Are Infertility Concerns Causing You to Feel Disconnected From Yourself and Others?
- Has the process of trying to conceive a child left you feeling hopeless or defeated?
- Do you blame yourself for issues with infertility?
- Is infertility causing strain on your relationships?
- Does being pregnant cause you to feel anxious or worried?
- Are you experiencing grief following a miscarriage or stillbirth?
You are not alone. The process of bringing a new family member into this world can be incredibly difficult – both physically and emotionally. You may find yourself struggling with feelings of shame or hopelessness, or arguing more with your partner. It is not uncommon to feel “broken,” lonely, or detached from your body. Even if you are not struggling with infertility, pregnancy-related anxiety can feel debilitating. Oftentimes the distress associated with this process can feel unbearable and isolate us from the people we love most.
Although fertility and pregnancy concerns are quite common, they are usually not openly discussed. In general, society does not do a great job of supporting hopeful or expecting parents on this journey. Many people avoid having conversations about infertility and pregnancy because they consider it taboo or uncomfortable. This often increases feelings of loneliness and self-blame, leading many to suffer in silence.
If you had a supportive, non-judgmental space to work through these issues, you could stop shaming yourself and feeling so alone. With the help of infertility counseling, it is possible to cope through these hardships and find strength and support.
MANY People Struggle with Infertility
Even though infertility feels isolating, it is extremely common. About one in four women struggle with infertility at some point in their lives*. However, infertility is not just a women’s issue. Approximately ⅓ of infertility issues are caused by men, while another ⅓ of infertility issues are caused by an unknown circumstance or a combination of both partners**. It is important to note that people of all genders can struggle with infertility, although this is still a developing area of research.
There are many reasons that hopeful parents may struggle with infertility. Some of the most common factors that contribute to infertility include: polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), endometriosis, sperm abnormalities, uterine fibroids, malnutrition, mental health concerns, undiagnosed allergies, and more. Having an eating disorder history has also been linked to issues with fertility**.
Despite the high prevalence of infertility in this country, accessing resources can be difficult. Most cases of infertility (85% to 90%) are treated with conventional medical therapies such as surgery, medication, artificial insemination, or assisted reproductive technology**. Many of these treatments are costly and painful, and they are not always effective.
Fortunately, you do not have to struggle with infertility or pregnancy concerns on your own. Infertility counseling provides you with the support and tools you need to cope through this process effectively and build compassion for yourself.
Infertility Counseling Can Help You Find Hope and Acceptance
Our team at Embrace Strength Counseling can help you to cope with the challenges that infertility and pregnancy may present. We combine both personal and professional experience to provide you with a compassionate, non-judgmental space where you can openly process all of the emotions that arise on this journey.
During session, you can expect to delve into the impact that infertility and/or pregnancy may be having on your life. You will have the opportunity to explore day-to-day challenges like difficult doctor’s appointments, baby showers, or what it’s like to see others have successful pregnancies. We strive to normalize your experiences and provide you with the chance to explore your feelings and options fully and without judgment.
At Embrace Strength, we are also uniquely-equipped to work with the intersection of eating disorders and infertility concerns. With experience and training in both presenting concerns, we are dedicated to helping you navigate this painful crossroad.
Our infertility counselors integrate a range of approaches including Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, and other mindfulness-based cognitive and behavioral therapies. We can also help to connect you to other supportive professionals including physicians, fertility specialists, dietitians, and physical therapists.
Infertility and pregnancy-related concerns can take a big toll on your life. At Embrace Strength, we are passionate about helping hopeful and expecting parents cope, grieve, and reconnect. We would be honored to support you on this journey.
Common Concerns About Postpartum Counseling and Infertility Counseling…
Is talking about infertility issues going to make me feel worse than I already do?
It makes sense that you might think this! After all, confronting your experience with infertility and/or pregnancy can bring up intense, difficult emotions. However, these emotions probably already exist under the surface, and acknowledging them – rather than avoiding them – can be deeply healing. Avoiding negative emotions around fertility issues can actually worsen anxiety, depression, and isolation. Working through your thoughts and emotions in a safe space with a trained infertility counselor can help you to better manage this painful experience. Many individuals report feeling better over time after talking about infertility/pregnancy concerns in therapy.
Counseling is not going to fix my issues with infertility, so why try?
It is true that therapy may not change your circumstances when it comes to fertility struggles or having a baby. However, therapy can help you to address and manage the pain that you are experiencing. Infertility counseling offers you the opportunity to learn new coping strategies and work towards acceptance with a compassionate therapist.
For many individuals, reducing stress and anxiety can also improve fertility**. Infertility counseling is a meaningful outlet for stress as well as a place to learn new stress management techniques. Many people report a significant decrease in stress and anxiety after engaging in therapy, and may even experience a subsequent decrease in fertility concerns.
Infertility counseling can also empower you to get the support and help you have been needing throughout your journey – whether it be from your partner, friends, family, or medical professionals. Our therapists can help guide you through all of your options and the decisions that are right for you.
Is it normal to struggle with my mental health during pregnancy?
Although many individuals expect pregnancy to be a beautiful experience, it is very common to struggle with anxiety and other mental health concerns during this time. If you have experienced reproductive loss before – and even if you haven’t – pregnancy can bring many new fears, images, and emotions to the surface. With the overload of information about pregnancy and childbirth online, individuals frequently struggle with over-thinking and self-doubt. Many expecting parents also struggle to make sense of all the advice they receive from friends, family, and strangers. The prospect of childbirth and bringing a newborn into this world can cause a great deal of worry and distress for many expectant parents as well. No matter what your experience with pregnancy is, we are happy to support you through it.
Find Strength Through Infertility Counseling
If you would like to schedule an appointment or find out more about how our team of therapists can support you, please email email@example.com or call us at 303.720.9424. We offer a free initial-20 minute phone consultation so we can answer any questions you may have and see if it’s a good fit.