Everyone’s infertility journeys are unique in every way. There are numerous causes of infertility, timelines, and family dynamics that are vastly different from person to person. The end resolution of how couples ultimately conceive their children almost never looks the same. However, there is a common thread in all cases of infertility. It is always extremely difficult, emotional, and life-changing. Thus, coping techniques are extremely important.
First, please know that you’re absolutely not alone. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that approximately 12% of women ages 15 to 44 experience difficulty getting pregnant or successfully carrying a pregnancy to term. Infertility certainly doesn’t affect just women – in about 35% of couples struggling with infertility, both male and female factors are identified as possible causes, and 8% of the time the cause is attributed to a male factor.
While infertility is never going to be easy, understanding some healthy coping mechanisms can help support both you and your partner as you navigate it.
Give Yourself Permission To Feel
People respond and react to situations differently, and that is especially true of something as deeply personal as miscarriage. If you feel like you need to cry, scream, be alone, go shopping, take a walk, or even pound your fists into your pillow out of frustration, allow yourself to do it. Don’t simply shut down or try to ignore your feelings. All feelings are valid and it’s much healthier to acknowledge them.
As we just discussed, there are no “wrong” feelings. Everyone has to get through life’s challenges differently and that’s perfectly okay. Recognize, regardless of how you feel about your infertility struggles and how you cope with them, your partner’s method may be completely opposite. It doesn’t mean that he or she feels any more or less strongly than you do. Treating them as such will only serve to isolate you both instead of uniting you.
Help Others Help You
Infertility is a highly sensitive subject that most of your family members and friends likely aren’t comfortable discussing. However, that doesn’t mean they don’t want to. Help educate your loved ones about what you’re going through by asking them to do some research. Have an open, honest conversations about how they can best support you. This goes for your partner, as well. You can’t expect him or her to read your mind and since you’re likely coping with infertility differently, it’s important to communicate exactly what you need.
Know When To Ask For Help
Infertility is, without question, one of the most difficult things a couple could face in life. There’s stress, uncertainty, important medical decisions, financial considerations, and several other factors. These issues put added pressure on a relationship and bring up a whole gamut of emotions. Understand that just about any emotion you’re having is “normal,” with some exceptions. Slight inability to concentrate, frustration, sadness, jealousy of others who are pregnant or recently welcomed a child are all normal emotional responses and will lessen as time passes. However, if you find yourself increasingly depressed, uninterested in activities you normally love, unable to sleep or eat, having anxiety, or having suicidal thoughts, you should reach out to your fertility clinic to discuss mental health treatment options.
Perhaps one of the most stressful aspects of infertility is the uncertainty of it all. There’s often no definitive cause of infertility, a set timeline, or sometimes even next steps, and it’s easy to feel powerless. As the saying goes, “knowledge is power.” Arming yourself with information about all things infertility can go a very long way in not only helping you better understand what you’re going through, but also help you feel like you’re a central player in the journey – and you are!
At Viera Fertility Clinic in Melbourne, FL, we understand how frustrating and difficult infertility is. Our goal is to help you navigate every aspect of this. From understanding and coping with it, to helping you find the best path toward a successful pregnancy, we are here for you. Please contact us to schedule your consultation as soon as you’re ready. We look forward to meeting you.