Some women describe their infertility diagnosis as being the most painful thing ever, just truly unbearable. Living day to day with a health condition like infertility can be super stressful. After receiving an upsetting diagnosis, how do you get through each difficult day?
Infertility stress can affect your mental state, physical health, and even your relationships and career path. This makes it so important to figure out how best to take care of your mental health while living with infertility.
So… How do you cope?
Talk about it
We have seen some women in our community get a big mood boost after joining forces with others on Facebook or after attending a local infertility support group. If grief or depression is affecting your day-to-day life, make an appointment with a counselor to discuss your feelings. Counseling can help to reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression and offers you an opportunity to learn new coping skills and healthy ways of living. Every counselor has a different style. You may want to sample a counselor or two until you find the best fit. Your fertility clinic may even be able to refer you to a therapist that specializes in infertility.
Try Mind-Body Therapies
Exercise, yoga, meditation, massage, acupuncture can all help to soothe the mind and the body. They are also enjoyable and feel really, really good. If you are new to mind-body therapies, consider the following:
- Ask a friend to go with you to an acupuncture session or yoga class if you are nervous.
- Find an exercise class or activity that you enjoy. Keep trying new activities until you find one you can stick with.
- Do the same for acupuncture, massage and yoga. All therapies and practitioners are different. Sometimes you have to try a few different people until you find your best match. Don’t give up on the first try!
Always get your doctor’s approval before trying any new exercise or alternative medicine treatment. And once you begin, please enjoy the endorphin rush that follows, along with improved sleep and health benefits.
Seek professional weight-loss help
If you are dealing with fertility weight issues, consider meeting with a dietician or nutritionist. He or she can help you structure a meal plan to help you achieve a healthy weight. Losing weight can help you feel better and might even boost your fertility potential. Many fertility clinics are now offering nutrition counseling services onsite.
We want to know: What is the hardest part about infertility for you? Is it financial? Emotional? And do you and your partner handle the stress differently? Let us know how you cope. What works for you? Share with us in the comments.
Britt Berg is a medical writer, blogger and Facebook moderator for Attain Fertility. She is also a trained therapist and co-author of Making a Baby, a book about infertility.