Whether you’ve just started your fertility evaluation or are already undergoing treatment, the entire process can be very stressful and emotional. With each step, you might feel lifted up by encouraging news or let down by disappointing news. This “roller coaster ride” can create emotions ranging from sadness to anger to frustration to feeling overwhelmed to a sense of helplessness.
Experiencing infertility is never an easy path, but hopefully the following points about dealing with the emotional side of infertility can help you manage your emotions and provide comfort.
1. Remember that the vast majority of couples are ultimately able to have a healthy child with treatment.
For many couples, the chief concern is whether they’ll ever be able to conceive. With the help of a reproductive physician, the vast majority of couples struggling with pregnancy will ultimately be successful — it just may take specialized treatments to make this happen.
2. You are not alone
While everyone around you may seem to be getting pregnant or already have children, approximately 15 percent of all couples in the U.S. will face fertility issues, and many will be diagnosed with a reproductive disorder.
3. You may go through stages of grief
It can be shocking and devastating to receive a diagnosis of infertility. Furthermore, you may experience loss through miscarriage(s) and unsuccessful cycle(s). Some may go through Kübler-Ross’ five classic stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. Learning to cope with loss and grief is a very important part of the infertility process.
4. Learn as much as you can
Once you know more about your fertility issues, research them. Develop a list of questions for your doctor and be active in your own care. Listen to different options and make the best decisions for you and your partner.
5. You need support
Infertility is a very personal issue, so you may hesitate to share your emotional experiences…and feel isolated as a result. Communication between you and your partner during this time is essential. In fact, many couples find that they actually strengthen their relationships by supporting each other through this process. Reaching out to those close to you can also help get you through difficult moments.
6. Take time for yourself
Each person handles stress and pain differently. Some people find comfort writing in a journal while others choose exercise or yoga as a stress reliever. Coping strategies that are healthy make you feel better, making a difficult process more manageable. Also, people experiencing infertility sometimes deny themselves pleasures like travel or having a night out on the town. Don’t forget to have a little fun, and remember that the vast majority of couples are ultimately able to conceive and deliver a healthy child — sometimes it just takes time and help to do so.
For more information about infertility, please contact Fertility Associates of Memphis at 901-747-2229.