Infertility is stressful for couples and individuals who are trying to conceive. Coping with infertility can be extremely difficult. However, it helps to have a stable network of support. That way, you will have somewhere to turn to when the anxiety becomes too much to handle alone. You will also have a solid basis for making decisions when things start to seem overwhelming.
There are a number of things you can do to help cope with a diagnosis of infertility.
Before diving into infertility treatment, research the available treatment options for your infertility. Think about their benefits and side effects. It’s a good idea to decide in advance what kind of procedures each person is willing to have if assisted reproductive technologies (ART) are needed. That way you can make a plan with your doctor to follow these treatment options.
While you research treatment options, it’s smart to think about alternative ways of building a family. Discuss whether adoption might be an option if you can’t succeed in getting pregnant. You should also investigate whether surrogates and gestational carriers are legal in your state, if such options are of interest to you.
Finally, talk to your partner about how you feel about donor gametes. How would it affect your relationship if only one–or neither–of you is your child’s biological parent? You might also want to consider discussing these issues with a relationship counselor.
A professional may also be able to help you prioritize your goals for starting a family. Consider asking for a referral to a counselor who has experience dealing with infertility issues. They can help you understand your parenting options.
Fertility treatments carry significant financial cost. Many couples tell themselves they will exhaust all means to conceive a child. However, this can drain their finances with no promise of success. Such financial burden can place additional stress on individuals and relationships. Before you begin treatment, talk with your doctor about costs. It’s important to make a plan for how much you’re able to realistically spend before looking at alternatives.
If cost is an issue for your fertility treatment, talk to your doctor about options. Some practices may reduce costs for couples willing to donate eggs or spare embryos. You may also be able to receive free or discounted care if you participate in research studies.
Communication with other infertile couples can be incredibly useful for people who are having trouble conceiving. Many fertility specialists and doctors can recommend support groups or counseling services. Groups can help you handle the emotional and psychological stress that often accompanies fertility treatments. These support groups may be especially helpful in the event fertility treatments are not successful.
A state-by-state list of infertility support groups is also available from Resolve: The National Infertility Association