Do the Benefits Outweigh the Risks?

This might sound somewhat insane, but recently after our 3rd IVF loss, I asked my RE if there are any safe anti-anxiety medications I can go on should I become pregnant in the future.  I guess this conversation has been crossing my mind again as we are approaching the month of July.  The truth of the matter is, should we plan to do a FET in the fall, it will be here before we know it.

Being a recurrent miscarrier, my anxiety is through the roof once I see those 2 pink lines.  Because for us, those 2 lines mean that the battle has only just begun.  Sometimes I feel odd because most of the women I meet in the infertility world are most stressed about going through the treatment cycle itself and whether or not it will even work.  Rightfully so, because calendars, stims, retrievals, transfers, and 2WW’s, are all extremely stressful things to endure.  But unlike most, when it comes to stressing, we spend the majority of our time thinking about miscarrying rather than the other things, even before the treatment actually begins.

Of course, my RE informed me that there are no “safe” medications for anti-anxiety when pregnant, which is what I figured. She gave me the option of going on a “safe” anti-depressant before I become pregnant, and continuing it through my pregnancy.  I really do not want to do this, considering I am not on any antidepressants now.  And isn’t this situation usually the other way around anyways? Like, a non-pregnant woman may be on antidepressants, but once she is pregnant, she weans herself off the meds. Here I am, a non-pregnant woman who is not on antidepressants, but wants them should I become pregnant! Totally backwards.

At times it pisses me off that what is supposed to be a time of joy and bliss, is now a time of anxiety and fear for us.  I feel like something primal has been stolen from within me.  Probably because it has. Could these feelings mean I am not ready to move forward again in a few months?  Does it mean I need more time to heal mentally?  I don’t believe so. No matter how you look at it, those losses will never go away.  It doesn’t matter how much time passes by.  It still happened to us and we will never get over losing our children.  I believe our fears are justified, and they are a part of us now.  Sure, I’d really just like to go back to being my old, normal self before the RPL days, but I don’t think that is humanly possible.

Regardless of the fears, neither my husband or my mom want me to go on an anti-depressant solely for pregnancy purposes either.  And even though they say some antidepressants are “safe” for pregnant women, there are still risks involved and I don’t believe the benefits will outweigh them.  Ladies, please feel free to share your experiences with this.  For now, the short of it is, I need to find additional relaxation techniques to do in conjunction with the prayer, support groups, coloring, yoga, and acupuncture to get me through a future pregnancy without losing my mind. I never thought I would need to think this far ahead in terms of pregnancy anxiety, but I do.

This being said, one additional resource we plan to use is visualization through Circle + Bloom.  If you missed my prior post about the Circle + Bloom CD programs, they are designed to reduce stress and provide a therapeutic mind-body connection through visualization techniques.  If you research it, you will find that the techniques have shown effective in cancer treatment and education.  I actually received my Circle + Bloom FET 3 disc audio CD in the mail today and  I wanted to share a coupon with you in case you have any interest in purchasing a CD yourself….Circle + Bloom coupon


  

They have audio CD’s for natural cycles, egg donation, pregnancy/delivery, PCOS, energy improvement, sleep, IUI, IVF, etc. Obviously, I have not listened to the FET CD yet, but I have listened to the free Healing & Recovery CD for pregnancy loss and it is really amazing.  To me, the CD is just as, if not more, relaxing than yoga or acupuncture.  Down the road, we plan to purchase the Pregnancy CD as we go through another FET cycle.  I am hoping that I can listen to it frequently and calm myself down when I need it.  Of course, that is if we ever see those 2 pink lines again.

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22 thoughts on “Do the Benefits Outweigh the Risks?

  1. Mindfit- self mastery technology by Dr Patrick porter help me and still thru my pregnancy helps me and I have it packed for my hospital bag.

    De-stress by biotic research is a natural healthy antidepressants

    Nutra-calm is also a natural antidepressants

    I’ve used both De-stress ans nutra-calm and they work (ed) like a charm!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. If you ever want to do a mindfit in office let me know you can come try it on lunch or something I’m obsessed with it. It a clinically proven to balance brain waves and really works amazing I’m always like a walking zombie after 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I am in the same bond as you — both treatments and being pregnant trigger major anxiety. I don’t want to go on a daily anti depressant either. And sometimes the mind body stuff doesn’t work for me. I know everyone loves circle and bloom but it never did much for me. So basically I have no suggestions but I’m right there with you!

