledad Chamorro, psychologist at IVI Madrid.
At times, the excitement of being able to see the end of treatment is combined with the nerves of a wait in which you have alternate feelings of euphoria and despair.
Tips for coping with the beta wait
After weeks or even months in which punctures have been scheduled and oocytes have been fertilised, a wait of just 15 days arrives. Paradoxically, it’s difficult to keep calm during this time. In addition, many patients are already emotionally exhausted. They reach this point after a history of failures and the initial shock of facing a problem of infertility.
Efforts should be focused on remaining calm and positive during these days. “It’s important to put in place resources that aim to achieve greater emotional well-being and thus also reduce the associated stress”, said the psychologist at IVI Madrid.
With the help of Soledad Chamorro, we explain what you should avoid doing during the beta wait to keep anxiety to a minimum.
Pregnancy symptoms: don’t look for them
Some women think they notice changes during these days. Although, the truth is that there are others who, despite being pregnant, experience absolutely nothing. There’s no point in obsessing about looking for physical signs, or constantly checking for menstruation. This will only lead to obsessive behaviour that doesn’t help.
When faced with spotting: don’t panic
Implantation bleeding is common in the beta wait. In any case, menstruation can be delayed during this period even if you’re not pregnant. Keep calm and wait for the blood test.
Constantly talking about it is not beneficial
It’s true that externalising emotions is positive. However, you must avoid letting the possible pregnancy or the treatment monopolise all conversations. If this happens at the insistence of those around you, let them know. Tell them that you’d rather not talk about it all the time right now.
Find activities for this time
You can lead a completely normal life, you shouldn’t stop working or carrying out your usual routine. It’s better not to have too much time to think. In any case, look for activities that you enjoy and even better if they are outdoors, as this will help you to encourage positive thoughts.
Looking for information that has not been verified is counterproductive
Although it’s good to have information about treatments to manage uncertainty, this must always be rigorous. The best thing to do is to trust the professionals who are treating you. At IVI the team will resolve any doubts you may have. Avoid searching on the internet, especially on unreliable websites.
Do not do home pregnancy tests
Any test that you do on your own during the beta wait may give incorrect results: a false positive or a false negative. In both cases the effects on mood are detrimental. Therefore, you should resist the temptation to look yourself and wait for the blood test.
Avoid thinking too far in advance
You should focus on the “here and now” because your nerves can betray you. It’s easy for your thoughts to become irrational due to the anxiety of the wait. Recurring thoughts of “What if?” only lead to loops that you can’t get out of. That’s why it’s important to keep your mind entertained with pleasant activities during the beta wait.
Emotional support unit at IVI
At IVI we’ve been providing medical solutions to infertility problems for more than three decades. We also focus on emotional support for our patients. We know this is an essential part and that’s why we have Emotional Support Units in our fertility clinics, where we’ll help you throughout the process.
“These are long processes that tend to wear you down. That is why it’s important to see a professional when the emotional overload appears and changes our daily and social habits. In short, we need to tackle it before it takes its toll and discourages us even more”, explained Soledad Chamorro. She also added: “Mental health is crucial to start this journey”.
Do not hesitate to contact our team by phone or by filling in our online form and we’ll call you. We’ll answer any questions you may have.