The Impact of Infertility on Your Mental Health
It is not uncommon to feel a profound sense of grief as you deal with infertility issues. If you learn that a pregnancy may not be possible for you – or that the probability of a natural pregnancy is very small – it’s natural to grieve. You have lost a particular vision of parenthood, perhaps one that you cultivated since you were a child.
Studies have shown that infertile couples experience significant anxiety and emotional distress. When a round of fertility treatments proves to be unsuccessful, for instance, women and couples can experience deep feelings of grief and loss.
The process of coming to terms with infertility is slow and gradual. After all, it’s important to remember that you are not alone.
Effects of Infertility
It Can Affect Self-Esteem, Desires, & Sexual Performance
As a couple continues to be unsuccessful in conceiving, infertility will eventually affect their self-esteem, sexual desire, as well as their performance. If sex becomes associated with failure and frustration due to fertility issues, the couple risks losing their physical and emotional connection.
It Can Make You Socially Isolated
The most difficult aspects of dealing with fertility issues is that it can make you socially isolated. This is especially true for couples who know a lot of friends, neighbors or relatives that had children ahead of them effortlessly.
It’s common for couples who are having fertility issues to isolate themselves from social situations that can be painful for them. Some may even have a hard time seeing online pregnancy announcements, gender reveals, or just simply seeing baby pictures. This kind of social isolation is very normal, but it can trigger feelings of anxiety and depression, for that they prefer to stay away from social gathering.
How does infertility affect mental health?
- Loss of interest in usual activities
- Depression and anxiety
- Difficulty thinking of anything other than your infertility
- Diminished ability to accomplish tasks
- Difficulty with concentration
- Change in your sleep patterns
- Change in your appetite or weight (increase or decrease)
- Increased use of drugs or alcohol
- Thoughts about death or suicide
Tips on looking after your mental health throughout fertility issues
Talk to your family and friends
Talking openly about things we consider taboos is the only way to break them. It shares the mental load, and it’s only once you’ve started to talk about a topic that you can start to uncover the support system around you that’s willing to help. For that it’s important to talk about your infertility problems to people you trust and discuss with them ways to treat or to cope with this problem.
Focus on the present
You can’t change the past, so stop reliving the “should haves” and “could haves”. You should know that you can’t control the future either, so stop pre-living worries and anxieties. Try to stay in the present because it’s the only place you can really choose to behave in ways that can reduce stress and anxiety.
That means treating yourself even half as well as you treat your family and friends. Get enough sleep, exercise, time alone, and time with others to make yourself feel cared for. Practice being your own best friend!
Check for Depression
While you may not have control over the physical aspects of infertility, you can take control over how you cope with the stress of infertility. What you think and what you do shapes what you feel, so choose thoughts and behaviors that reinforce your sense of control. Work and play will help you cope with this journey, so don’t wait until you are overwhelmed.
Seek a professional help
If you’re facing infertility issues, there’s no reason to do it alone. Contact Dr. Carla, that can help you deal with infertility issues to maintain a healthy mental life.