The Great Debate: To share or not to share the details of your IVF cycle

by Stephanie Fry

There is a little thing I like to call The Great Debate. Almost everyone battling infertility goes through it and the longer you battle the more complicated it can become, especially if you are doing IVF.

IVF treatment means time off work. It means early morning monitoring appointments and days off for procedures – often at the last minute. And of course the emotional aspects often feel like they merit some sort of explanation. So what’s an IVF patient to do?

For some it’s a no-brainer either way. 100% open about IVF or 100% the other direction: totally private. If you fall into one of those categories it can actually be easier – nothing to think about – it just is what it is.

If things are not so black and white for you consider this advice (and some pro’s and con’s about sharing the details of your IVF treatment) from The IVF Journal Chapter 3: Prepping for IVF.

Consider Your Personal Network. If you have been trying to conceive for some time, it is likely that you are used to fielding questions about your reproductive status. However, during IVF you may find yourself in a new debate about how much to tell certain folks. Sharing the news that you are doing IVF can be cathartic and can be less stressful than keeping things a secret. Sharing means you also may find support in unexpected places and may gain more understanding from family, friends, bosses, and co-workers. But you should also consider that there may be some possible negative aspects to sharing as well. Sharing details can invite unwanted inquiries, advice, questions, and insensitive comments, and you may find yourself having to educate people about IVF when you don’t want to. At the same time, you may learn things about people’s religious and political views that you never wanted to know! Finally, perhaps the most difficult aspect of sharing IVF details is that you will also have to share the bad news if the results are negative. It can be much harder to explain a failed cycle than it is to explain that you are going through treatment. No matter what you decide, it is a good idea to keep the specific timing of your results to yourself; that way you can share the news, positive or negative, at your own pace.

No matter what you decide the choice is yours and like all things you can change your mind at any time and start or stop sharing when you are ready!

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