5 Ways to Take Care of Yourself While Dealing With Infertility

Trying to conceive can be a painful and heartbreaking experience for couples struggling with infertility. Uncertainty can overwhelm you at times. It’s important, though, to remember that you are not alone. Here are five ways to find help.

Dealing With Infertility

Know Your Options

An infertility diagnosis can lead to a whirlwind of questions. It’s important to know what your options are. Fertility medication is usually the first step. The physician may prescribe drugs to stimulate ovulation, thicken the uterine lining, increase sperm count or address other needs. If medication does not seem to be working, the physician might suggest procedures such as intrauterine insemination, in vitro fertilization, intracytoplasmic sperm injection or other methods.

Many couples decide to welcome a non-genetically-related child into the family through adoption. Today’s adoption options are varied, and prospective parents can choose what works best for them. Private domestic infant adoption allows the birth mother to choose a family for her child and, in most cases, maintain a relationship with the adoptive family. Foster care adoption is usually the least cost-prohibitive path and is a choice for couples open to children of different ages. International adoption is a choice for prospective parents who are willing to raise a child from a different culture, are able to travel and are open to children of various ages and abilities.

Living child free is another path for couples. It is a choice to end the process of trying to grow the family, ending the emotional and financial struggle the couple has endured. Couples living a child-free life can find great joy in nurturing the children in their extended family or connecting with children through a career or volunteer work.

Allow Your Partner to Handle Things Differently

It’s easy to assume your partner is going through the same feelings you are. That may not be the case, though. One of you may feel lots of anger while the other feels mostly sadness. One partner might choose to keep the infertility process private, while the other might find healing by opening up to friends and family. Realize that the two of you have unique emotions. Try to understand your partner’s way of dealing with infertility, even if it is quite unlike your own. If differences are causing friction in your relationship, talk to your partner. Sometimes, knowing how the other person arrived at his or her feelings will make a big difference.

Connect With Your Partner

When you are trying to conceive, intimacy can begin to feel forced or prescribed. A couple’s most personal moments together might seem like only a means of conception. It’s important not to let medical necessity keep you from connecting with your partner emotionally. Find ways to nurture each other: go out for a special dinner, buy your partner an unexpected gift or just spend time together holding hands.

Allow Grief and Anger

Your journey to parenthood doesn’t look like the one you had planned. Dreams of conceiving easily in a specific time frame have been shattered. The loss of this dream is real, and it is normal and necessary to grieve. Give yourself and your partner permission to do so. Talk to a trusted friend, family member or counselor. Write down your feelings. Cry if you need to. Expressing your emotions, however you feel comfortable doing so, is an important part of the grieving process.

Often, couples ask themselves why it has to be so hard for them to have a baby. Why can’t they get (or stay) pregnant as easily as other family members or friends did? Jealousy, bitterness and anger can well up, especially when others close to you are celebrating baby showers, births or other milestones with biological children. These emotions are normal. Again, allow yourself to feel them — but make sure you express them in appropriate ways. Shed tears, punch a pillow, go for a long walk or run or write it all down. Releasing the negative energy is healthy and allows you to move beyond the anger.

Find Your Tribe

If you need to talk to someone about your journey with infertility, you can find an understanding audience among those who are on the same path. You will find an abundance of infertility support groups and forums online. If you want to connect with others in your area, your physician may know of a local support group, or you can search online to see if one meets near you. It can be very helpful to talk to others about your shared experiences. You may find that sharing your experience helps others, and knowing this can bring you comfort.

While trying to conceive can be a painful process, remember that you and your partner don’t have to go it alone. Reach out to others for information and support so you can weather the journey with renewed strength.

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Article Author Details

Kevin Gardner

Kevin Gardner loves writing about technology and the impact it has on our lives, especially within businesses.