Infertility Issues & Support
Infertility can be one of the most challenging experiences a woman or a man has to confront in their lifetime, not only as an individual but also as a couple. When most people decide they want to have a baby, very few give thought to the idea that there will ever be a problem (unless they have been under the care of a physician and a problem is detected prior to trying to conceive.) However in some circumstances when one decides they want to have a baby, the simple steps of conceiving do not work. It becomes a source of constant failure or loss and can begin to take a huge toll on the individual and on the couple, both physically and emotionally.
There are many options for women and men who are going through infertility to help with the process. Many times the process begins with your physician who guides you and comes up with a treatment plan to help you to achieve your dream of being a parent. This process can involve an array of tests and procedures to try and determine the underlining cause and based on the results of the tests the physician will determine a treatment plan. If you are someone who has already begun the process of infertility treatments or someone who has been through years of treatments you may have already experienced a roller coaster ride of emotions.
How Can Therapy Help?
Therapy can help in many different ways. Infertility and infertility treatments may cause significant emotional distress, such as depression and anxiety. In addition, over time it may begin to wear at the couple’s relationship in many ways including intimacy, communication, changes in goals/beliefs tied to parenting, tension, blaming, frustration, and anger. Infertility may also cause great distress in other interpersonal relationships other than with your partner. Isolation and feeling like no one else understands the process is common. Friendships can become strained when others become pregnant with ease and family members may not understand what is going on, depending on how much you disclose.
Therapy can give you and/or your significant other a place to feel supported and understood. Therapy gives additional support in conjunction with the medical team or physicians you are working with in order to help educate you on treatments and options and come up with a plan to deal with the emotional distress that may come along with infertility. In addition, therapy can give you specific tools for relaxing, reducing stress, and increasing positive communication (including how to handle questions from people around you inquiring about a baby and the possible increased stress between partners.)
I have devoted a portion of my practice to individuals and couples who are dealing with infertility. Times you may need additional support are:
-Additional support in making a plan
-Preparation for possible emotional challenges that may occur with the infertility process
-The beginning stages of medical treatment
-Dealing with possible emotional side affects from infertility drugs
-Dealing with the waiting period to determine pregnancy
-Exploring alternate family building such as third party reproduction, adoption, or surrogacy
-Deciding to live child free
In any of the above situations I can sit with you and help you devise the plan that is right for you. I can also help you to sort through the emotions that may arise in the process and provide resources to help with the process.
I have had training specifically in Infertility Counseling. I have also personally experienced infertility and pregnancy loss. I understand first hand how hard treatments can be. I believe in the collaborative approach and can be used as a support in addition to your medical team.
Contact me to see how I can support you or a loved one at 805-427-5183