You open your computer, pull up Facebook, and there it is—another pregnancy announcement.
It seems so unfair, you think to yourself. That everyone else can seemingly get pregnant with ease while you and your partner have been trying for months—tracking your cycles, taking your temperature, eating right, exercising—to no avail.
To add insult to injury, the well-meaning folks in your life have been telling you that if you would just, “relax and stop thinking about it, you will get pregnant,” and you think to yourself that the only thing that feels more impossible than getting pregnant at this point, is relaxing.
In the Psychology Today article, “The Stress of Trying to Get Pregnant,” Published on March 4, 2011 by Connie Shapiro, PhD, Dr. Shapiro states that research indicates that “the stress levels of infertile women are equivalent to women with cancer, AIDS, or heart disease.”
ACCESS, the National Infertility Association lists the following feelings on their website as common responses to an infertility diagnosis. Feelings of:
- Denial, Shock and Numbness
- Guilt and Shame
- And Physical Symptoms such as headaches, insomnia and extreme sadness.
The emotional roller coaster for couples trying to conceive a baby can be compounded by additional factors unique to their own journey. Is her fertility unexplained? Did she lose an earlier pregnancy? Experience a stillbirth? Have a cycle fail?
ACCESS suggests the following coping techniques for dealing with the stress of infertility:
- Overcome isolation by building a bridge back to your family.
- Give yourself permission to cry and be angry.
- Give your spouse/partner permission to feel and cope differently than you.
- Improve your communication about infertility.
- Tell your spouse/partner how you want to be helped.
- Get more information.
If you are feeling the emotional toll of infertility, it is important to remember that you are not alone in this. Support groups, such as Access Australia, part of Australia’s National Infertility Network, are there to help. “From dealing with the emotional roller coaster, the pressure of IVF treatment cycles, friends falling pregnant or the pain of shattered dreams,” Access Australia states on their site, “couples that go through infertility need to know that they’re not alone.
Lastly, remember that there are several well developed options available today for couples trying to have a baby. The Fertility Society of Australia states that “One in six Australian couples suffer infertility,” and reminds patients that, “many couples suffering infertility problems can be successfully treated with medical or surgical techniques, or lifestyle changes.”
From fertility medications, to artificial insemination; from increased success rates in-vitro fertilization, to surrogacy, men and women trying to conceive today have more chances than ever to make their dreams of motherhood a reality.
At Fertility Solutions, we have psychologists on staff who can help you work through some of the emotional issues you may face while you and your partner are trying to have a baby. Call us on 1300 FERTILITY to arrange for a FREE, private appointment.
To find out how Fertility Solutions Sunshine Coast can help you realize your dreams of motherhood, contact our office today.