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Infertility treatments aren’t often a one-sided experience. The process usually involves two people working together to start the family of their dreams. That’s why supporting both parents-to-be is essential if you’re considering buying an infertility gift. Lucky for you, there are plenty of great IVF gift ideas for couples!
While there’s no unwritten rule stating you need to buy a gift for a couple who’s undergoing in vitro fertilization (IVF), it’s an easy way to let them know you care if that’s something on your mind.
Unless you have a magic button to resolve fertility struggles, there’s not much most of us can do when a couple faces challenges conceiving.
Receiving an IVF present, no matter how small or big, can bring moments of peace, happiness, and optimism to an otherwise shitty situation.
If your heart is telling you to purchase something for friends or family trying to conceive, there are some great options out there! Stay tuned to learn more about great gift ideas for infertile couples and information on providing infertility support.
Even though 1-in-8 American couples struggle with infertility each year, not everyone understands what this means. Since most people don’t have a hard time conceiving, it can be surprising that pregnancy doesn’t come easy for all.
Per the Mayo Clinic, the definition of infertility is “not being able to get pregnant despite having frequent, unprotected sex for at least a year.”
It’s a common misconception that conception happens quickly and easily with unprotected sex. Heck, when I was younger, I assumed it only took doing the deed once without a condom to make a baby.
While that’s sometimes the case, for many of us it takes more time.
In fact, only 30% of couples get pregnant during their first month of “trying.”
So, while not conceiving immediately isn’t a cause for concern, if it’s been more than a year of actively trying, there could be a problem that is preventing pregnancy.
Why Do Some Couples Need IVF to Get Pregnant?
During initial infertility workups, doctors will likely request blood work, ultrasounds, and semen analysis to analyze potential conception problems.
While doctors can treat many reproductive issues with minor surgeries and/or medications, others are more complicated. IVF could be the most beneficial and efficient treatment option for couples facing more severe fertility problems.
Some common reasons a couple might require IVF include:
- Low Sperm Count
- Blockage in Fallopian Tubes
- Ovulation Disorders
- Poor Sperm Quality or Motility
- Genetic Disorders
- Uterine Fibroids
- Unexplained Infertility
Infertility Support 101: Why is it Important to Lift Up Your Friends During IVF?
Something a lot of people don’t understand about fertility treatments, especially IVF, is how much goes into them.
Going through an IVF cycle is one of the most challenging things many people will ever do; it is emotionally, physically, and financially draining.
As someone who struggled with PCOS and infertility, plus a husband with paralysis, we knew IVF was the only way to start a family. Despite this recognition, I can’t recall another point in my life when I felt more defeated and overwhelmed.
While the process is undeniably exciting because it could be the chance you need to start a family, the journey to the final pregnancy test comes with more twists and turns than you can imagine.
Not every couple is open about their problems with conception. If they are willing to talk about their experience, however, any additional support will likely be a welcome part of the process.
Support can look like a lot of different things.
It can be a shoulder to cry on when days get rough. It could be watching older children while the parents go for monitoring and tests. It might be a warm meal at the end of the day.
It could even be IVF gifts for couples.
Not everyone has the support they want or need during fertility treatments. If you have a loved one in the thick of the process, help boost them up with a little extra care.
Just as it’s important to help inspire and uplift couples struggling with infertility, it’s also essential to do it correctly.
No matter how well-intentioned people might be, there are actually some things better left unsaid. Some things you should never say to infertile couples are:
- “You need to relax.” – I don’t know how many times people told me to “just relax” to fix my fertility problems. While there can be a connection between stress and infertility, relaxation is not usually the magic solution couples need. Saying this also places undue stress and blame on the hopeful parents–like if they could just relax, they’d automatically get pregnant. Nope, doesn’t work that way.
- Complaining About Your Own Pregnancy – If I’m crying to you about wanting a child and not getting pregnant, the last thing I want to hear is about your long journey with morning sickness or the irritation of round ligament pains. I would take the trials and tribulations of pregnancy over infertility any day.
- “You’re still young.” – Yes, there might still be some time before our fertility runs out, but years pass quickly, and things will only become more challenging as we age. Plus, when a person wants a baby and can’t have one, it doesn’t matter how old they are – it still hurts all the same.
Our Favorite IVF Gifts for Couples
Again, it’s good to remember that buying IVF gifts for friends going through the process is not necessary or expected. A kind note or listening ear will go just as far when supporting your loved ones.
If you’d like to purchase some type of gift, however, there are plenty of good options.
From the first ultrasound of your ovaries to your embryo transfer, each IVF cycle is made up of various steps that take with your partner.
Why not have a little fun with the process?
IVF milestone cards are a great way to create happy memories during difficult times.
Pictures that commemorate the experience will also be a great keepsake when everything is said and done.
Between visits to the laboratory for blood work and collections of the partner’s sperm or a donor’s sperm, every IVF cycle consists of numerous appointments and trips to fertility clinics. Combine those appointments with a rigorous series of injections and medications, and the process can be tough to keep track of.
