It’s fair to say that most committed couples assume that they will become parents one day. This is a mix of cultural and social norms, and personal expectations. The procreation of the species is a base instinct hardwired into humans and it can be very difficult to ignore. According to reproductive medicine sources, infertility is a disease of the reproductive system that affects the body’s ability to conceive a child. Due to the prevalence of this condition and its ever-increasing impact upon the happiness and stability of infertile couples, many clinics such as Cyprus IVF Centre have begun to carry out more and advanced research into the causes of, and solutions to, infertility. There are more and innovative technologies now being explored within IVF. For example, ICSI, improved cryo-preservation strategies and pre-implantation genetic screening.

The physical stresses and strains of IVF are both well documented and well understood. Fifteen per cent of couples trying to conceive end up with assisted conception, and for the woman this means seemingly endless rounds of tests, injections, operations and scans. It can be a gruelling, and sometimes very remote, process. Women report feeling ‘dehumanised’ and like the conception of their child is a purely medical process. Whilst there has been plenty of research done into the physical side effects of fertility treatment, there has not been an equivalent amount of research done into the emotional problems affecting infertile couples. And yet, the psychology of IVF does seem to play a role.

Cyprus IVF Centre with Team Miracle, experience higher conception rates than those who receive their IVF treatment in England-UK

There is evidence to suggest that those couples who undergo treatment abroad at clinics such as Cyprus IVF Centre with Team Miracle, experience higher conception rates than those who receive their IVF treatment in England-UK, whether paid for privately or on the NHS. The reasons behind this are not clear, but are believed to be linked to psychological perceptions about relaxation and space. For example, one study carried out by the University of Birmingham showed that women undergoing fertility treatment in a clinic abroad benefited from not having the usual, daily routines of life to cope with. Living your normal life whilst undergoing treatment doesn’t sound like a lot to manage, but results showed that those women who were able to escape completely from their day to day life were 43% more relaxed than those who did not. It was partly suggested that this could be because of the different response of men and women to the stress of IVF. Repeated studies show that women become distressed by infertility itself, whereas the male partner tends to become more distressed by the changes in the relationship as a result of IVF. Therefore, if the female is able to remain more relaxed, there will be more balance in the relationship and stress levels will be lower overall.

Another interesting study done in 2004 looked at the IVF success rates in women who were receiving their treatment at the time of 9/11 terrorist attacks. This study found that those women were 67% more likely to miscarry than women who began treatment before the attacks, but there was no clear reason found. Michael Pawson, consultant gynaecologist, and until fairly recently chair of the British Society of Psychosomatic Obstetrics, Gynaecology and Andrology, believes that although there is probably a link between the hypothalamus (the body’s master gland) and the pituitary gland (controls both female and stress hormones), the exact relationship has not yet been understood and subsequently that the role of psychology in fertility is not clear. The incidence of pregnancy after rape is as high as it is in women conceiving normally; there are just too many unknowns to draw any clear links anywhere.

But, it does seem overall that if stress can be avoided and positive thinking employed, it gives an advantage to the success of the treatment. With this in mind, take a look at the points below. They show five reasons why undergoing IVF abroad is something to smile about:

  1.  Sex can be fun again. No more schedules as to when it is the best time to conceive and no more lying with your hips on a pillow and your legs in the air for half an hour after doing the deed and no more pressure to get it spot on at the right time. Instead, you can re-introduce spontaneity, freedom to choose whatever position, wherever you like, without worrying that you haven’t maximised the chances of the sperm meeting the egg.
  2.  Alcohol. Many women trying to conceive naturally feel obliged to give up alcohol entirely, as they can’t be sure of the exact conception date. But with IVF, those red letter days are flagged – meaning that you can be free to enjoy a glass (or bottle!) of your favourite wine, secure in the knowledge that your embryos haven’t been transferred yet.
  3. No contraception worries. It may seem a complete anathema to you to think that you’d have to be worried about preventing a pregnancy when you’ve tried to so hard to conceive. However the time will come when at 3am, as you’re woken for the fifth time that night by a tiny, squalling baby, the relief of knowing that a surprise pregnancy isn’t going to happen will be enormous. You don’t have to worry and you don’t have to make hard choices.
  4. Photos. This seems trivial, BUT – we have progressed into a photographic era when it is perfectly usual for unborn foetuses to be photographed and the child’s first portrait hung on the wall before it’s even emerged into the world. You, however, will have the winning card – you can be fairly sure that none of your friends have a photograph of their actual embryo(s). A photograph of your child before it’s even a baby?? It sounds like something from George Orwell’s 1984, but actually, it’s an amazing advancement in technology.
    And the final, fifth, thing…………
  5. No awkward conversations with your parents. You will be blissfully free to announce your pregnancy through IVF, secure in the knowledge that you have avoided your parents having to think about the realities of conception and sexual intercourse. You can give them the wonderful knowledge that they will be grandparents and you could, technically, remain a virgin.