Infertility: Why I rejected IVF

It's been a long time - a year to be precise - since I spoke about our infertility journey. There's been a lot of thinking, frustration, jealousy... every emotion you can associate with this situation! It's not been an easy decision to make but my scientific brain will always overrule any major decision. The pro's and cons were just too much to ignore. I've decided not to pursue IVF treatment. 

Infertility: Why I rejected IVF
image via Pixabay

Why? Even prior to my diagnosis with Bipolar Disorder I knew I was at risk for some serious reactions to the massive doses of hormones and post-natal complications such as psychosis or severe depression, which yes can be managed but it puts a dark cloud on what should be a positive, happy and loving time instead of filled with anxiety and waiting for something awful to happen. Now I have bipolar disorder confirmed, these risk factors go up to a 50% likelihood of severe mental illness. The decision has basically been made for me. 

It's heartbreaking, but it's the right thing to do. I couldn't knowingly go into IVF armed with this knowledge and put an innocent life in danger. I can't help but be very, very worried that I would fall into the 50% that become unwell and I fail to bond with the baby or god forbid go into psychosis and put the child in real danger. We did consider surrogacy, but in England, it's incredibly complex and expensive. Not to mention the fact I don't think I'd ever be able to have that level of trust in someone... 

If I happen, by some miracle, to get pregnant naturally then we'll deal with that on a basis of extensive counselling and symptom management. I definitely wouldn't terminate a pregnancy unless it was medically necessary. I've been off contraception for 5 years now so it's safe to say it's highly unlikely I'll ever get pregnant on my own, but bodies are weird and I know it can happen to people. The other issue is my medication for bipolar. I'd have to come off it, which with type 1 is very risky.

So now I'm in a place of grieving a loss for something I never had and dealing with the anger towards my body for once again failing me. I still get horribly jealous of people who become pregnant, despite being delighted for them, it's a really confusing emotion to have. I'm happy to be the cool aunt in life, that's absolutely fine. 

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