3 Ways To Overcome The Stress Of Infertility

By

charlotte york trey macdougal sex and the city
Infertility is not the end the world ... but it can certainly feel that way.

Infertility often becomes a personal nightmare. Women faced with infertility tend to be emotionally overwhelmed, experiencing a rainbow of emotions including sadness, frustration, shame, anxiety and fear, including thoughts like 'What if we can't ever get pregnant?' You never get a break from being infertile. As a result of the emotional struggle with infertility, women also commonly experience low self-esteem, wondering, 'What is wrong with me?!'

The Stressful Impact Of infertility On Women

Infertility often becomes a personal nightmare. Women faced with infertility tend to be emotionally overwhelmed, experiencing a rainbow of emotions including sadness, frustration, shame, anxiety and fear, including thoughts like 'What if we can't ever get pregnant?' You never get a break from being infertile. As a result of the emotional struggle with infertility, women also commonly experience low self-esteem, wondering, 'What is wrong with me?!'

Family and social relationships can also be affected. At first you might share your situation with friends and family, but later you might worry they are tired of hearing you complain, or perhaps you might fear that you are burdening them with your problem. Additionally, friends and family might offer advice. While intentions are good, it just does not help. You feel they just do not get it and think no one can understand what you are going through (this belief can increase feelings of isolation). 

Not surprisingly, at the same time you are dealing with trying to get pregnant, everyone around you seems pregnant and your friends start to call you to tell you they are pregnant (after only a few months of "trying"). You might have mixed feelings of happiness and sadness, perhaps you feel some jealousy or anger and question, 'Why me?!' As a result, individuals (typically women) avoid their (pregnant) friends and family and/or withdraw socially.

Finally, difficulty conceiving can increase tension in a relationship, contribute to feelings of inadequacy or partner resentment."

Some tips for women overcoming the stress of infertility:

An infertility specialist once said, "Stress does not cause infertility, infertility causes stress." Understandably, it can be difficult to overcome the stress from infertility, but there are ways to manage the negative thoughts and emotions and cope with this difficult situation.

  1. One way is journaling thoughts and feelings.
  2. Another is to practice relaxation through deep breathing, meditation or yoga.
  3. Proper education by a fertility specialist (vs. online resources) can also help mitigate stress as well as seeking therapy as a resource for support."

What type of professional help is available for women having difficulty with infertility-related stress?"

Psychotherapy can be beneficial for individuals or couples struggling to manage the stress related to the difficulty of conceiving. I recommend finding a therapist who is knowledgeable about infertility and its stressors.

This article was originally published at . Reprinted with permission.
Ask The Experts

Have a dating or relationship question?
Visit Ask YourTango and let our experts and community answer.

FROM AROUND THE WEB