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If you are undergoing or considering in vitro fertilization (IVF), you might consider joining an IVF support group. When choosing an appropriate group, you should consider your personal circumstances, the reputation of the group as well as whether the group is affordable and easy to attend. You also should ask about how the group was organized and facilitated as well as how meetings are conducted. Finally, if you have a spouse or partner, you could solicit their input about choosing a group that you can attend together.
In vitro fertilization is a form of assisted reproduction in which the fertilization of an ovum by sperm happens outside of the woman's body. The fertilized egg is then placed into a woman's uterus in hopes that it will implant and develop into a viable fetus. The process can be physically and mentally grueling, because women typically have to undergo hormonal therapy and there is no guarantee that the process will actually work. Individuals and couples who were undergoing this process might find an IVF support group to be helpful as they work through the challenges involved in the process.
When you first contact an IVF support group, ask about the group's focus and composition. Some people undergo in vitro fertilization as an infertility treatment, and others undergo it because they are choosing to conceive without a partner or because they and their partner are the same gender. In the context of an IVF support group, issues of infertility might be raised. In some cases, the concerns of people who struggle with infertility might conflict with the issues of people who have elected to undergo IVF for reasons other than infertility. Consider asking the group leader whether these issues are often raised in meetings and whether the group is suitable for people in your particular situation.
Other considerations include the cost of attending group meetings and whether you will be able to participate in your IVF support group on a regular basis. If possible, arrange to attend one or more group meetings to determine whether a group is right for you before you pay dues to the group. You also could look for a support group that meets near your work, home or doctor's office in order to make it easy to get to the meetings.
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