Morning visits to the clinic, injecting yourself daily, monitoring your follicle production and praying that your body responds positively — infertility management is never an easy road to take. Compounded that with infertility in and of itself, you’re already coming in with low emotional reserves. If you have a hard time coping with infertility and all that comes with it, know that you are not alone. Discover some of the ways you can alleviate infertility stress, ensuring that you and your partner have a smoother journey to realising your dream.
Infertility Stress: What It Encompass
Infertility is often a silent struggle. Those that struggle to conceive may experience bouts of depression, anxiety, isolation, and loss of control. In fact, studies have shown that depression levels in patients with infertility may rival that with patients who have been diagnosed with cancer. These psychological effects may occur regardless of whether the couple is facing male infertility, female factor infertility, or both.
Unfortunately, infertility brings about feelings of isolation and inadequacy in which it becomes difficult for infertile couples to seek help or even comfort from those around them. Compounded by the financial strain from infertility management and fertility treatments, it may become increasingly hard to bear. If the couple continues to suffer alone, it may interfere with their quality of life and the quality of their relationship.
If this is something you realised that you or your partner have been struggling with, know that there is still light at the other end of the tunnel. There are several healthy coping strategies available that can help you and your partner to overcome these feelings better.
Healthy Coping Mechanisms to Alleviate Infertility Stress
Identify and Acknowledge Your Feelings
Infertility stress, as with infertility itself, is a complex and convoluted issue. Often than not, there are several individual emotions that are tangled in expectations from inside and outside, which often makes addressing the issue that much more challenging. As such, overcoming this hurdle requires you to identify and acknowledge the emotions that you may be feeling. These may include:
Feelings of rejection or abandonment
Feelings of being judged and scrutinised
Feelings of inadequacy
Feelings of guilt
Feelings of loss
Feelings of shame
Loss of self-esteem
Once you have identified these emotions, consider the contributing factors that gave rise to these feelings. You may want to use prompts to initiate the self-reflection process. Start by asking yourself what these feelings are about, where they come from, and to whom they are directed. By digging deeper, you may start understanding these emotions and share them with those who can help you.
With how emotionally difficult fertility treatments can be, it is crucial to equip yourself with support. You may want to turn to your partner when coping with emotional distress. However, bear in mind that the accumulated pressure may make it difficult to sort out your emotions together. Worse, it may just aggravate the situation.
Instead, consider reaching out to your close family members and friends for support. However, be sure to be selective with your choices as the source of some of your negative emotions may come from those closest to you. Conversely, you may also find comfort in being part of support groups where infertile individuals and couples alike gather to share their feelings and thoughts without any judgements. If you are unsure where to look, you may ask your infertility doctor in Singapore to refer you to one.
Seek Professional Help
Do not hesitate to seek professional help should you need it. Depending on your needs, you may want to schedule an individual consultation or seek couple therapy. Whilst it is good to see a therapist specialising in infertility, it is not necessary. Note that finding a therapist that meets your needs may require multiple tries. Do not be afraid to see multiple therapists until you find one you like.
The O&G Specialist Clinic: Giving You the Support You Need
Infertility can be a lonesome journey to go alone, even if you have your partner right by your side. At The O&G Specialist Clinic, we understand how physically and emotionally taxing infertility management can be. As such, we wish to aid you through this challenging time by offering services that cater to your needs and specific circumstances, taking into account your physical, emotional, and financial factors.
Beyond your fertility health, we place your overall well being as our priority. Our team of fertility specialists will be supporting you every step of the way, offering you the empathy and compassion you need to navigate your way around your infertility issues.
Let The O&G Specialist Clinic assist you during your journey towards parenthood.
Rooney, K. L., & Domar, A. D. (2018). The relationship between stress and infertility. Dialogues in clinical neuroscience, 20(1), 41.
Peterson, B., Boivin, J., Norré, J., Smith, C., Thorn, P., & Wischmann, T. (2012). An introduction to infertility counseling: a guide for mental health and medical professionals. Journal of assisted reproduction and genetics, 29(3), 243-248.