Dealing With the Emotional Side of Infertility
Infertility is a common, yet under discussed problem in our countries medical world. In fact, approximately 7.4 million, or 11.9% of women, have received fertility services in their lifetime. Dealing with infertility brings a lot of deep emotions to the surface. A lot of these feelings are entirely normal and to be expected. You may be forced to visit physician after physician, learning of your fertility options. You may visit multiple reproductive centers and have all types of tests conducted. Despite all of these physician visits, you may feel alone during the process. Successful infertility treatment requires much more than physician assistance. Consider these other options to handle the emotional side of infertility.
Counselor or psychologist
When dealing with infertility, you may experience strong emotions you have never felt before. You may feel angry, guilty, resentful, or sad. All of these feelings are normal and you may even experience multiple of them at once. The consistent changing of emotions can actually affect your stress levels. Your stress levels then affect your hormones, and can actually contribute to your decreased fertility. Deal with these new and strong emotions by regularly visiting with a licensed counselor or psychologist. Your reproductive center can recommend one with experience in infertility issues.
Dealing with infertility can make you feel very alone. Your spouse may not have the same level of desire or dedication to the fertility process. Your friends and family all already have children and simply do not understand what infertility feels like. Connecting with other people also experiencing infertility can be helpful in many ways. You can reduce the feelings of aloneness and you can build new friendships based on these connections. Other support group members will understand your feelings like no one else can. With 6.7 million women ages 15 to 44 having impaired fecundity (impaired ability to get pregnant or carry a baby to term), you are not alone. Request support group recommendations from your reproductive center. They may even run their own support groups.
Trust in your spouse
No one will understand your frustrations more than your spouse. They are the one person that knows you the best and will also understand best how to console you. They are also the person that you will be going through the lengthy fertility process with, whether it is artificial insemination or consulting with numerous fertility experts. They are the person who you will discuss further options with. They are also the person that you will raise a child with, if your fertility clinic is able to provide you with fertility.
Have a backup plan
It is important to go into the fertility process with possibilities in mind. Although the center for reproductive medicine may increase your chances of fertility, nothing is guaranteed. Approximately 44% of women with infertility have sought medical assistance. Of those who seek medical intervention, approximately 65% give birth. There are still a percentage of women who are unable to successfully conceive. Going into the process with back up plans can be important for emotional health.
A backup plan might include stopping fertility treatments after an attempted specific number of tries. It might include exploring other options after a failed attempt, such as adoption or fostering children. It might be agreeing to accept the inability to conceive after a specific amount of time. A backup plan should be discussed with your spouse and your physician so that everyone is aware of the possible outcomes.
A person cannot realistically understand the struggles of infertility, until they are forced to go through it themselves. Infertility brings an abundance of emotions with it. If you are experiencing these strong emotions, it is important to find an outlet or a trusted source to deal with them. Strong emotions can actually affect fertility rates and can be a contributing factor to infertility. If you are dealing with infertility and the nagging emotions that come along with it, consider talking with a counselor or psychologist, joining a support group, consulting with your reproductive center for resources, trusting in your spouse, and planning a backup plan before beginning infertility treatments. Your mental health is just as important as your ability of fertility.