“When my husband and I went through this process, it was like a roller coaster. We had no one to talk to.”
“I had a miscarriage after months of trying to conceive. My family says I am young, I can try again. No one understands how I feel.”
“As a lesbian single woman trying to conceive, I had little support. I longed for a child, always had. I keep trying but it’s not easy.”
“My wife is going through so much right now. Every month she goes into a depression when she gets her period. Is it worth all this?”
When doing a search for “Infertility and Counseling,” most resources offer information on in vitro fertilization, genetic counseling, surrogacy, egg/sperm donors, and even financial planning for the process. All of this information is valuable for anyone trying to conceive (TTC). What is often missing is support for dealing with the emotional side of the TTC process. Infertility can affect your self-esteem and your outlook on life and your relationship.
TTC and infertility are much more than physical processes. Most people experience a variety of emotional issues after a diagnosis of infertility. Medical treatments involving hormones, lab tests, and procedures like semen analysis and egg transfer can add to feelings of stress, confusion, anxiety, and sadness. Each month, you may be holding your breath for a positive outcome, but feel uncertain it will come. It is no wonder individuals and couples trying to conceive express the need for support and understanding.
Some things to remember if you are trying to conceive, or you or your partner have been diagnosed with infertility:
- This can be a trying time; self-care is vital to help you cope with emotional and physical stress.
- Become as educated as you can about options in treatment. Your health care professional should be your partner in the process, able to answer your questions and help you know what to expect.
- Couples: don’t lose touch with each other or your relationship. Communication and mutual support are vital right now – for both of you.
- Don’t forget that sex is about intimacy, too. While this can be challenging when you are monitoring your ovulation cycle, for example, take time to connect with your partner and maintain your bond of intimacy.
- Not everyone will understand what you are going through, and some may even make thoughtless remarks in their efforts to offer comfort. You may find support from others in the same situation, such as support groups or therapy.
- There can be feelings of grief and loss, too, particularly you experience miscarriage. Honor these feelings and be gentle with yourself.
- Make time for other areas in your life that will help you stay balanced: work, friends and family, hobbies, exercise, and relaxation.
Working through this process with a professional therapist can help provide the support and empowerment you need during this time. Do not overlook the importance of your emotional wellbeing while facing fertility issues. Professional therapy can help you feel more positive about the process, as well as strengthening your bond as a couple.
At Narrative Contemporary Therapy, we welcome your call to learn more about how we can help, or to schedule an appointment. We can provide supportive therapy throughout all stages of the experience of TTC and infertility treatment, for individuals, couples, and families. Contact us at (619) 261-4221 for information. My direct line is (619) 252-9811.