Infertility Counseling Series Part 1 of 4: Am I Infertile? Now What?
Updated: Nov 4, 2019
5 Tips from an Infertility Counselor on How to Handle the Stress of Not Getting Pregnant
First off, I’m sorry for the circumstances that have brought you to this blog. As a card carrying member of the Infertility Club I feel for you and I am glad you have found your way here. During my 6+ year battle trying to bring a child into my family I was struck by the lack of mental health/infertility resources that are out there. Sure, there is a ton of resources regarding egg quality and such, but where is the place to just acknowledge how much this sucks with a therapist who also know how much this sucks?! So my goal is to make this Infertility Counseling blog series that place! If this is connecting with you then please read on.
So you have been trying to have a baby and nothing is happening:
The first few months you figured, hey, it takes awhile, (even though you secretly knew you would get pregnant right away.) You are tracking your ovulation, you are taking your temperature, you know way more about vaginal mucous than you ever wanted to know, and nothing is happening. You are starting to worry. Here are some tips about what the next steps are to take.
Talk to your doctor about fertility testing:
Depending on your age and medical history, your primary care doctor may want you to try to conceive naturally for 6-12 months before beginning fertility testing. They may test some of your hormone levels and encourage you to start medication.
Be your own advocate:
If the recommendation from you doctor is to wait to do fertility testing are you okay with that? Do you want to try naturally for a bit longer or start a low level treatment intervention before the recommended fertility testing? Do you even like your doctor? Just because your doctor recommends something does not mean that is the only course of action. You know yourself and your body, and if your gut is telling you that you aren’t okay with waiting or you feel like you are being pushed into something, say something. Or get a new doctor.
Get off the internet!
Some good things come from the internet. I mean, you are reading this;) There is also a lot of misinformation out there as well as just a ton of information to sift through. It is too early to know exactly what you are trying to research so if you type in “why can’t I get pregnant?” you may find yourself three hours later incredibly stressed and overloaded. Well, get off the internet! It is a tool that may be helpful later once you know more but now it will probably just increase the already present fear and worry.
Counseling, acupuncture, yoga, prayer, reiki, meditation, visualizations etc. Maybe you thought you would never try these things but are now a bit more open minded. The world is a big and wondrous place full of things I don’t fully understand that have been around for a long, long time. Try some stuff- maybe they help you get pregnant and maybe they don’t but they have an added benefit of being great self-care for your mind and body! There is a caveat though, and that is that you do not need to try everything. Stretch your comfort zone a bit by trying one or two new things, but not to the point that it is fraying. Again you know yourself and your body, trust it’s limits and your boundaries.
Looking to work with a professional? As your doctor’s office or nearby women’s clinic for referrals.
Looking to do some work on your own? Find a video that you like on www.youtube.com that focuses on meditation or guided relaxation.
Be kind to yourself:
This is tough. I hope that you get pregnant next month and don’t need to read any more of these blogs. Though for however long you are journeying down the infertility road, Be kind to yourself. You didn’t cause this. Your partner didn’t cause this. You are doing all that you can.
I hope that these tips have been helpful when starting to plan a new direction in your fertility. Check back in this weekly blog series for more information around infertility, mental health, individual and couples counseling, assisted reproduction techniques and adoption. If you need professional support and are interested in learning about options for Infertility Counseling, please contact me for a free 15-minute phone consultation via my website www.resolvecounselingco.com.
You can also access this nonprofit organization www.resolve.org for additional professional resources regarding infertility.
Wishing you peace, comfort, and good mental health!