"Couples experiencing infertility will definitely experience considerable stress"
MANAGING THE STRESS OF INFERTILITY
Couples experiencing infertility will definitely experience considerable stress. The stress a woman experiences when not being able to conceive has been compared to the stress a person experiences when suffering a major medical illness such as cancer.
It is still debated whether stress causes infertility but it can certainly interrupt a normal sex life resulting in less frequent sex. Stress can even interfere with ovulation. Stress of infertility can cause performance anxiety and many men find it difficult to have timed intercourse.
The initial diagnosis of infertility is stressful. There is high anxiety when testing for infertility is being performed – emotions include fear, hope and maybe relief. Fertility treatment often involves a series of steps and hurdles and sometimes disappointment when the treatment is unsuccessful.
Helpful Hints to manage your stress:
- Understand as much as possible as to the cause of your infertility and the treatment you are receiving
- Confide with a close friend or someone else receiving treatment
- Don't however tell too many people you are receiving treatment, as then you may have to deal with many questions and answers.
- Keep active – exercise reduces stress – yoga relaxes the mind and keeps you fit
- Find something you enjoy doing – relaxing bath, reading books, listening to music
- Stay busy – don't stay home and wait for the pregnancy test to come up positive – try and focus on other things in your life.
- Join support groups – there are many on-line chat groups that may be helpful
- Seek counseling if need be on ways to cope with infertility
- Use alternative therapies to help with stress – many patients find seeing an acupuncturist, reflexologist or a massage therapist regularly can reduce their stress.