Infertility is a complex condition where you cannot conceive. The female causes of infertility may include endometriosis, uterine fibroids, and thyroid disease, while the male causes of infertility may include low sperm count or low testosterone. Despite the reasoning for infertility, it can be a mentally and physically taxing journey. Luckily, there are several options available for those struggling to conceive. The benefits of fertility counseling reach far beyond what to do if you and your partner are having difficulties falling pregnant.
Signs that you may benefit from receiving fertility counseling, according to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, include:
- Persistent feelings of sadness, guilt, or worthlessness
- Social isolation
- Loss of interest in activities and relationships
- Constant preoccupation with infertility
- Changes in appetite, weight, or sleep patterns
- Thoughts of suicide or death
Here at Carolina Fertility Institutes, we know every fertility journey is unique and poses its own set of challenges. Fertility counseling can often act as a one-stop-shop when it comes to receiving support and counsel regarding your individual wants and needs.
An essential part for individuals or couples facing fertility issues is to find emotional support from a trained professional or others that have shared a similar experience. Many different lifestyle and heredity factors can substantially impact infertility, such as your age, nutrition, weight, and genetic defects. With all these possible factors, finding the right outlets to express your emotions can be challenging. Receiving support and counsel regarding your unique fertility journey is all-important.
Fertility counseling can equip you with coping skills and resources for building effective communication skills. There are a number of different strategies that can aid in coming to terms with your unique fertility journey:
- Accept your emotions as they come: Remind yourself there is no right or wrong way to deal with fertility struggles. Be kind to yourself and remember your feelings are valid.
- Don’t let your physical health slide: Amid your struggles, maintaining your physical well-being may become increasingly difficult. Consider trying yoga, meditation, acupuncture, or other activities that promote self-care.
- Recognize self-deprecating behaviors: It’s easy to blame yourself and let feelings of guilt take over. Remember, no one is to blame, and beating yourself up is never constructive.
Managing Stress In A Safe Space
Friends and family are great resources, but to no fault of their own, they may not be equipped with the right tools to offer you beneficial advice and support. Additionally, some women or couples may keep their emotions to themselves as they don’t want to bear others with their struggles. Luckily, fertility counselors can bridge the gap between emotions that may feel “bad” to share elsewhere. Fertility counseling offers a safe space for you as a couple or individually to share and process negative emotions and learn how to move forward.
Understanding Your Options
Fertility counseling is not only about dealing with your emotions but also is great for exploring your options. Unprotected sex is not the only way to get pregnant; there are many safe and effective ways to have a baby. Some popular options for infertile couples or those dealing with infertility include:
- Surgical procedures
- Assisted conception
- Sperm/ egg donation
It is essential to step back and recognize that several options are available for those who want to become parents. Having a knowledgeable and supportive team on your side is a great starting point.
It is no secret that infertility can be a huge stressor in relationships. Some people may fear their partner might leave them, and others may hold resentment. Fertility counseling can help talk through these worries from both sides and assist in learning communication strategies. And if anyone knows the strain infertility puts on a relationship, it’s professionals who deal with it daily.
Infertility can often make you feel overwhelmed from every direction. However, resources such as fertility counseling can be great to help you move through these trying times. Here at Carolinas Fertility Institute, we are partnered with Three Birds Counseling and Clinical Supervision in order to offer you every resource possible. Check out our website to find out more about your options.