Counseling & Support


Infertility is often difficult to manage, and is exacerbated when it is prolonged, when there isn't family or social support at hand, when there are other major stresses in your life, or when you have had other losses. The counsellor's role is to provide a framework for you to explore your thoughts and feelings, to enhance your coping strategies, and to anticipate and assist in managing IVF treatment stresses.

Our team of counsellors, Dr Aparna G, Dr Vidhi S and Mrs Mala Shah have ample experience in taking you through this complex journey. Moreover, Dr Jatin, himself is quite easily accessible at the clinic for support.

Deciding Upon IVF

Knowing when to move on from IVF can be one of the hardest decisions a couple has to face. You can never turn around and say, 'I am only doing IVF three times' – it's not always that cut and dried. There are other options that you may wish to consider, such as egg donation or surrogacy. Some couples may choose to look towards adoption or decide to remain childless.

Coping With Failures

Even when a couple has taken great pains to make sure they prepared themselves in every way possible to ensure they have the best possible chance of conceiving, sadly it doesn't always guarantee the best desired outcome. The realisation for some couples that treatment hasn't worked can still always come as a shock, even if they did not have the most positive mind set during treatment. Again, having someone to talk to is hugely important during this emotionally challenging time.

Counselling helps couples deal with the stress of infertility and prepares them for the emotional highs and lows of treatment. At counseling sessions, patients get the chance to ask questions, learn from the experiences of a counselor who has first hand experience with fertility treatment, learn what to expect emotionally during IVF, and develop coping strategies. When you embark on IVF treatment you may experience many different emotions; from joy and excitement to grief and disappointment. This can be an emotionally and physically challenging time, so at Mumbai Fertility and IVF, we offer confidential fertility counseling and support.

Coping With Success

When the journey for those who have been trying for a long time, have had previous miscarriages or unsuccessful IVF cycles, ends in a positive pregnancy the feeling is incredible. For many women the happiness of finding out that they are pregnant is all too quickly overtaken by a roller coaster of fear, elation and anxiety during the first trimester as they await confirmation that everything is ok

Our Counselors

Our experienced counselors are available at each clinic before, during and after your fertility treatment, whenever you feel you need further support or strategies to manage your treatment more confidently. Our services include:

  • Pre-treatment counseling
  • Supportive counseling.
  • Donor and surrogacy counseling

For the majority of treatments, you can access our counseling services free of charge at any time during your treatment or following a cycle. We are experienced in helping individuals and couples deal with difficult circumstances and emotions, and encourage you to take positive steps through counseling so you can feel more in control of your treatment, emotions, physical health and relationships.

MFC's Supportive ART Counseling Can Help You:

  • Prepare for fertility treatments, and explore the options and implications when making decisions about starting, changing or stopping treatments.
  • Deal with the emotional and psychological impact of treatment.
  • Work on relationship issues (spouse, parents) that may arise as a result of treatment or may be affecting your treatment.
  • Cope with unsuccessful / failed treatment cycles or pregnancy losses.
  • Develop coping strategies for dealing with other people's pregnancies, births and children.
  • Deal with the reactions of families, friends and work colleagues.
  • Explore ways to help you feel more in control and positive.
  • Manage the anxieties of pregnancy and preparation for parenthood.
  • Deal with the specific issues related to donor treatment cycles and surrogacy.

Donor Counseling

If you are considering using donor gametes – be it eggs, sperm or embryos, you may at first feel overwhelmed by the number of issues that you need to consider when thinking about creating your family through genetic material provided by a donor. Counselling helps you consider your emotional responses to this decision, the implications of having a donor conceived child, your attitudes towards informing the child and others, and the Indian legislation regarding donor conception.

Our specialist counseling team can help you with decision making, and is available for the mandatory counseling sessions you will need to undertake.

We can provide information and support with regards to considerations such as:

  • Implications of having a donor-conceived child.
  • Disclosure to the child, family, friends and extended networks.
  • Legislation regarding donor conception.
  • Considering the possible needs of the donor-conceived child.
  • Managing relationships/future contact with donors.

The following issues will be discussed as relevant to your situation (with third party ART)

  • How each partner feels about the proposed treatment
  • The effects of the proposed treatment on any existing children.
  • Who will you tell? The advantages and disadvantages of openness.
  • Attitudes of friends and family to the proposed treatment.
  • Thoughts & concerns about the future child where one parent is not the genetic parent.
  • Openness, secrecy and what, when and how to tell a child.
  • Short and long-term implications of known or anonymous donation.
  • Short and long-term implications of surrogacy.
  • The implications surrounding the legalities of egg and sperm donation and surrogacy.

