Coping with Fertility Problems
The want to conceive a child is a natural progression in many relationships and let’s face it, society certainly expects it of you. When a couple encounters barriers to this wish it can come as a shock.
Sadly, this scenario is all too common and can have a damaging to devastating impact on the psychological and emotional well being of the couple experiencing it.
Anxiety is common as the couple worry about why they are unable to conceive without medical intervention. Either member of the couple may blame themselves and feel as though they are less feminine or masculine for not being able to do what many others can do naturally.
Feelings of loss and sadness can be all consuming as the couple comes to terms with the possibility of missing out on the experience of parenthood.
Anger and jealously are also common feelings. It can feel as though life is unfair particularly when having a baby seems to come so easily to others. It feels like every single person you talk to is either pregnant, a new parent or talking about someone who is and you just want to escape it all.
All of these feelings are normal and it can help to recognise that challenges to fertility are one of the most difficult problems a couple can face. Be assured it is also something that’s perfectly ok to get support to understand and manage.
Tension can arise around your sexual relationship, as it becomes a means to trying to produce a baby rather than an enjoyable way of expressing love for one another. The member of the couple with the infertility diagnosis can fear abandonment as they worry their partner may want to leave them to pursue a family with someone else. A couple may disagree over which treatment options to try, or when to commence or cease treatment.
Financial strain can also cause conflict, as fertility treatments can be costly and you probably didn’t ever imagine having to budget for something like this. It is important that couples communicate with each other about how their fertility journey is affecting them and find ways to cope together and also as individuals.
Together a couple can learn to work as a team in order to support each other emotionally. Both people in the relationship may have different feelings at different times and it can help to pay attention to what the other is going through. It can also help to make sure you leave room in the relationship for other things besides getting pregnant.
It is easy to let this become the sole focus of conversation, so ensure you continue to talk about other topics and remember to just have fun together as baby making can become a serious matter.
Many couples decide to pursue fertility treatment, which has advanced significantly over the past few decades. Many people report feeling nervous at this prospect but it can also lead to positive feelings as they are proactively contributing and taking steps towards finding out what is causing the problem and hopefully achieving the family you want.
Whether through family, friends, or by talking with a counsellor, be sure to seek support and guidance as early as you can. Working through your thoughts and feelings can lessen the emotional burden and can also help you feel less isolated. Many couples find that professional individual or couples counselling helps them cope with the stress of infertility and fertility treatment.
If you’re on the fertility rollercoaster right now and overwhelmed by all that is happening to you and to your relationship then this is the ideal time to reach out for help. I’d like to help you.
If you are keen to see what some time with a Psychologist can offer you, then I’d love to chat. I’ve been supporting women in my professional practice for many years and have helped them to manage challenges like stress, anxiety and depression through to being a reliable sounding board to sort through life’s issues, to talking through the different choices that are available when life hasn’t turned out how you planned, to the grief and overwhelm that can arise at this time. I am honoured to guide you to achieve a better handle on your mental and emotional well being. You can find all the contact details here to get in touch.