“If there is one thing I would do differently, if I had to do my IVF all over again, is that I would have counselling. For some reason, this is something that I just didn’t even consider back when I was TTC for over 4 years, despite feeling the lowest I have ever felt in my life. Rather than download my thoughts and concerns to a kind and caring professional who could have helped me manage my sadness and fears, I opted instead to ‘cope’. When I look back, I wish I had been kinder to myself. I wish I had allowed someone to stroke my forehead ( metaphorically speaking of course) and listen. If you haven’t looked in to counselling yet, please do. I might really just help”. Sara Marshall-Page, Co Founder of IVF babble
For anyone struggling to conceive, you will know that your mental wellbeing can take a huge blow as you navigate your way through fertility treatment to what you hope will end in you becoming a mother or father. With so many emotions to deal with on a daily basis, from fear, hope, sadness, desperation, anger, joy, anticipation and then back to fear, it is no surprise that going through fertility treatment is often referred to as ‘an emotional rollercoaster’
One minute you’re anxious and worried, the next minute you’re angry at the cards you’ve been dealt, and the next you’re hopeful that this time ‘everything will finally work out.’
It’s can be easy to slip into depression over struggling to conceive
Studies show that failed cycles can lead to depression and poor mental health. Even women who have successful treatments often experience anxiety and depression in the following months and years.
Many people lean on their partners for the support they need during fertility treatments – isn’t that enough?
Of course, your partner and/or friends can be kind and compassionate sources of comfort. However, they are often going through their own emotions about the process. They are also not usually equipped to counsel you through the complex and difficult feelings you’re experiencing.
Getting extra support from a professional counsellor can make all the difference to your mental health and wellbeing.
IVF counselling resources
If you’re looking for infertility counselling, check out these resources to find a suitable counsellor.
Counselling with your private fertility clinic
Fertility treatments are hard on everyone. More and more clinics around the world are realising the importance of counselling, In the UK, to be licensed by the HFEA (Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority), clinics must offer counselling services.
In some cases, these services are free, while other clinics charge for sessions. Some clinics also facilitate support groups.
If you’re undergoing NHS-funded fertility treatment in the UK, you’ll be offered counselling services. The number of sessions depends on your local CCG allowance. Even if you are going through private IVF, you can still speak to your GP and ask about your counselling options on the NHS.
Getting in touch with private counsellors
If you’re looking for a private counsellor, it is important to speak with specialist counsellors.
In the US, ASRM recommends linking with healthcare professionals by visiting ReproductiveFacts.org. Just click on the button labelled “Find a Healthcare Professional” for a list of doctors and wellbeing professionals in your area.
In the UK, British Infertility Counselling Association provides a vast directory including all of the specialist counsellors across the UK so you can find a compassionate and experienced professional to listen to your feelings.
The HIMFertility Campaign
Men can find it difficult to open up about their feelings on the topic of fertility. However, they can also experience the anxiety, shame, depression, inadequacy and guilt that women face when going through treatments. Check out the resources offered by the HIMFertility Campaign, as well as the Men’s Health Forum
Support groups for infertility
Sometimes it helps to speak with others experiencing the same heartbreak and challenges around an inability to conceive.
- Resolve US – The leading US charity supporting all those struggling with infertility
- Fertility Network UK – The leading UK charity supporting those dealing with infertility
- The Daisy Network – Support for women who have undergone premature menopause.
- Childlessness Overcome Through Surrogacy – Support for those using a surrogate.
- Endometriosis UK – Connect with other women suffering with endometriosis
You deserve support
You and your partner deserve support – don’t suffer in silence.
Counselling can improve your mental health, reduce your stress, and help you get through this painful and difficult time.
We are all here for you. you are not alone. If you need guidance at all, please do get in touch with us at email@example.com at any point or message us through Instagram, Twitter or Facebook @ivfbabble