Counselling / Holistic Therapy

Several kinds of emotional issues often come up for couples such as:

  • Dealing with the emotional rollercoaster ride associated with fertility treatment.
  • Coping with other peoples' pregnancies and children (relatives and friends).
  • How/if to tell family/friends/colleagues.
  • Managing Stress.
  • Relationship difficulties with partner/ family.
  • Moving towards consideration of third party options e.g. egg donation, surrogacy.

Other Relaxation Technique

Acupuncture: Research shows acupuncture is an effective, low intensity procedure that can increase a woman's physical and emotional resilience during the IVF cycle. Women who have acupuncture often report improvements in physical and mental health including better sleep and improvements in mood and self-confidence.

Yoga: It's important to try to manage or reduce your stress levels while you're trying to conceive or having fertility problems. There's evidence that stress reduction is actually beneficial to your fertility and yoga has been proven to promote relaxation and may also improve your physical health.

The emotional journey for couples trying for a baby can be extremely turbulent even at the best of times. The discovery that you may need to seek additional medical support to boost your chances of conception, as well as any resulting treatment that may be advised, can sometimes intensify obstructive negative feelings.

It is so important that both men and women have someone they can talk to about their concerns. This may be a partner, a parent, a sibling, a friend or a colleague. It really does not matter, provided you can trust someone and feel comfortable with them, which is all that may be needed. However, many couples do not feel comfortable confiding in friends and relatives. This is especially true in India where infertility is still considered as a major social stigma and IVF as taboo. This is where counselling can help. Fertility counselling is a process through which individuals and couples have the opportunity to explore their thoughts, feelings and beliefs in order to come to a greater understanding of themselves and their present situation.

Your emotional response to your situation can have a real impact on your approach to dealing with it and thereby also affect the IVF outcome. It is not always easy to keep negative feelings at bay when trying for a baby. Emotional upheaval, uncertainty and feelings of doubt and failure can at times arise and need to be tackled in a scientific and sensitive manner. Past or present experiences with treatment or spouse can also create blocks that prevent the optimal emotional circumstances for conception to take place.

The right combination of counselling, emotional/moral support, acupressure, yoga, meditation, music and hypnotherapy can be crucial for some in helping to overcome difficulties in relationships, sexual life, stress management and coping with delayed conception.

Often, a single session of counselling can be hugely effective in helping you to work through some of these issues, whereas in other cases multiple sessions may be more appropriate. You can be seen on your own or with your partner and although most counselling is done face to face, telephone / e-mail counselling is also available. You might want to share your anxieties and fears with our counsellors before you begin the IVF treatment.

Confidentiality: Whatever you discuss during your counselling session is confidential. No information will be disclosed to anyone without your permission (even to your partner if you so wish)

Mala Shah is our Specialist Fertility Counsellor. For over 20 years, Mala's work has increasingly highlighted the real difficulties that so many couples face in their highly pressurised lives, from the time of first considering IVF right through the procedure and beyond. She also has special expertise in Third Party ART procedure counselling (for egg, embryo, sperm donation and surrogacy).

Vidhi Shah is also a Specialist Fertility Counsellor. For over 5 years, Vidhi's work has helped many a couple overcome the constant emotional struggle and internal battles that rage especially after a failed IVF attempt. Her gentle and reassuring approach is almost magical.

Dr Aparna Gangadharan, besides being an ace gynaecologist and chief assistant IVF consultant, is also an astute IVF counsellor. She aids the couple (often in the first visit itself) in making conscious decisions about the best treatment options, time lines and success rates. Her no-nonsense approach has endeared her to every couple who visits the clinic for treatment.

Mala Shah is our Specialist Fertility Counsellor. For over 20 years, Mala's work has increasingly highlighted the real difficulties that so many couples face in their highly pressurised lives, from the time of first considering IVF right through the procedure and beyond. She also has special expertise in Third Party ART procedure counselling (for egg, embryo, sperm donation and surrogacy).

Vidhi Shah is also a Specialist Fertility Counsellor. For over 5 years, Vidhi's work has helped many a couple overcome the constant emotional struggle and internal battles that rage especially after a failed IVF attempt. Her gentle and reassuring approach is almost magical.

Dr Aparna Gangadharan, besides being an ace gynaecologist and chief assistant IVF consultant, is also an astute IVF counsellor. She aids the couple (often in the first visit itself) in making conscious decisions about the best treatment options, time lines and success rates. Her no-nonsense approach has endeared her to every couple who visits the clinic for treatment.

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