What makes you happy and fulfilled? What are your life goals other than having children? Can you imagine a satisfying life without children? What would that look like? Is there anything you might like to change in your current situation including career, where you live, and your life outside work?
Even if you decide that you are not ready to stop treatment now, it can be helpful make a plan. You may base this on a certain number of cycles, or by a particular age or time of year. If you have never contemplated a child-free existence then you may need to do some serious thinking and seek counselling.
Stopping treatment is hard...
It hurts. It involves sadness and letting go of the life you planned. There is no quick fix solution to get through this. Allow yourself to grieve for the child/ren you hoped to have. This is a particularly complicated grief as it is often intangible and hidden. Those around you may not understand what you are going through. It may be hard to put into words exactly what you have lost. It involves the loss of being a parent, of passing on your genes, being a grandparent, and being part of a wider community who have children.
Strategies for moving on
Moving on from IVF might invovle a major reassessment of your life and significant readjustment. This can be similar tochallenges people face when they retire or their children leave home. Children alone do not bring happiness. Ask your self: 'What will give my life meaning? Is it possible to find the satisfaction I had hoped to achieve from children in another way?'.
When IVF fails, people often feel very disappointed and sad. However, follow-up studies show that within a few years of ending treatment, there are very few differences in terms of emotional wellbeing and life satisfaction between those who had a baby as a result of IVF and those who did not.
Deciding to stop treatment: Ann & Alister's story
A life after IVF: Ann & Alister's story
People who have embryos in storage sometimes find it difficult to decide what to do with those they do not plan to use. The most common reason that people report for stopping treatment is that they have completed their families. However, illness, separation or other circumstances may also prevent people from using their stored embryos. Victorian legislation specifies storage limits for gametes and embryos.