One thing I wish we had during my cycles was an IVF planner to keep track of necessary information.
This one from FertilityinFocus is a great example of everything you need and want from an IVF planner.
In addition to spaces for appointments and medication notes, this particular notebook has spots for notes about your cycle progress. For instance, you can notate the number of eggs collected during the egg retrieval and how many high-quality fertilized eggs you have before transfer.
Having a planner that both partners can look at and enter information in is helpful in terms of keeping track of all the moving parts of the process.
3. Gift Cards
Let’s face it; sometimes, buying a gift card is the easiest option when you’re shopping for gifts. IVF gifts for couples are no exception. There are plenty of different gift certificate options you could look into if you want to help your loved ones through their fertility treatment process.
When my husband and I were in the thick of our IVF cycles, the last thing either of us wanted to do was meal plan and cook. I felt like crap from the injections and stress, and we both were exhausted from weeks of non-stop trips to the fertility clinic.
We survived off of take-out and dinners at restaurants for much of our infertility treatment.
Whether you want to give your friends a nice date night out or know they’d love an excuse to order in, restaurant gift cards are an excellent present option for anyone going through IVF.
Grocery or Meal Delivery Services
While we’re talking about convenient food options during IVF, grocery gift cards and a subscription service for meal kits are excellent ideas. Not only can they help with the financial strain that’s common with fertility treatments, but they can also ensure your loved ones have access to simple meals throughout their cycle.
One of the unfortunate side effects of infertility drugs is fatigue. When you’re already exhausted, finding the time and energy to clean your house can seem like an impossible feat.
A housekeeping certificate would be much appreciated if you’re interested in purchasing a gift for couples undergoing IVF.
One of the things that I love most about purchasing a couples massage as an IVF gift is that it doesn’t just provide a bit of relaxation. It also offers partners the chance for connection and romance before their lives possibly change forever.
4. Self-Care Products
The challenge of fertility treatments involves more than just aches and pains or a sore abdomen. Struggles with emotions and mental health are also common throughout an IVF cycle.
To help alleviate some of this stress and anxiety, you could always look for various self-care products to use as a gift. You could even create a self-care IVF gift basket that would make your loved ones’ days.
Some examples of products you could include are:
- Essential Oils for Relaxation, like Lavender
- Bath Salts or Bath Bombs
- A Journal or Other a Good Book for People Struggling with Infertility, i.e., “It Starts With an Egg“
- Acupressure Mat
5. Products to Help with Injections
Most people won’t say that shots and injections are their favorite parts of the IVF process. Unfortunately, they’re an inescapable part of the experience.
What if you could gift a couple some products that will make the self-injection process simpler, less painful, and more organized? Whether your friend is the one giving the shot or receiving it, there are plenty of great options.
Throughout the decades of people conceiving through IVF, hopeful parents have figured out which products help improve the injection experience.
- Heating Pads: A heating pad after injection can help reduce pain and calm inflammation.
- Organizers: There are several products on the market, such as the Fertility Caddy, to help organize vials of medication, needles, and other supplies. This is something my husband wishes he had during our cycle. Since partners are usually the ones giving the shots, some type of caddy will help simplify access to necessary equipment.
- Band-Aids: With shots usually comes the need for a band-aid; IVF patients might as well have some fun decorative bandages to use. From classic and cute to bandages that look like bacon (you know a lot of partners would have fun slapping these on after giving a shot!), you can find many awesome (and silly) options.
- Bruise Gel: If shots leave your friend bruised, they might appreciate some type of bruise gel to help their spots recover.
- Ice Packs: During my IVF cycle, my nurses suggested putting ice packs on my injection site before delivering the shot. I found it to help reduce the pain almost every time!
Why Not Put Together an IVF Survival Kit?
If you think you’d like to do something a little bigger for your friend, why not create an IVF care package? Any of the products listed above would make a fantastic addition to the gift basket.
Find a Way to Support Couples Going Through IVF that Feels Right to You
Support can mean many things. While buying IVF gifts is one option, don’t feel pressured to lavish a couple with presents if that’s not what speaks to you.
Above and beyond anything else, just knowing they have a friend behind them during the complicated process will mean more to them than anything.
So, whether you write a note or put together an IVF care package, find an option that feels right to you and your loved ones’ particular situation.
Trust me when I say, any support, no matter how big or small, will make navigating the fertility treatment process a little easier.
If you were going to buy an IVF gift for couples, what type of product would you choose?
Kristen Bergeron is a freelance writer from Florida. In addition to writing, she is a wife, mother of two beautiful girls, Hadley and Scarlett, and a part-time photographer. After overcoming infertility and having two successful IVF cycles, she’s made it a personal goal to help educate men and women on the realities of fertility struggles. She is passionate about supporting fellow women who are trying to navigate the complicated world of conception, pregnancy, and learning to be the best mothers we can be.