Coping with infertility
If you are struggling with infertility, the monthly cycle of hope followed by crushing disappointment is something you have endured countless times. Infertility is an unrelenting emotional roller coaster made worse by every birth announcement you scroll past on Facebook.
Infertility can rob us of a family, of our dreams, and even of a part of our identities. Learning to cope with infertility as you struggle to find solutions is vital to your health and wellbeing, not only to help increase your odds of conception, but also for your own personal needs. Here are a few simple things you can do to cope as you search for a solution.
Take care of yourself
Research shows that women with infertility suffer the same amount of stress as women who are going through cancer treatment. The emotional strain is tremendous, and there's no promise of an end to that stress.
Basic self care is essential to getting through this difficult period in your life. Take time to meditate, do yoga, and do the things you enjoy in life.
Reducing stress isn't just good for your mind, it may also improve your odds of getting pregnant. A 2010 study found that women who had less of a stress hormone called alpha-amylase were more likely to become pregnant than those who had more.
Continue to be intimate with your partner
Let's face it, when you're trying to conveive sex gets really old fast. It can feel like the only reason you have sex anymore is purely to try and have a baby, and that can really inhibit the enjoyment you have as a couple.
While it's fine to pencil in those dates closest to your ovulation cycle, don't forget to have sex just for fun too. It can bring you closer together, and help you relieve stress.
Acknowledge your right to grieve
Infertility is a very emotional experience. You are grieving the loss of something that never even happened, yet grieve you do month in and month out. You have the right to grieve, and so does your partner, even if their form of grief is different from yours.
Grief can come in a variety of ways, from the anger you feel when someone tells you to 'just give it time,' or the person who advises you about fertility treatments you may or may not already be trying.
Infertility can be a very emotional and dark time. As you go through the process of fertility treatments, researching other options, or even choosing to end treatment and perhaps close a chapter in your life, it's important to keep tabs on your mental health and take time for your own needs. Seeing a therapist can be a good step here too.
Even if it seems like an embarassing topic to need counciling about, talking with a stranger who will keep your problems private can go a long way to easing your mind and helping you come to grips with infertility.
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