Understanding The Emotional Roller-Coaster Of Infertility: A Guide To Coping Strategies
For individuals and couples battling infertility, strategies at interpersonal and professional levels can empower them to navigate their feelings better.
Infertility affects millions of couples these days. With great importance placed on conceiving and having children, couples who are unable to meet these expectations experience emotional challenges, mental trauma, depression and anxiety. For individuals and couples battling infertility, strategies at interpersonal and professional levels can empower them to navigate their feelings better. Whether one is currently on this journey or supporting a loved one, let's understand the coping strategies that can prove to be helpful.
When going through something like this, it is normal to feel overwhelmed, sad, angry or anxious. It is almost instinctive to feel that one is alone in their experience and that no one can empathise with their condition. However, when someone is struggling with infertility, they are not the only person getting affected; thus, it is essential to acknowledge one's own state of mind and that of their partner. One must check in on their partners regularly, ask how they are feeling, and discuss the same - these could be the first steps to explore next steps, including taking professional support for their emotional well-being and for their family planning.
Research on the intersection of mental health and infertility has found that women with fertility challenges exhibit similar mental trauma as persons with cancer and hypertension. Seeking help from a mental health professional can become a pivotal step that enables one to cope with one's medical conditions, and provide guidance on the plan ahead. Moreover, talking to people who are undergoing similar problems by joining support groups can provide valuable insights and empathy that will help one feel less isolated. These interventions can extend the necessary awareness and acceptance required for one to seek infertility treatment. Furthermore, interacting with people with success stories and combating infertility can prove as a positive source of motivation and encouragement.
With burgeoning developments in medical sciences, assisted reproductive technology has also gone through revolutionary changes by becoming a helping hand to countless individuals who have faced the throes of infertility. The first step here is to find the infertility care provider and consulting with a fertility specialist. They are experts who are cognisant of the mental burden faced by individuals who approach them that add on to their medical capabilities hence, creating a safe space for discussion and treatment of the otherwise hushed disease.
Choosing the right care provider is integral. Fertility specialists understand that every individual or couple is unique and would present their distinctive set of challenges and history. They create personalised treatment plans tailored to the specific needs and circumstances of couples. This many include techniques such as in vitro fertilisation (IVF), intrauterine insemination (IUI), intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), egg freezing, as well as other fertility and allied treatments. A comprehensive overview of the options available and an understanding of different procedures empowers one to take the best journey forward with achieving parenthood aspirations.
In a challenging situation like this, it is imperative that partners stick together and focus on their relationship. Even while visiting a doctor or talking to a counsellor, it is encouraged to do it together. In the journey of infertility, where silence often veils the emotional turmoil couples face, understanding and implementing coping strategies is crucial. One should always remember that infertility is not a dead-end and there are numerous medical options available that can help with conceiving. With the right coping strategies, support and determination, one can overcome the emotional roller-coaster of infertility and ultimately achieve the dream of building a family.
(Dr Kshitiz Murdia, CEO and Co-Founder at Indira IVF)
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