Peta Credlin's Battle to Conceive

Peta Credlin held one of the most powerful jobs in Australia as former Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s Chief of Staff.  Last night she spoke out about her battle trying to conceive (TTC).  Managing the gruelling demands of IVF and keeping on top of your professional game is something many women going through IVF experience.

Ms. Credlin spoke about having never thought IVF wouldn’t work, as she had only ever heard about the success stories.   At Positive Mind Body Australia we know that thousands of women go through cycle after cycle, experiencing a roller-coaster ride of hope, anticipation, worry, fear, disappointment and loss.  With average IVF success rates being 50% for women under 30, and only 20% for women over 40, a lot of women are faced with the disappointment of an unsuccessful cycle.

Image: Peta Credlin

Image: Peta Credlin

This story is testament that there are no guarantees.  No matter how ‘important’ your job is, or how much money you have, there is no guarantee that IVF will be the answer.   We can imagine that at some stage Peta would have asked herself “does the stress in my life,” (and we expect she has had her fair share) “affect my fertility?”  Could the stress of such a high demanding job contribute to the failure of cycle after cycle?  Growing research says stress does play a part in infertility and also in the success of fertility treatments such as IVF (please click here for more information on research around stress and infertility) .

So how do you give you body the best chance to succeed?  How do you stay calm to manage the highs, the lows, and the demands of the juggle?

We know that good physical health is vital, good sleep, diet, and moderate exercise.  We also know that effective coping strategies are essential.  Scientific studies from the field of positive psychology and neuroscience have shown that doing things that you love and bring you joy can really decrease your stress levels.

Having time to do the things that nourish and bring you joy and happiness, help the mind release all the ‘good’ hormones to support the body’s natural functioning, rather than releasing the stress hormones that damage our internal processes.

So if you are struggling with infertility or the IVF process, this weekend treat yourself to something you enjoy.  Go for a nice walk along the beach; treat yourself to a massage; lunch with the girls; play in the park with the dog; enjoy a special dinner with your partner at your favourite restaurant; or even just a snuggle on the couch with one of your secret indulgences like chocolate and a fun movie.  Whatever it is, leave all the demands of the crazy world of TTC behind, take some good belly breaths and experience some joy, after all you deserve it.