How to Cope with Infertility
Dealing with infertility can be a struggle. People often feel alone, unsure of their feelings and pressurised to act as ‘normal’. However, it’s important to know that it’s okay to feel down and that you are not by yourself in this tough time. Infertility is something that up to one in six couples experience and though it’s difficult to overcome, there are tips to help you cope with this issue.
Don’t blame yourself
Although issues with fertility aren’t your fault, often people can think they are to blame. The negative voice in your head can tell you that it was something you did or that maybe you should have tried earlier or that if you’d changed just one thing, things would be different. Though an understandable state of mind, don’t let these thoughts get the better of you. Remember – it’s not your fault.
Acknowledge your feelings
If you are struggling with infertility, it can be difficult to know how you should feel. Anger, sadness, disbelief – you may feel all of this and more. No matter the feeling, know that it’s important that you allow yourself to release this emotion. If you are angry, find a way in which to express that frustration. If you are sad, it’s okay to cry. Addressing and dealing with your feelings should bring some relief.
A lack of knowledge about your fertility problem can be scary and play on your mind. Online myths and old wives tales can add to this misinformation. Therefore, seeking out relevant information from a trustworthy source can reveal more about your personal situation and enable you to develop a plan.
Talk to your doctor, reach out to others who’ve gone through similar experiences and find an online community. This can help you learn about treatments, your options, and point you in the direction of help. Above all, make sure you’re getting advice from a trusted source. There are countless myths relating to infertility which can be presented as facts but are simply untrue, which will only serve to add to your worries instead of alleviating them.
Talk to your partner
Couples are often unsure about how best to communicate when they are going through fertility issues. However, it’s important for you and your partner to support each other, particularly as this a personal issue and they may be the only ones who know what you are going through.
To help keep communication open, regularly check in on your partner to see how they are feeling and spend time together on things that aren’t fertility-related to nurture your relationship. Also, realise that your partner might not experience the same reaction or emotions as you.
Discuss how long you want to try
If you have recently discovered that you’ll need assistance conceiving, it can be a confusing time. Although there are a number of options you can take to try to conceive, they can take time and be emotionally draining.
If you decide to take these options, talk to your partner about a time frame of how long you plan to try. This will help you feel more in control of the situation and help you come to terms with what might happen.
Don’t be afraid to say no
If friends, family or siblings are having children and celebrating with events, don’t be afraid to decline the invitation. For some, these occasions can be very painful and that’s a perfectly acceptable reaction. People will understand so don’t feel obligated to go or guilty about missing out.
Sometimes, it can all feel like it’s just too much to bear. Reach out to someone – a friend, family member or a professional. They can help ease your pain, offer you solutions and advice and help you deal with your emotions. Remember, you aren’t alone in this.
This blog was written in partnership with Mr Declan Keane, founder and Senior Clinical Embryologist at ReproMed.