How do I cope with my infertility?

After months of waiting, you finally find out why you can’t get pregnant.  It isn’t an easy moment.  Below, we present some tips to confront the diagnosis odiagf your infertility.

Attend all of your medical appointments with your partner

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The information that the doctor gives you is important in order to understand the treatment options that you have.  It takes two people to become parents, and fertility treatment is the same.  Additionally, going together to the appointments will help you to better remember the information that you receive.  To ensure that you can both attend these appointments, organize your work- and social schedules in advance.

If you have doubts, ask

The doctor in charge of your treatment will provide you with the necessary information about what your diagnosis means and what your reproductive options are.  If you become nervous during the appointments and can’t find the right time to ask a question, take notes in a notebook so that you can review the information later.  Of particular importance are the explanations about how to self-administer hormonal treatment and when to carry out the necessary tests, which tend to coincide with the menstrual cycle.  If you receive written information, read it before leaving the clinic so that you can ask about any questions that arise.

Communicate openly with your partner

We repeat that becoming parents is a joint effort.  The diagnosis of infertility can generate mixed feelings.  On one hand, we can feel relieved because now that we know what’s happening to us, we can find a solution.  On the other hand, we can think, “Why me?  Everyone else I know has gotten pregnant, so why can’t I?”  Discussing all of these questions with your partner can help you both to order your thoughts and recover a sense of calm so that you can make the best decision about how to move forward.  Men and women experience emotions and express themselves differently.  With that in mind, if you stay patient and open-minded, you will both feel comfortable enough to talk things through.

Take as much time as you need to process the information that you received

We understand what is happening, and maybe they’ve already told us about the different options that we have to solve the problem.  In this moment, we might want to begin treatment as soon as possible.  Here, we advise that you process the diagnosis and accept its implications before you proceed onto the next step.  Treatments are substantial undertakings, so it helps to be prepared.  Moreover, since treatments tend to begin with a new menstrual cycle, you might have some time to clarify your thoughts before reach a decision.  Your medical team will inform you about your choices and guide you toward a decision that suits your particular case.  Regardless, remember that the final decision is yours.

Allow yourself to express whatever you’re feeling

At this point, feelings of sadness, nervousness, and uncertainty are completely normal.  Giving space to these emotions, and expressing them, permits us to organize them.  In addition to your partner, your medical team and social circle can support you in these delicate moments.

Choose the person with whom to talk about your fertility

The goal is to receive support, either emotional (to feel heard) or practical (to plan your visits to the doctor, etc.).  Therefore, you should consider who can provide you with the necessary support.  The quest to become parents is an intimate element of any relationship, so don’t feel pressured to tell your social circle about the details if you don’t feel prepared to do so.  An intermediate option can be letting them know that you’re going to pursue some type of reproductive treatment without specifying exactly what your diagnosis is.  Remember, the reproductive project is a dual mission, and the decision to talk with someone about it should be consensual.

Get back to sexual activity

Sometimes, when one is trying to get pregnant, every encounter with one’s partner becomes charged with expectations.  Maybe you’ve forgotten the time when you made love “just because” or “because you wanted to.”  Now that you have both a diagnosis and a possible solution, it is the perfect time to return to enjoying your intimate relationship without pressure.  You two, as partners, already are a family.  Consult with your doctor about the right moment to reclaim your sex life based on the stage of your treatment that you have reached.  If your doctor gives you the go-ahead, be sure to mutually care for each other’s sexual well-being.

Practice relaxation

Whether you’re experiencing stress or trying to prevent it, it could benefit you to learn a relaxation technique that could help you during important moments of the treatment process.  A ton of different methods exist, but for their simplicity, we recommend either diaphragmatic breathing or progressive muscular relaxation.  If you want to go a step further, you can learn yoga, mindfulness, or pilates.

In conclusion, the diagnosis of your infertility can be a really difficult moment to face.  You now have all of the information about how you can move forward, but you didn’t count on your diagnosis when you decided to have a baby.  We encourage you to follow the advice that we proposed in this article, and if you feel at any point that your emotions are overwhelming you, you can ask a therapist for help.  A therapist can guide you along your chosen path.

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