Infertility treatments can be exhausting, time-consuming, physically uncomfortable, and costly – all without a guarantee of success. For many women, the infertility experience can range from multiple diagnostic procedures through progressively more aggressive treatments, all of which impose demands upon the physical and emotional self. Thus, it is no wonder that many women experience severe stress, anxiety, or depression during the whole fertility journey.
The first step is to accept the fact that you are experiencing a time of heightened stress. You do not need to downplay or deny its effects. You might find the need to cut back on some or even all of your nonessential activities or obligations for a while. You should give yourself permission to say ‘no’ to various nonessential commitments and demands on your time.
Do not think that you are alone in your journey. It helps to confide in a trusted friend, loved one, or even a support group. Since we live in the age of social networks, various social support networks can help reduce feelings of stress and emotional pain. Many infertility clinics offer support groups as well as counseling services. If you are trying to conceive as a couple, then you must also accept the fact that your partner may also feel stress, anxiety, or depression, and might not be able to provide all the emotional support you require.
It is important to empower yourself with the knowledge of the treatments and procedures you might need. You can do your own research via the internet, and if you have any questions or concerns, list them all down and let your doctor know the issues you would like to discuss or be more enlightened with.
Before any treatments or procedures, it is best to decide in advance with whom you would want to share your experiences with. You should have some strategies for avoiding inappropriate questions or unwanted advice from acquaintances and colleagues.
During your fertility journey, there might be some days wherein you feel the need to have a “time off” from all the procedures and treatments. Before starting the whole journey, discuss the possibility of such treatment breaks with your doctor. Some people decide to be treated every other month or perhaps every few menstrual cycles. Some people are stressed by the waiting periods, so they rarely ask for treatment breaks. Work with your doctor to find the best treatment schedule that is comfortable for you.