Coping with Infertility
Infertility can be both emotionally and physically difficult to face and cope with in a healthy way. For the nearly six million women in the U.S. who deal with some degree of it, coping with infertility is half the battle. Many specialists feel that there is an intensely strong mind/body connection factor with infertility, and feelings of isolation, judgment, anger, resentment, sadness and depression is unhealthy not only for you, but for your relationship — and it hurts your chances at getting pregnant.
Acknowledge the Problem and Educate Yourself
The first step in coping with infertility is to acknowledge that there may be a problem, and to seek medical treatment. The sooner you can get to the bottom of what is causing your infertility, the sooner you can begin exploring your treatment options. The field of fertility today is leaps and bounds ahead of what women had available to them even a generation ago. Educating yourself on the particular form of infertility you have can also help you cope with infertility by allowing you to explore your options for treatment, and to acknowledge that getting pregnant may be more difficult than you thought. The unknown is often scarier than reality, so don't wait another minute to get yourself treated by a fertility specialist.
Even if you don't know exactly what condition you may be suffering with, coping with infertility by getting healthy is a step in the right direction. Make lifestyle changes that will help you improve your odds of getting pregnant — get rid of that extra weight you've been wanting to lose, eat healthier, quit smoking or start exercising. Getting more sleep and taking care of yourself body and soul can help put your mind and body in a better place.
Learn How to Cope with Stress
Stress can wreak havoc on our bodies, and affect our fertility as well. One of the most important things you can do in coping with infertility is to deal with the stress that may be affecting your fertility, and cope with the stress that may be caused your infertility. Therapy, exercise, meditation, prayer and relaxation techniques can go a long way in making you emotionally and therefore, physically, healthier. It is important when coping with infertility to not second guess past choices, don't blame yourself, and break the negative thinking in terms of your infertility. If you're having a hard time being around pregnant women and babies, you may have to avoid situations that trigger stress and negativity.
When coping with pregnancy, it is important to establish a strong support system. Be sure to maintain a strong relationship with your spouse, and engage friends and family to be a shoulder to lean on when you're having a rough day. Join an infertility support group so that you can feel free to express all the emotions you may be hesitant to express around even your closest friends and family.
Once you find out what is affecting your fertility, research your options fully and make a plan. Determine how far you are willing to go to have a baby, how much time you're willing to devote, and how much money you're willing to spend. Fertility treatments are physically grueling, time consuming and exorbitantly expensive. Decide with your spouse when to say when, and make a back up plan. Are you willing to use donor eggs/sperm? Are you willing to consider adoption?
All the feelings you're experiencing are normal — don't feel ashamed of them. Coping with infertility in a constructive way will give you the best chance of being emotionally healthy no matter what the outcome.