Infertility can have a profound impact on an individual’s mental health and well being.
Anyone who has struggled to start a family knows all too well the stress involved in trying to conceive. Whether you are having difficulty conceiving or are unable to carry a pregnancy to term, coping with infertility can be an emotional experience that creates psychological challenges for women and their partners. Although it is known that the causes of infertility are physiological, these personal experiences can negatively impact an individual’s mental health and well-being. Additional factors contribute to the psychological toll of infertility, including the emotional and physical demands of infertility treatment, the financial burden of medical costs, the uncertainty of one’s future outcome, and managing goals and expectations.
Research indicates that women and their partners that are facing infertility can experience symptoms of depression and anxiety, as well as low levels of self-esteem. Individuals, upon learning about their infertility, can experience symptoms of grief, similar to anyone else suffering from a great loss. These feelings can include anger, frustration, loneliness, and shame. Research indicates that women struggling with infertility felt as anxious or depressed as those diagnosed with cancer, hypertension, or recovering from a heart attack.
Women and their partners often attempt to cope with infertility privately, which adds further stress and feelings of isolation. Women may even blame themselves for the infertility or a miscarriage. Relationships may also suffer during this time, not only the relationship between a woman and her potential partner, but relationships between friends and family, as well. Individuals may find it challenging to spend time with friends that are pregnant or have small children and often, family members will solicit advice or opinions that are unhelpful or misguided.
Therapy can help. The psychologists at Metta Psychology Group provide a safe and comforting environment that encourages processing of the difficult emotions that can come with infertility or the loss of a pregnancy. Those that seek support from therapist or counselor find that they are better able to cope with the transitions and adjust to their new lives. Our psychologists have expertise in helping individuals implement effective coping strategies to help you and/or your partner to grow through this stressful time. Additionally, Metta’s therapists are skilled at recognizing symptoms of other concerns, such as depression and anxiety, that may be making it difficult for you to find ways to care for yourself.