Fertility issues affect approximately 1 in 8 couples. If you are struggling with infertility, you are not alone. Dealing with this disease can affect every aspect of your life. Many struggle with feelings of shame, loss, anger, jealousy, and anxiety, while also dealing with financial and relationship stress. All of this can be extremely overwhelming.

The journey may not be easy, but below are a few ways to help cope with the emotions and stress of infertility.

You are not alone. There are many support groups available for those struggling with infertility. Connecting with someone who knows exactly what you are going through can help you recognize that fertility issues are not uncommon, and that your feelings are normal. Support groups can also be an outlet to share the ups and downs of the process.

Be a team. You and your partner are in this together. Going to appointments together and sharing your feelings with each other can help reduce stress and tension in your relationship.  Of course, it adds stress to take off of work, so your partner may have to choose the most important appointments to attend.

Don’t blame yourself. The temptation to play the blame game is tough to resist, but it is important to recognize that these negative thoughts are false. Telling yourself you should have done something differently in the past is not helpful. Try to keep your focus on the present moment. Infertility is not your fault.

Do not let infertility become all-consuming. It may seem like the only thing you can think or talk about, but it is important to not let it take over your life. Do not miss or ignore what is going on around you. Infertility is just one aspect of your life.

Do not give up hope. You don’t know what the future holds. Miracles happen every day. Stay in contact with your fertility care provider. If you need a break from treatment, take it. Discuss with your provider and then resume your care when you are ready. Be sure you have a clear understanding or your plan and expectation for success from each approach. Set your expectations based on this.

The difficulties of infertility may be great, but not impossible. Above all, do not give up hope on this journey.

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