The moment you are told by your doctor that you cannot conceive naturally is a blow to the heart, but it’s also a blow to your mental wellbeing
Infertility stops you in your tracks and grabs hold of every thought you have. The need to become a parent becomes the only thing you can think about and with each passing month, the emotional pressure gets worse. Sadly the reality is that ivf rarely works the first time and as you go through each round, your options can become smaller and your anxiety builds.
As we have spoken about over and over, looking after your mental wellbeing is as important as looking after your body when you are going through fertility treatment, which is why we are so pleased to hear that clinics are increasingly supporting patients by offering counselling and psychological support. Please ask your clinic if they can support you. If you don’t deal with your fears they will take over, so the sooner you talk to the experts and learn how to take control the better.
It’s also so very important to understand that these negative feelings are shared amongst so many of you, and with the right care, you won’t always feel like this
We spoke to Dr. Silvia Moreno Golmar, head of the psychology department at Clinica Tambre about some of the most common fears and problems she hears
Undergoing fertility treatment really is a testing time emotionally which is why it is so important for us to make sure that our patients can talk to us about the way they are feeling. Anxiety and depression are such common emotional states amongst couples with fertility problems and we have a responsibility to make sure that this anxiety is managed.
These are just some of the most common fears and concerns that our patients talk to us about
The feeling of not being a complete man or woman.
The fear that you may never be a parent is so overwhelming that you don’t see the point of living.
The fear that you won’t love your child like it was your own if you use an egg or sperm donor.
The fear that your family won’t love your child like they would if your child was conceived with your own egg or sperm.
Disagreements with loved ones due to beliefs or perspectives regarding reproduction.
The fear of other women who can conceive naturally.
Loss of sexual desire. Sex lives may be affected as the pressure to conceive outweighs the pleasure.
The feeling of isolation.
The feeling of helplessness, frustration, anger.
With these feelings there is often a sense of shame attached. As a result, people keep these feelings and fears hidden.
What can we do to ease these fears?
Talking to an expert like Dr. Moreno will help ease some of these fears. An expert will give you coping strategies and help you see that your fears and irrationalities are something you can manage. Couples counselling will allow you to both talk about the changes in your relationship and hopefully give you the clarity to see that you both still love each other, even though at times you feel as though you are emotionally miles apart.
“One very important thing to do though, is to be certain about the decision to undergo your treatment”. Says Dr Moreno. “Whether you have a partner, or you are going it alone, make sure you have been well informed to choose your fertility path and that you are prepared and confident to go forwards with your decision.
It is also important to understand that the response towards your baby, whatever route you choose, from others (friends and family) cannot be controlled. If a family member doesn’t accept the baby, then so be it. This will be your baby. YOURS!
Reach out to the TTC community and share your fears
The power and strength that comes from realising you aren’t alone is like medicine. By breaking the silence you break the isolation and the feeling of shame.
If you would like to talk to Dr Moreno, drop her a line at firstname.lastname@example.org
To learn more about Clinica Tambre visit here