When you are trying to conceive, the beginning of your cycle each month can be a time where you feel encouraged and optimistic. You are hopeful that perhaps this time you will get pregnant. And when this doesn’t occur, you may find that when pregnancy evades you once again, you sink into hopelessness and despair.
Although anger, anxiety and disappointment are common emotional responses, they don’t have to be your doom. There are things you can do to feel better: Here is a list of five things that may make the struggle with infertility more bearable.
- Know what to expect
Expect to go through emotional ups and downs. Sometimes you may feel that your emotions are out of control. Anticipate at least some of the following negative emotions: anxiety, sadness, depression, anger, frustration, impatience, and grief. Remember these feelings are only temporary and a “side effect” of your medical treatment.
- Acknowledge and accept your feelings and losses
In order to resolve your feelings and losses from infertility, you need to acknowledge they exist. Once you know what your losses are, you can begin to grieve them. Trying to dodge sadness and ignore the emotional impact may cause greater distress. Acknowledging the loss every month will not take your pain away, but it will discharge the pent-up feelings of anger, frustration and sadness, as well as providing some relief. Clinical studies show the more you understand your feelings, the better you may feel. Being aware of where and why your negative feelings are coming from (e.g., negative pregnancy test, waiting to hear about your results from your last IVF cycle, etc.), and how they can effect you (e.g., can’t focus on work, sleeping problems), can help you manage them better.
- Let it out and express yourself
The best way to get in control of your emotions is to “let them out” with your partner, friends or a therapist. When you are able to “talk them out” your emotions become less troublesome. If you keep your emotions all to your self, they can become unspeakable, overwhelming and scary. When you can talk about them, they become more manageable and less frightening.It requires a lot of energy to hold in your negative feelings. Letting go of them can feel liberating. Imagine if you were carrying a bag of frustration, sadness and anxiety and you kept on adding more to it every month. Your bag may get too heavy for you to continue to carry all by yourself. You will also have more control over your negative feelings by knowing when and how they tend to arise.
If you are a private person and don’t like to share your feelings with others, you may want to write in a journal about what you are going though.
Allow yourself time each day to focus on your feelings about infertility.
- You are more than your infertility
Keep things into perspective and try to reframe how you see infertility. Your whole self has not failed; it is only this part of your physical body that is not working correctly. Remember, other aspects of your life where you are very successful such as your profession, your marriage, and your friendships. Make a list of all of your assets and strengths. Remind yourself what you have to be grateful for.
- Get professional help
If you have already tried everything and nothing has helped you with your grief and stress, it is time to seek professional help. If sadness and anxiety due to infertility are undermining your work and taking over your relationships, therapy may help. A professional counselor frees you from having to carry the burden all by yourself. It may be easier to get thorough the week if you know that there is the time and place to “unload.” The counseling will serve as your “pressure release” gauge. Counseling can help you become stronger and resolve your intense feelings.
If you want to make the road of infertility go a little smoother, please don’t hesitate to contact Dr. Irena Milentijevic at 281-267-1742.
Counseling Offices located on 7900 Fannin, Houston, TX 77054 and 1600 Lake Front Cir. Suite 150, The Woodlands, TX 7738.
Dr. Irena Milentijevic is a psychologist and therapist who specializes in helping women and couples cope with infertility and also in helping parents with young children. Her therapy offices are in Houston and in the Woodlands, Texas.
Dr. Irena offers online therapy for women and couples in Texas and New York City. She uses research-proven method, known as Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) to help couples develop and maintain the emotional connection and support each other through stressful times. She has helped highly distressed couples be available and responsive to each other, access their resiliency, and strengthen their relationships.
If you would like to schedule a session, email Dr. Irena for a free 10-minute video consultation: email@example.com or call (281)-267-1742.