Infertility stress is the emotional stress that comes with not being able to have a child. Infertility can be extremely difficult to cope with and cause:
- Low self-esteem
- Social isolation
- Marital problems
- Sexual intimacy problems
- Financial problems
Studies have found that the stress caused by infertility is similar to that of those with serious diseases such as chronic pain and cancer.
Sometimes, infertility stress can make patients respond by aggressively pursuing treatment, whereas other patients isolate themselves from family, friends, and community. Neither extremes are healthy for patients who seek to treat their infertility and build a family.
7 tips for dealing with infertility stress
Developing coping strategies to relieve infertility stress can help patients feel more in control and improve their overall well-being:
1. Be honest about your emotions
Instead of ignoring or denying your feelings, acknowledge how you feel and find ways to address your emotions in a positive way. Pushing things under the rug can worsen infertility stress and negatively impact your health.
2. Educate yourself
In many cases, infertility is caused by factors that are out of your control. Learning about the causes of infertility, any underlying conditions you may have, and the various treatment options available can help you stop blaming yourself or your partner.
3. Connect with your partner
Communicate with your partner and be open and accepting. Each partner may feel differently about the situation, and it’s important to support each other and find ways to connect with each other during the process.
4. Take care of your health
Get regular check-ups to monitor your overall health. Practice healthy eating, exercise on a regular basis, get plenty of sleep, and find ways to relax and unwind. Seek the help of a mental health expert or counselor if needed.
5. Stay active
Regular exercise helps release endorphins in your body that can help you stay calm and improve your mindset. Engaging in some type of physical activity for at least 30 minutes a day helps reduce overall stress, including infertility stress.
6. Stay busy
Fertility treatments can be stressful. Staying busy with work or other projects can distract you from the anxiety, provide you with a sense of accomplishment, and help boost your self-confidence.
7. Try stress management techniques
Recommended stress-reducing techniques include:
- Progressive muscle relaxation
- Listening to music
- Massage therapy
- Visualization or guided imagery
- Walking or hiking
- Psychotherapy and cognitive behavioral therapy
- Self-help books
- Support groups
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
Rooney KL, Domar AD. The relationship between stress and infertility. Dialogues Clin Neurosci. 2018;20(1):41-47. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6016043/
American Society for Reproductive Medicine. Stress and Infertility. https://www.reproductivefacts.org/news-and-publications/patient-fact-sheets-and-booklets/documents/fact-sheets-and-info-booklets/stress-and-infertility/
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