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How to Cope with Infertility: 4 Key Strategies

Updated: Sep 30, 2023


How to Cope with Infertility

Infertility can be devastating for individuals and couples. In most cases, dealing with infertility often leads to a host of emotions including anger, shame, and resentment. Not only does it hurt the person trying to carry a baby, but if you’re part of a couple, it can greatly impact the relationship.


Always remember that you’re not alone when dealing with infertility. There are doctors, therapists, and several other groups of people going through a similar experience.

In this article, I explain how to cope with infertility to help you and your partner maintain a healthy relationship.

Table of Contents:

  • How Infertility Affects the Mental Health of Couples

  • The 4 Key Infertility Coping Strategies

    • Be Honest about your Feelings

    • Take Care of Yourself and Your Relationship

    • Consider Counseling

    • Reach Out to Family and Friends

How Infertility Affects Couples' Mental Health

Infertility can affect both men and women. At times, the root cause of a couple’s conception challenges remains unclear. Whether one party is experiencing it or it’s a result of undetermined causes, infertility can impact the well-being of an individual as well as the relationship as a whole.


For instance, when a couple is dealing with infertility, one or both parties may feel ashamed, guilty, or angry. Infertility in women in particular may result in feelings of unworthiness. They may end up questioning why this is happening to them or even create doubts about whether they are fit to be a parent, which can be a difficult situation to endure.


It’s not just women who suffer from the mental health effects of infertility. Research shows that men are also at risk of anxiety, depression, and low self-esteem when dealing with infertility. However, it is important to highlight that for women in particular, the emotional stress of coping with infertility is similar to the stress of coping with a serious illness such as Cancer or HIV/AIDS.

The 4 Key Infertility Coping Strategies

1. Be Honest about your Feelings

It’s important to acknowledge your true feelings both with yourself and your partner. Anger, guilt, resentment, fear, and anxiety are all normal emotions to experience when dealing with infertility. If you and your partner have undergone invasive fertility testing and treatment, there may be feelings of resentment towards the situation or even the other person.


Moreover, you might feel angry that you’re having to go through this or even be worried about what the future holds for you and your partner. Other common emotions that emerge when a couple is dealing with infertility include;

  • Fear of being judged by others

  • Feelings of failure

  • Feelings of inadequacy

  • Jealousy

2. Take Care of Yourself and Your Relationship

Have compassion for yourself when dealing with infertility stress. Emotional stress can affect your hormones, energy levels, and sleep patterns. Make sure you’re eating a healthy diet, getting as much sleep as your body needs, and maintaining an active lifestyle.


Once you’ve got a solid self-care routine, be sure to make time to connect with your partner. Both parties are likely to be deeply affected by the situation. Therefore, connecting during this time is essential and may require more effort than usual.


You might also consider pursuing a new hobby together or making a list of potential things you’d like to try or places you’d like to explore as a couple. Connection also includes physical intimacy which sometimes suffers in the midst of infertility stress. If that’s the case, rekindling the spark could go a long way in terms of seeing your partnership through this stressful time.

3. Consider Counseling

Both individual and couples therapy can be very beneficial ways of coping with infertility. Counseling is the only safe space where you can express your true feelings and feel seen and heard without being judged.

Essentially, couples may have a hard time communicating with one another when dealing with infertility challenges. For this reason, working with a professional therapist can help you and your partner to get in touch with your emotions and provide a conducive environment to express them in a healthy and respectful way.


managing through infertility

Additionally, when a couple is dealing with infertility, it can lead to fear that one partner will leave the relationship. This is where couples counseling can help you cope with infertility stress as it offers a safe space in which to explore these feelings.


Lastly, while communication is always important in a relationship, each person may have different communication needs. One person may want to talk more and the other less. Therapy can help you find a balance so each person feels their needs are being met.

4. Reach Out to Family and Friends

In addition to professional counseling, another way to cope with infertility is to reach out to family and friends for added support. You may even be surprised to find that some people in your social circle are experiencing, or have experienced similar challenges.


This is down to the fact that infertility is more common than you might think and chances are you’ve got friends or family members who have dealt with reproductive obstacles. Therefore, reaching out to people you trust can help you and your partner feel less alone.


However, sometimes one partner may be more willing to open up to family and friends than the other. In these cases, counseling is a recommended way to cope with infertility as it can help both of you to communicate your needs and concerns to reach a resolution. Ideally, both of you will be on the same page when it comes to reaching out for support from your social network.

Conclusion

While dealing with infertility can be a frightening and stressful challenge, it need not spell the end of a relationship. Taking care of yourself, addressing obstacles in your relationship, and reaching out for support are all great ways to cope with infertility to ensure that you and your partner come out on the other side as a stronger and more resilient couple.

Love Discovery Institute is an elite emotional and cognitive wellness center focusing on intimacy, relationships, and self-discovery. Bringing together South Florida’s leading professionals in the field, the institute incorporates a holistic approach to treating the mind, body, and soul through individual, family, and couples therapy



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