Receiving a diagnosis of infertility can be devastating. The majority of us grow-up assuming that becoming a parent will come easily to us, and when it doesn’t, many aspects of one’s life are called into question:
- What does this mean about my womanhood or manhood?
- Is it my fault?
- Will my partner still want me if we can’t have children?
- How will I know it is time to stop fertility treatment and consider other options for family building or living child-free?
Infertility is often a hidden pain you carry alone due to feelings of shame or having been met with insensitivity by others who have never experienced the difficulties that come with infertility. This can cause you to feel increasingly isolated just when you need support the most.
Getting the emotional care you need and deserve during this difficult time is crucial, not only in order to reduce your symptoms of stress, but to strengthen your resilience and restore your feelings of vitality. There are a number of ways for you to lower the stresses of infertility: joining an infertility support group, connecting with other people experiencing fertility challenges through on-line communities, and beginning individual and/or couples counseling.
Infertility, and the associated psychological and medical aspects of reproductive challenges, is an area of expertise in which I have received specialized training and regularly participate in ongoing continuing education.
I have had the privilege of supporting clients experiencing fertility challenges around a multitude of related issues:
- The effects of medical diagnosis including premature ovarian failure/ insufficient ovarian reserve, polycystic ovarian syndrome and endometriosis
- The stress of infertility
- The experience associated with Assisted Reproductive Technology procedures (ART)
- Strengthening interpersonal skills with one’s partner in order to effectively support one another through infertility
- Pregnancy loss and termination
- Exploring and receiving support around family building options
- Pregnancy after infertility
- Perinatal mood and anxiety disorders following infertility