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Infertility and mental health

Post by on Tuesday, March 8, 2022

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Infertility is a condition of the male or female reproductive system described by the inability to conceive after a period of 12 months or more of unprotected sexual activity. Millions of people of reproductive age across the world are affected by infertility, which has an impact on their families and communities that affects people all over the globe. Patients who are infertile go through a lot of emotional upheaval as a result of their diagnosis. Infertile patients are at a higher risk of depression, anxiety, and discomfort.

Stress has been thought to be a factor in infertility since biblical times. This begs the question: does infertility induce stress, or does stress cause infertility? The solution is still unknown; anxiety and infertility may not have an obvious cause and effect relationship. The answer is still unclear; there may not be a clear cause and effect link between anxiety and infertility. 

It is undeniable that infertility causes substantial misery, and that psychological therapies are likely to be linked to lower levels of depression and higher rates of pregnancy. The influence of distress on treatment outcome, on the other hand, is less clear.

Infertility is a medical illness that may affect every aspect of life, from your self-esteem to your bond with your spouse to your general outlook on life. It may also be extremely difficult since it brings a great deal of uncertainty and emotional stress into a couple's daily lives. Infertility is accompanied by both internal and external feelings. Social expectations, relational stress, and financial pressure may all play a role in the myriad emotions you experience when dealing with infertility. 

However, as difficult as your condition may appear at times, there are techniques to soothe your worry. Some of the ways to reduce your anxiety are: 

Recognize your emotions

Understanding that what you're feeling is perfectly normal is the first step towards lowering stress. Month after month of infertility testing and procedures may be exhausting mentally, physically, and economically. It may also be unpleasant and disheartening to feel as if you have no control over your body or the final outcome of your therapies

Discuss your concerns and thoughts

It helps to have somebody around you who can answer your queries, be sympathetic to your feelings, and understand your anxieties and concerns while you battle with infertility. If the fertility expert has a counsellor on staff. You'll know you're not alone if you encounter other infertile couples. Most importantly, you'll meet other individuals who understand your troubles, emotions, and problems.

Allow yourself to cry and be furious if you so choose

Don't attempt to suppress your feelings of rage, guilt, or sadness. Allow yourself to grieve at the "injustice" of another pregnancy or baby announcement. If you're upset and need to vent your frustrations, go ahead and punch a bag. It would also help if you set aside 30 to 40 minutes each day to focus on your thoughts regarding how you feel about infertility, let them to surface. You'll feel much better and have more energy to deal with your emotions if you acknowledge and release them.

Give yourself permission to grieve 

Even if you're hoping for a good pregnancy, your subconscious mind is already mourning for the biological kid you haven't yet given birth to. Because unprocessed sadness may be a big source of anxiety, you'll need to mourn for a while before you can feel better. Whether you chat to your spouse or a trusted friend about your feelings, or just write them down, acknowledge and work through your sadness before letting it go.

Write down your thoughts 

A reassuring companion who can never be too angry, irritated, or hurried to listen is a journal. The best part is that it will never be absent, you can share your feelings any time of the day or night. You could discover some insights you didn't realise you possessed while you record your thoughts.

Keep in touch with family and friends 

Another way to reduce stress is to reconnect with your family and close friends. Though you may have a deep emotional attachment to friends or acquaintances who are struggling with infertility, it is equally beneficial to allow those closest to you to provide their encouragement and care. You'll need to tell your friends and family about infertility if they don't know what you've been going through.

Try and communicate with your partner 

Infertility may have a negative impact on a marriage, producing underlying bitterness, feelings of failure, sexual frustration, and stress. Furthermore, a male and a woman may react to the situation differently, If you and your partner are having trouble coping with the stress of infertility, it may be beneficial to talk to a therapist. Even a few sessions with a qualified infertility counsellor may help you recover your footing as a couple and go on — together.

Start mindful breathing

Deep-breathing exercises, either alone or with your partner, is another effective approach to relax. Sitting comfortably with your eyes closed and taking long, calm, deep breaths is one exercise. Fill your diaphragm and chest with air by breathing in and out through your nose.

Identify your feelings 

More often than not, infertility-related emotions are triggered by a combination of factors. Instead, they are frequently entangled in internal and external expectations. To overcome this, you must first recognise and acknowledge the feelings you are experiencing. These may include the following: 

• Anger. 

• Low self-esteem.

• Beliefs that you are being judged.

• Feelings of inferiority. 

 Feeling of guilt.

• Feelings of bereavement.

• Economical distress. 

Reach out to your family and friends

According to research, being upfront about infertility and seeking assistance might help people manage with their emotions. If you have a spouse, the greatest place to get assistance is often your partner, although that isn't always the case. It might be tough to sort through your feelings jointly if you are both under a lot of stress. Getting help from people who aren't in your relationship might be good to both of you. 

Make contact with friends, cousins and relatives you think are close to you, but choose carefully. Some of your bad sentiments may stem from those closest to you. Support groups may also be beneficial, as they allow you to express feelings and thoughts that you might not be able to express elsewhere and gain understanding from others.


Give yourself some time

Whatever the case may be, don't allow infertility rule your life. You might want to consider taking a break from attempting to conceive in some instances. A break can help you recall who you are outside of your fertility, relieve the stress of actively trying, and allow you to acquire coping methods. Consult your doctor if you're concerned. You may be able to step back for at least a few months, which might make a significant impact in your mental well-being.


At the end of the day, the aim is to accept your own and your partner's sentiments. Infertility is a difficult condition to deal with. As you and your spouse face this life struggle together, try to be gentle with yourself and your partner. Above all, remember that this painful period will pass. Things will get better regardless of how your infertility is resolved—whether you conceive and have a kid, adopt, or live a childless existence. Time, counselling, and the support of friends and family will all be beneficial.


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