Having to deal with infertility may be difficult. People frequently battle with psychological, physical, and financial concerns regarding infertility.
Infertility can affect every area of your life, including how you feel about yourself, interact with others, and view the world in general. It can be challenging since it causes a lot of uncertainty and emotional stress in a couple’s daily lives.
The good news is that stress does not result in infertility. Although a recent survey indicated that more than 70% of women think mental health issues might affect fertility negatively, this finding is unsupported by evidence.
The problem with mental health and fertility is that, despite the belief that stress causes infertility, stress is frequently a side effect of infertility.
According to several studies, infertility often causes stress, sadness, and anxiety in both men and women. In reality, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms might develop due to repeated pregnancy loss.
Even if circumstances might occasionally seem overwhelming, there are techniques to reduce stress.
Techniques for coping with the stress of infertility
Here are some tips to aid you on your road to managing the stress of infertility.
Recognize your emotions.
Knowing that your feelings are entirely normal is the first step towards reducing stress. Monthly infertility testing and treatments can be financially, physically, and emotionally stressful.
It may be frustrating and depressing to feel that you have no control over your body or the final results of your therapies. But it’s okay. As long as you’re aware of what’s happening, it becomes easier to solve it.
Avoid being by yourself.
Different people respond differently to the difficulties of infertility. It might be easy to close yourself off from your friends or your partner. But this is not a good idea at all.
In a situation like this, you don’t need to hide your emotions. Instead, you need to express it, especially to the people who care about you.
But hiding your emotions might make your condition worse than it already is. You don’t have to open up to too many people. One very good friend is enough to help you through the stress that comes from infertility. This kind of support would help you move forward.
Maintain contact with friends and family.
Creating a connection with your loved ones and close friends again is another way to reduce stress. The people closest to you may provide the love and support you need when you’re battling infertility.
You’ll need to enlighten your friends and family about what you’re going through if they don’t know anything about infertility.
Be in touch with your partner.
A couple’s marriage may suffer as a result of infertility. Infertility frequently causes hidden anger, inadequate emotions, sexual pressure, and stress. Additionally, a man and a woman may react to the situation differently, with men seeming more emotionally unavailable and women becoming more upset.
Seeking counseling may be beneficial if you feel that infertility is dividing you and your spouse. You may recover your footing as a couple with the support of therapy sessions with a professional counselor who is educated about infertility.
Watch what you eat.
As you focus your time, money, and other resources on fertility treatments, it is so easy to leave your general health and well-being in the backseat or throw it right out of the window.
As you know already, neglecting your health would surely cause other conditions that may make your infertility worse.
Fertility experts advise that you reduce the amount of sugar, salt, saturated fats, and white flour you eat if you’re going through a stressful or tense time. You should also reduce the number of alcoholic beverages, and caffeine-containing beverages including colas, coffee, black tea, and hot chocolate you take.
All your emotions flow
Allowing yourself to cry when you’re under stress has proven to be an effective way to cope with grief. Do not attempt to suppress your emotions of rage, shame, or grief. Go ahead and cry if you need to at the “lack of fairness” of another pregnancy or baby announcement.
If you need to vent your anger by striking a punching bag or pounding a cushion, feel free to do so. Your close friends would be there for you, and it’ll also help you cope with your infertility stress.
Schedule a 30- to 40-minute session each day to focus on your concerns around infertility and let those emotions come out. You’ll probably feel a lot better and have more energy to cope if you confront and release your emotions.
Write in a diary.
A supportive companion who is never too mad, unhappy, or busy to listen may be found in a diary. The best part is that it’s accessible at all times. You could find some insights you didn’t realize you possessed if you keep a diary of your ideas.
Write down your waking thoughts, dreams, expectations for the day or the next week, worries, and concerns, as well as how you are feeling physically and emotionally. Write down any physical sensations you pay attention to, as well as everything you hear, touch, or taste.
The diary entry provides you a place to be alone with your thoughts and may enable you to examine relationships between your mental and emotional well-being and your bodily reactions.
Share your concerns and thoughts.
Having support from someone who can answer your questions, care about how you feel, and understand your anxieties and worries is helpful while dealing with infertility. You can talk to the fertility specialist’s counselor if one is on staff, or you might want to join a local infertility support group.
You will feel more at ease knowing you’re not alone by getting to know other infertile couples. Most importantly, you’ll meet other like-minded individuals who share your issues, sentiments, and worries.
Practice deep breathing exercises yourself or with your partner to help you relax. One activity is sitting comfortably, closing your eyes, and inhaling deeply for a lengthy time. Fill your diaphragm and chest with air by inhaling through your nose and exhaling through your mouth, or vice versa.
Feel the pleasure of gently and quietly taking in air, then exhaling it. When you’re feeling nervous, do this exercise for five minutes.
You may even do it with your partner before discussing infertility. Being at ease can help the two of you have a less stressful and more focused conversation.
Uncertainty regarding the future is one of the major causes of stress. You’ve probably had to deal with uncertainty for a considerable amount of time. It helps to actively do research about infertility and find answers to all your questions relating to infertility. The more you’re in the know, the more you’ll be at peace with the condition and avoid the stress that comes with it.
You can keep up with your health issues and treatments, learn about all of your infertility treatment choices, and consider other possibilities like adoption and if they would be suitable for your family.
You can empower yourself with information and find some temporary peace of mind.
Both men and women can experience the pain of infertility. Couples’ problems are only made worse by the occasional relationship tension.
At the end of the day, you may still feel exhausted and upset.
Recognize that situations like this will arise, and accept them for what they are. Also, rest easy, knowing that the stress-reduction techniques and coping mechanisms we mentioned here would serve you well in the years to come and may even help you prepare for parenting.