Infertility can be a traumatizing condition that affects many couples. Over time, it can take a significant toll on their emotional well-being and self-esteem. National Infertility Awareness Week is an annual event that aims to raise awareness about infertility and the struggles that couples face when trying to conceive. During this week, and every week, 21Ninety wants to support and encourage people who may be journeying through infertility. It is important to pause and reflect. If you are struggling, here are tips that can help you navigate infertility, according to experts.
Give Yourself Grace
The first step in dealing with the emotional impact of infertility is to acknowledge that it is normal to feel upset, angry, and frustrated. Infertility can be a challenging and isolating experience, and it is crucial to know that you are not alone in feeling these emotions. It is okay to seek support from loved ones, a support group, or a mental health professional. According to Dr. Alex Robles, of Columbia University Fertility Center, infertility is a rampant health journey that affects a lot of people.
“It is important to understand that infertility is a common issue that affects many couples. To put it into perspective, as many as 1 in 6 people will have difficulty conceiving,” Robles said. “As such, it’s not something to be ashamed of or to feel alone in.”
Support groups can be a valuable resource for those struggling with infertility. Connecting with others who are going through similar experiences can provide a sense of community and validation. It is also an opportunity to share coping strategies and learn from others who have successfully navigated infertility.
Don’t Blame Yourself
When navigating infertility, it is important to remember that what is happening is not your fault. Very often, people blame themselves or their partner when they cannot conceive, but this is not productive. Taking this path can even exacerbate emotional distress. Seeking out counseling or therapy can help you to work through these feelings and develop a more positive mindset.
Keep Hope Alive
Sometimes, life can throw curve balls, but that does not mean that there is no hope.
At 35, Erica Hoke had a stunning 1% chance of conceiving. She struggled for years with undiagnosed endometriosis, uterine fibroids, PCOS, thyroid disease, factor 5 Leiden, and MTHFR. Hoke was unable to participate in IVF. Finally, she was able to get to the bottom of her infertility issues via continual changes to her diet and lifestyle. Now, Hoke is the mother of four sons. Her last child was born seven years after her initial prognosis. Hoke is the lead author and publisher of the book “Infertility Success.” The book is a series of stories to help people on their journey to parenthood. In Hoke’s words: “Just because a doctor tells you they can’t help you, doesn’t mean you can’t get pregnant.”
Know When to Take a Break
Infertility can be a long and challenging journey, but it is essential to focus on the positive aspects of life. Try to maintain a sense of balance and optimism. This might mean taking a break from fertility treatments, exploring alternative options such as adoption, or simply taking time to enjoy life’s pleasures.