There are so many facets when dealing with infertility that can leave you feeling emotionally overwhelmed. There is the medical/financial side of the issue with doctors appointments and insurance…then you have well intentioned parents and friends who ask “when are you starting your family.” There is also the stress on your relationship because your dream of having a baby is delayed and sex seems like a chore. All this is happening while you are coping with all the other aspects of your life. It can be too much.
How should you deal with the stress of infertility?
I work with my patients to provide them with coping mechanisms to deal with their emotional overload. We meet regularly to discuss their struggles and together we find ways to shift the negative thoughts toward a more positive direction. The goal is to reduce the negative impact of the current challenging situation.
- Do not blame yourself. Infertility is a medically diagnosed condition that has been around for ages. Once diagnosed, it is important to find a way to feel empowered. The more you blame yourself and your body the more stress you are going to experience.
- Talk to your partner. Couples often visit my office together to work through these issues so they can feel that infertility is not going to break them. It is important to talk about and process what is going on and make sure you are treating each other well during this difficult time.
- Educate yourself on the procedures and different options. Here in New York City we have some of the most gifted doctors in the world, so find out what they are doing and what procedures might be appropriate for your particular circumstances.
- Know your limits. Infertility treatment is expensive and the time it takes to conceive or make alternate plans can be lengthy. As you go through the process of dealing with infertility you may need help setting goals so it is helpful to have an idea of your budget and also a timeline of when to consider other options such as adoption, surrogacy or remaining childless.
- Stay away from people and activities that make you anxious. While it is healthy to still be social you might want to carefully consider situations that may make you feel uncomfortable. If you find that people in your life want to know what is going on with infertility treatments, do not hesitate to protect your privacy. Only you can know what may trigger sadness, anxiety or grief so trust that if you don’t want to talk, it’s ok.
Infertility is not easy to deal with and it can stress and test the bonds of your marriage, your finances and the limits of your emotional capacity. Sometimes, taking it easy on yourself and getting out for some distraction from the all consuming endeavor of trying to conceive can make a world of difference. Get help with reducing the stress in your life so that whatever decision you arrive at will be achieved from a deep place of knowing what is best for you and your partner.