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  4. Well, i am going to get a lot of criticism for this, but here is my 2 cents.
    Dont take any medication when you are pregnant. Especially not anti-depressants, my theory is today they call it safe, but 5 years down the line they may choose to compensate all those who were on such medication. Do you really want that? Thats the trouble with medicines, whats proclaimed safe today, is suddenly the worst thing to have a few years later, this includes herbal and natural supplements too, because we just dont know.
    Also, when I was pregnant with my son after 3 prior m/c’s I realised I couldnt take it anymore and just chose to not accept that I am pregnant. I blocked it from my mind , my rationale was if this was going to go south, why break my heart each day before it really went that way. I just accepted it that m/c may be a possibility but I have no choice but to accept it. Hard words, but try to let go. You have no control on anyonea birth or death even if its in your womb, just let it go and dont try to think of the worst before it happens.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Im sorry for your losses. I dont think you will get criticism for your point of view! Everyone is entitled to one. And I agree with some of your points- I dont think the benefits outweigh the risks as I mentioned. Of course, blocking it out might be a way to mentally put aside the worries for some. Its quite difficult for us to do that though while under the care of our fertility dr. due to the serial ultrasounds, payments due appts, and so on.

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  5. Boy do I feel this. I wish I could just float through on Xanax or valium or something, but I know it would just make me more anxious about what the medicine might be doing to the baby. I couldn’t even drink tea, I was so paranoid and looking for something to blame.

    Pregnancy, if I am ever lucky enough to have it happen again for me, will never be a happy time. It will always be constant fear and anxiety.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Oh, wow, that’s a tough one. I’m currently on anti-depressants, which also work pretty well to keep my anxiety in check. It’s a fairly low dose, and I’m on one of the ones that is supposedly safe for pregnancy (not that I’ve ever been pregnant!). I started out with very mild depression which soon became extreme anxiety, and despite weekly therapy, I wasn’t getting better. I couldn’t sleep with the lights off, I was terrified of everything. I think I had some PTSD going on (which I’ve heard can happen with RPL as well, although I haven’t experienced that). I really didn’t want to go on medication. I was worried I wouldn’t be me anymore. But now that I’m on a daily med, I realize that I feel like my old self again, from before all of the bad things in my life happened. My descent into depression and severe anxiety was so gradual that I hadn’t realize how much I had changed. My friends had noticed and tried to tell me, but I didn’t believe them.

    My point is, I would love to not have to take medicine every day, but it’s worth it to be my old happy self again. It does make me nervous in case I actually get pregnant, but stress is also really bad for babies. It’s sort of a choice of the lesser of two evils. Having grown up with a mother who also struggled with anxiety and took it out on her children, I personally am inclined to continue my medication through my hypothetical pregnancy, but that’s a choice everyone needs to make for themselves. If you CAN work through it without medication, using therapy, natural remedies, and the like, that would be awesome! Good luck!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am so glad the medicine is working for u & u are back to feeling like your old self again! I think u are right, every person has to make their own decision and weigh out which is the less of the 2 evils. Thank u very much for sharing what has helped u cope so far!

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  7. It’s a really tough decision – I suffer with reactive depression and found the struggle to conceive really really difficult mentally speaking. I stayed on Prozac all throughout the IVF and only started weaning once I’d got the positive result. I appreciate what you’re saying about the biggest struggle being beyond this point for you, but my midwife did say (echoed by my doctor) that if my mental health started to suffer throughout the pregnancy, they would much prefer for me to be on something that is proven to work for me, and consequently have a chilled out, happier mum, than for me to struggle.
    I also think that the biggest risks with SSRI depressants like Prozac are in the first trimester. They’re also only theoretical risks derived from animal studies, so there’s no saying for definite that they do or don’t cause harm.
    I guess it’s a decision that is personal to every woman. I hope that your CDs and apps work for you, though, and that you won’t have to resort to it

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for sharing!! My RE said the same thing—she doesn’t want me to be miserable throughout the whole pregnancy due to my anxiety. If you don’t mind me asking, how long did you stay on the Prozac before you were completely weaned off? Its nice to talk to others who have actually been on it

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      • No problem, that’s what we’re all here for 😊 I was basically on it for a good year if not longer, but have been on it longer than that previously. I react really well to it, and find that within 4 weeks or so, there’s a noticeable difference to the way I feel. I’m less teary, my moods are less up and down, I don’t react as emotionally and sensitively to things, I sleep better…
        I don’t know if this will help you or make you feel worse but in the UK we use a resource called UKTIS which is the UK teratogens information service. It’s has evidence based guidance on a variety of drugs in pregnancy (look at maternal exposure and search for it by its generic name). I use it for myself (and patients!) all the time. It’s not always clear cut but it’s a good summary of the evidence, I find

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  8. I completely understand where you are coming from. My stress and anxiety comes as soon as I see those two pink lines, not before. I also don’t think that time will change that, because no matter how much time has passed we will always have a fear of what can go wrong. Best of luck to you on whatever you decide. xo

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  9. Oh sugars! I haven’t experienced this kind of anxiety so I don’t have much advice :/. But my heart goes out to you and I am praying for you specifically about this issue because God is bigger than any fear or worry. He alone can heal your mind and settle your heart. Love ya!! Xo

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