- Fertility & Reproductive Systems
How To Cope with Infertility
Coping with infertility can be a challenging and emotionally draining experience for most women, especially once they enter into their mid thirties. The desire to bare children and raise them is innate in most, if not all, women simply because this is how God created us. This is why when women find themselves unable to conceive, they may feel unfulfilled and as though there's a part of their life that is missing and that has yet to be accomplished. In order words, they feel incomplete. Infertility can cause emotional instability such as stress, depression, anxiety, gloominess, and can even hinder one's ability to thrive in day to day functions. Some women can even fall in to severe depression or experience high levels of stress, which can take a toll not only on their emotional state of being, but also on their overall physical wellness. This type of situation can actually create a vicious cycle. According to fertility experts, anxiety may hinder successful ovulation. So if you are not ovulating (because of anxiety), you will not be able to conceive. And when you are unable to conceive, you then become more anxious. The more anxious you get, the less chance you'll have of a normal ovulation cycle! This is called a catch 22 situation.
EIGHT STEPS TO COPING WITH INFERTILITY
- SEEK PROFESSIONAL COUNSELING. Infertility counseling is available and recommended for women who are experiencing depression and deep anxiety. Professional counselors or psychologists can actually help you and guide you to focus on other important things in life, instead of getting so fixated on becoming pregnant. Taking your mind off of conceiving, and placing your focus on other factors such as your home, your job, a hobby, school, etc., is great therapy that will help alleviate your stress levels.
- SEEK MEDICAL HELP. You'd be surprised at the number of infertile women who never even consult an ob-gyn or infertility specialist. If you haven't conceived after trying for 12 consecutive months, it is highly recommended that you go to a fertility clinic and seek a diagnosis. The problem may be something very simple to treat, or it could be of a more complex nature. But the only way to find out is by taking the initiative. There are simple tests or evaluations that can easily diagnose the problem, such as a pelvic exam, semen analysis or blood tests. There are also other examinations that are a bit more complex and may cause some pain such as, endometrial biopsy, a laparoscopy, or a hysterosalpingogram. These procedures are done to determine if there are any obstructions in the fallopian tubes, ovarian cysts, or to look for signs of endometriosis. Depending on the type of health insurance (HMO or PPO), you may or may not need a referral from your gynecologist. Even if you find out that your problem is more complex than expected, just knowing what the problem is will undoubtedly ease your anxiety. Anxiety is nothing more than fear of the unknown or uncertainty.
- EDUCATE YOURSELF. By learning and schooling yourself on how the reproduction system works and how ovulation is the key to conceiving, you will actually feel much better just knowing if your are, or aren't, doing everything you're supposed to. Who knows? You might even find out that you were trying to conceive on the wrong days of the month. There are certain days during the ovulation cycle where you are most fertile, just as there are days where you are the least likely to conceive. This is why is charting your fertility cycle is so important. Learning about HCG levels and basal body temperature can help you track your fertility for the best chance of getting pregnant. Learn about different methods of boosting your fertility. Learn about ovulation kits and how to use them. Clearblue Easy digital ovulation kits are very reliable and the results are easy to read.
- FIND OUT WHAT YOUR OPTIONS ARE. Not being able to conceive a child doesn't have to mean the end of the world. It is important that you remain hopeful and positive, but it doesn't hurt to seek other alternatives. Other than In Vitro, It is good to seek other possibilities of raising a child such as foster parenting, adopting or maybe even a surrogate pregnancy.
- FIND A SUPPORT GROUP. The best therapy for coping with depression and anxiety is to find a support group and reach out to other people who are going through the same thing, or who have gone through it and can relate to your pain. People who have walked in your shoes can better sympathize with your situation. People who cannot relate tend to be judgemental and might even ridicule you. They might think that you're just obsessed with the subject, and might even give you the cold shoulder unconsciously.
- RELAX! Engaging in relaxing activities will help to take your mind off your infertility blues. This is a great way of escaping the stress and drama that comes with infertility issues. Try taking long walks on the beach early in the morning, or maybe even a long stroll in a serene wooded area, if you don't live close to the ocean. A nice peaceful walk through a garden, such as a Japanese garden, can provide a tranquil atmosphere for meditation and contemplation. Make it a habit of taking time out for pampering yourself, such as a day at the spa enjoying a mani-pedi, a relaxing facial, or even a full body massage. Shopping can be relaxing for some people because it's another way to pamper yourself. Just don't go on a shopping spree if you don't have the available funds, otherwise you might end up even more stressed after the credit card bills start piling up.
- GET YOU BODY INTO SHAPE. Most fertility experts will agree that there are things that you can do to help your body prepare for conception. Studies have been made which suggest that obesity and the illnesses that can come with it can hinder your fertility. Therefore, it is important that you find ways of becoming healthier, such as exercise and eating the right kinds of food. A good exercise routine plus a healthy diet can also help relieve stress and help you gain energy. If you don't have a gym membership or can't afford one, you can always walk or drive to the nearest park and do some jogging, and other types of exercises that don't require equipment. At home you can even do cruches and situps, or invest in an aerobics or zumba dvd. A well balanced diet with plenty of vegetables and fruits is also recommended. To help lift moods and help calm anxiety, keep away from processed foods and eat more natural products.
- SEEK SPIRITUAL GROWTH. Individual spiritual growth is essential to every human being. Steps on your journey toward spiritual growth might include increasing your knowledge of God’s ways, praying, reading the bible or inspirational books, sinning less, increasing your practice of Godly behaviors and increasing your faith and trust in God. If you don't attend church regularly or at all, it might be good to find a church close by and begin to congregate. Most churches have special programs and support groups that help individuals to cope with different types of problems.
In summary, the best therapy for infertility stress and anxiety is educating yourself, knowing what you're up against, finding possible solutions or alternatives with the help of professionals and a sympathetic support group, personal growth and spiritual guidance.