Infertility is a problem that impacts roughly 9% of men and 11% of women across the US. As mental wellness becomes more normalized in society more individuals are seeking counseling from a licensed professional to deal with difficult aspects of their lives. Infertility treatment is certainly a challenging experience; one that is hard on couples and individuals who want so desperately to have a child. Entering into psychotherapy is a very valid way to get the emotional help and support you need while navigating the often confusing and tough journey of infertility treatment.
The Emotional Challenges of Infertility
Although it may seem that way for some people, becoming pregnant isn’t always an easy thing to do. Parenthood is one of life’s major moments and one that impacts the lives of both men and women. No matter the reason behind your infertility, whether male factor, female factor, both or unexplained, infertility is a condition that touches on every aspect of your life. When your desire to become a parent remains unfulfilled, it’s normal to feel angry, depressed, defeated and anxious. These alone are difficult emotions to process.
When you receive a diagnosis of infertility, regardless of the root cause, you feel devastated. And it’s normal to grieve. Many women, in particular, feel a sense of failure or blame their bodies for not being able to do what’s supposed to “come naturally”. No matter how much those around you stress that it’s no one’s fault it can be tough to shake the feeling.
Infertility Treatment Brings Its Own Challenges
Once you begin treatment, some of those feelings may ebb somewhat. With each cycle of infertility treatment, there comes hope, but if that particular cycle doesn’t bring a pregnancy then you feel loss all over again. Treatment for infertility involves plenty of high highs and low lows that can take a real toll on you emotionally. And many couples find going through fertility treatment all-consuming. When couples are trying to conceive that is the sole focus in most cases. You may not notice the toll your treatment is taking on your mental health or your marriage.
It isn’t uncommon for those going through infertility treatment to withdraw socially, isolate, feel sad and depressed. If improving your fertility involves medication that boosts certain hormones, feelings of sadness and mood swings are common side effects. Navigating your treatment and dealing with the emotions surrounding all that you’re going through in a healthy way often means reaching out to a professional psychotherapist.
How Psychotherapy Helps on Your Infertility Journey
Obviously, all the stress of infertility and the treatment to overcome your diagnosis takes a toll on your mental health and may interfere with your treatment. Although it’s unlikely the emotional challenges you face are preventing pregnancy, the way you deal with those feelings, internalizing them or using unhealthy coping behaviors for example, may interfere with your success.
Therapy can help you navigate these extremely emotional times and provide the tools you need to tame the more difficult feelings. Ideally you and your partner should seek psychotherapy prior to beginning your treatment for infertility. While infertility itself causes a good deal of stress the feelings that accompany treatment are equally as overwhelming.
Finding the Right Therapist
It’s best to connect with a therapist understanding of the particular challenges of infertility treatment. There are a lot of options to discuss and decisions to sort through. Gaining support from a skilled therapist who is knowledgeable about and familiar with the different treatment procedures is advisable.
While therapy in itself isn’t going to help you get pregnant pairing the right kind of psychotherapy with the appropriate fertility treatment will lower your stress levels. Having less stress and learning healthy ways to cope with all the other accompanying feelings certainly goes a long way toward improving your overall health and wellness.
Your Partner for Your Fertility Journey
You don’t need to go it alone when you’re dealing with the emotional effects of treatment for infertility. Help is available to you and your partner. Contact LA IVF and we can assist in finding the best way for you to process all the confusing and difficult emotions surrounding infertility. We’re here to help guide you on your journey to growing your family.