From Heartbreak To Hope: Coping With Infertility

One out of every six couples in their childbearing years has been confronted with the personal affront and emotional pain that accompanies a diagnosis of infertility. The doctor's words always come as a shock, since most couples never stop to consider the possibility of infertility until the issue is foisted upon them. The pain can unbearable. In an effort to change their poor luck, couples may spend a year's salary or more, in their pursuit of a medical miracle.

Psychological Distress

If you've just been socked with a diagnosis of infertility, you may find it difficult to sort through your feelings. This is not surprising, since research has proven that the type of psychological distress brought on by a diagnosis of infertility is much the same as that experienced by those who suffer from chronic diseases like cancer or HIV. Beware of well-meaning friends and family who may tell you that the stress you're experiencing is the primary cause of your infertility. This just adds guilt to the already too-high pile of feelings you are now experiencing. Rest assured, recent studies have ruled out stress as a cause of infertility.

It's very important to keep in mind that the emotional turmoil you are experiencing, though it may seem extreme, is quite normal. The rise of infertility means that many other couples are going through the very same experience, right now. When your emotions threaten to overwhelm you, it can be calming to remind yourself of these facts.

Some of the emotions you can expect to experience include:

*Sense of loss—you always expected to have a child. Now you feel that you've lost out on an experience you expected to have; that of becoming a biological parent.

Self-Satisfied Friends

*Jealousy and anger—you feel jealous of friends who waited until their careers and relationships were stable, just as you did, and became pregnant right away. You may be feeling a great deal of anger at your friends who seem so self-satisfied.

*Monthly letdown—every month you build up hope that this time you will have a positive pregnancy test, and when this fails to happen, you feel depressed and upset anew.

*Unfeminine or unmanly—women feel that being diagnosed with infertility means they have failed in their primary purpose and are somehow unfeminine while men who are found to be infertile feel unmanned. In general, you may feel less of a person for not being able to effortlessly conceive.

Ultimate Purpose?

*Not in control—not being able to conceive makes you feel like you have no control over your own body and its ultimate purpose and destiny. There is nothing you can do to ensure a treatment will be successful. It's very hard to bear that there is so little you can do to change your infertile status.

Of course there are many other stresses and concerns that come with infertility and they run the gamut from marital stress to empty wallet syndrome as a result of paying for pricey treatments. Here at in our coping with fertility section at we hope to help guide you through what may seem like an endless maze of fertility treatments while giving you emotional and moral support you need. We know what you're going through. Be strong!

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