You’ve done it all – the long discussions with your partner about the expense (and both of your expectations), the meetings with doctors and therapists, the tests, the medication, the hormones, then the waiting game…and yet there was a chance you would be pregnant at the end of it. Today the test results came back – and it was negative.

Getting a negative result on your IVF pregnancy is very upsetting, says Wijnland Fertility’s psychologist, Lizanne van Waart. She advises couples to express their disappointment but to try and move towards acceptance as quickly as possible. Here are a few tips on how to do it:

– Speak about the experience with your partner, talk honestly about how you felt during the IVF cycle and how the negative result has left you feeling
– The partner battling infertility may feel terrible guilt at causing pain and disappointment but as a couple you need to agree that no one is to blame.
– If your family and friends are waiting for news, don’t rush into telling them. Wait until your feelings have stabilized before sharing.
– Do something special for yourself and your relationship – try a new recipe, go somewhere nice for tea, start a good book or go for a hike. Nature has a way of healing hurts.
– If you do not have a plan beyond your first IVF cycle, wait a while before discussing whether you are prepared to try again.
– Global statistics show that on average, up to 85% of IVF conceptions require three cycles. However, the efficacy of treatment is still proportionate to the patient’s individual circumstances.

Sitting down with your doctor and psychologist after the diagnosis to discuss and understand possible medical and psychological reasons for the negative result will allow you to make informed choices when making a plan to move forward.