Be positive during IVF

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Dr. Manika Khanna

Posted By : Dr. Manika Khanna - M.B.B.S., M.D., D.A.G.E. (Germany)

Posted On : Mar 20, 2013 (Views : 1444)

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The Positive Reappraisal Technique

Thinking more about the positive aspects of a difficult situation and dwelling less on problems or uncertainties for the future helps people feel better. This is especially true during the challenges of the IVF waiting period when there is not much a person can do to influence the outcome of treatment.

This article describes a technique you can use to manage your worries during the IVF cycle. The technique is called Positive Reappraisal technique and was developed by Drs. Jacky Boivin and Deborah Lancastle, experts in coping and fertility problems at Cardiff University.

All situations involve some good aspects and some bad aspects and the aspects we pay attention to often determine how we feel.

The Positive Reappraisal technique can help you manage your worries by encouraging you to think positively about the situation you are currently experiencing. In the context of fertility treatment, the Positive Reappraisal technique involves actively thinking about any positive aspects of fertility problems or fertility treatment itself.

Thinking about the positive aspects of a difficult situation does not mean pretending that everything is wonderful when you do not feel it is or thinking that you will definitely get pregnant when you feel unsure; nor does it mean ignoring all the negative aspects of a difficult situation. What it does mean is choosing to take account of good aspects alongside the more negative aspects of the situation, and reminding yourself that even very challenging situations have some positive elements. Taking the positive aspects into account will help you feel better during the two-week waiting period.

To help people use “The Positive Reappraisal Technique” a card was designed that contains ten different ways of thinking positively. The statements are general and do not refer to any one specific positive aspects because we know that different people will have different ideas about what is or isn’t positive. This small card can be put in a purse or a pocket so you can remind yourself of the Positive Reappraisal technique whenever and wherever you feel the need.

You should read the statements and think about how each statement applies to you personally. For example, what do you feel you have learnt from this experience? Think about the parts of your experience of fertility problems or fertility treatment that have led to something positive or some benefit, or that help you to carry on even when the situation gets really difficult.

As with any new way of thinking and behaving, it can take time for the Positive Reappraisal technique to become second nature. Thinking differently can feel strange and unnatural at first. However, practice will help, so try and persevere.


  • Focus on the benefits and not just the difficulties

  • Try to think more about the positive things in my life

  • Try to do something meaningful

  • Learn from the experience

  • See things positively

  • Make the best of the situation

  • Look on the bright side of things

  • Find something good in what is happening

  • Try to do something that makes me feel positive

  • Focus on the positive aspects of the situation

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