Infertility creates a huge degree of uncertainty and psychological upheaval in a couple’s routine life. Research has it that when couples seek treatment for infertility, they go through a roller coaster rise of disappointments and hope of conceiving month after month. The charting of menstruation cycles and ovulation lends a completely mechanical touch to the sexual relationship and often, women experience extreme psychological stress.
Why Is It That Women Suffer More Than Men When It Comes To Infertility?
All over the world, specifically in India, women are raised to be mothers all their life. The sense of motherhood is inculcated in a girl when she gets her first doll or she is told to take care of her siblings. Motherhood is sometimes the supreme ambition of some women. Moreover, they are bombarded with expectations from parents, peers and society, plus there are some social obligations that women succumb to. This enormous pressure to reproduce creates a psychological upheaval in a woman’s life, especially when things do not come easy to her. Women who are unable to conceive start believing that something is wrong with them, and this gives them a sense of being incomplete or lacking.
Men, on the other hand, are not as pressurized as women, and even if they are, the Indian society grooms them in such a way that they are tuned to repress their feelings. If, however, the fertility problem is in the man, it can deeply affect his self-respect, but not to the extent of what women go through. A research published states that the stress that women undergo when dealing with infertility problems is similar to the upheaval they go through when battling life-threatening diseases like HIV and cancer. Infertility can be very, very tough on couples, and women in particular.
7 Emotional Impacts Of Infertility
The feelings that most women undergo are similar, and you may excuse yourself now that you know that these feelings are normal.
- Loss: Women grow up visualizing a baby in their arms. Most women start planning how and where they are going to raise their baby. Infertility problems can inculcate a sense of loss as women tend to feel that they are missing on the experience of having a baby naturally. One might feel sad, irritable, and suffer from insomnia and extreme fatigue
- Denial and shock: A day’s delay in your cycles may bring about a lot of hope, because you feel that you have done everything to conceive this month. However, when the pregnancy test reads negative it could send one into a state of shock and denial, which can attribute to sense of loss as well
- Guilt and shame: A sense of helplessness and inadequacy may prevail when you are unable to conceive. As you have visualized a happy family, you may start feeling guilty and shameful not being able to convert your dreams into reality. Tens of thousands pregnancies are occurring everyday, and this may make one feel incomplete and sad
- Sexual monotony: Between charting menstrual and ovulation dates, making love may seem like a thing of the past. You want to have sex and get it done. Sex may be very much a part of your routine, but it ends up being monotonous and you may lack the passion for each other. Sex may seem more like a chore and be no more pleasurable
- Anger and jealousy: So there is another friend who has broken the news of her pregnancy barely months after her wedding. And there is this woman who does not want to keep the baby as this was an accident. These incidents may send you riding high on emotions of anger and jealously. You may question and feel vulnerable. One may also feel lack of control over their life and helplessness may creep in
- Fear and loneliness: Because one tends to feel inadequate and sail in the boats of guilt and shame, feelings of fear and loneliness may also make their way. What if the other partner wants a child so much that he ends up leaving you? This may lead one on the path of self-loathing
- Marital tensions: When you are not feeling well internally, your relationship will also suffer. Couples argue about what they did right and what they did wrong, and sometimes arguments can take an ugly shape. Marital tensions soar up taking a toll on relationships and self-respect
With these myriad of feelings that come with infertility, coping is highly essential to accept, be positive and do the best with life.
Infertility brings a whirlwind of emotions that can make you overwhelmed. Sometimes you will feel denied, neglected; dejected, angry, jealous, ashamed (generally women blame and hold themselves responsible for the inability to conceive. This is wrong as infertility involves both partners and is not confined to women alone). No matter how overwhelming the condition is, there are simple techniques to mitigate stress and anxiety. They will enhance the happy quotient in your life and will make you calm and composed.
7 Ways To Cope With Infertility Problems
Here are listed some simple tips for coping up with fertility problems:
- Do not panic: Infertility is a problem but learn to take it easy and avoid making it a colossal issue. It is seen that some people let it surmount so much on their minds that intimate relations become a huge issue and sex can no longer be enjoyed. Love making is an important part of most of the infertility treatments and being panicky keeps you refrained from having good and enjoyable sex
- Take a break: Sometimes taking some time off from regular busy schedule is good in order to accentuate love and romance in your otherwise prosaic sexual life. Do not let your sexual life deteriorate and rot. Find out things that you enjoy together as a couple and let the feelings of fullness envelope your marital relationship
- Understand that it is temporary: Remember the crisis is transient and will pass off. If you are seeking some treatment and the doctors are positive, keep your faith in them. Once the tough times are over you will have a baby in your arms and will lead a satisfied and healthy life
- Couple therapy: If there is discord in your marital relationship and it persists even after your best efforts, take the help of couple therapy form a qualified relationship counselor
- Communicate: Discuss with your spouse about the situations and ways of dealing with it. Communication with your partner is very important because it strengthen you emotionally, psychologically, sexually and physically. You will feel more connected and more cared for
- Formulate a financial plan: Sometimes fertility treatments require heavy funds such as in vitro fertilization or IVF. Sit with your partner and formulate or devise a systematic financial plan for example; begin with health insurance
- Have patience and accept the reality: Infertility is a normal condition that can affect any otherwise healthy couple. It is very important to accept your situation and its associated issues. Express your emotions and cry so that all hidden fears and apprehensions are given vent and you will feel much relaxed and composed
Infertility creates a huge degree of uncertainty and psychological upheaval in the couple’s routine life.
Evaluate Your Financial Health To Cope With Infertility
Financial burden is too heavy and can affect even the soundest of relationships. The intense desire to have a baby plus the exorbitant cost of fertility treatments can affect any relationship. The situation further deteriorates once the money becomes unmanageable.
Evaluate all your available assets and determine the amount that you can spend on fertility treatments. You can introspect and ask following questions:
- Are you comfortable in spending your savings for the treatment?
- Is it OK to risk all your funds for IVF and what about the odds of IVF?
- Can you borrow money from others if the need arises?
- How are you going to repay the debts after you have a child?
- What if the fertility treatments fail?
- Will there be any money left for child adoption?
Infertility brings a whirlwind of emotions that can make you overwhelmed. Surmounting stress can be harnessed by practicing relaxation techniques such as taking deep breaths. Meditation can also be helpful. Indulge in other quality time spending techniques such as gardening, reading good literature, theater, writing, painting, etc. Have patience and seek proper treatment and be positive. Like any other ailment infertility, too is a medical condition and very much curable!