Infertility Factors, Emotional Stress & Treatments

Infertility: Coping with the Stress of Inability to Conceive

Couples facing fertility issues can feel disappointed and stressed due to the struggle they have to endure to conceive. “Why us” can be their most natural reaction to a situation when pregnancy for other couples appears to be effortless. However, it’s not that there is no light at the end of the tunnel. You just need to be patient and seek medical advice to find the solution to your fertility problems.

When a couple has been constantly trying for a baby without success, it gives rise to a number of questions. It is important to realise that healthy pregnancy is a combination of several factors, and believing that you can conceive at any given time is an incorrect notion. Such expectations can lead to disappointment and stress in case you are suffering from infertility. Age is one of the most important aspects of a healthy pregnancy. With today’s hectic lifestyle and demanding careers, the decision to plan a family can take a backseat. This is especially true for young working couples. They often assume that they are fertile, and keep delaying the decision, which can become a problem later on.
Couples can be anxious and afraid to ask questions regarding infertility and related subjects. The right approach is to raise your concerns and get expert help on a priority basis.

Factors Affecting Fertility

  • Age plays an important role here. It is relatively difficult for a couple to conceive after the age of 35, as their bodies undergo a lot of changes, especially true for women.
  • Smoking and excess alcohol also adversely impacts fertility in both the partners.
  • Being overweight or underweight can also lead to infertility as the hormonal balance of your body is disturbed in both the cases. In an overweight person, the body is not able to produce the right amount of sperms or eggs. In the other case, an underweight woman’s body may not be fit enough to support the pregnancy.
  • Mental stress causes gradual decrease in the count of sperms and eggs and also can leads to erectile dysfunction in a man.
  • Medical conditions like PCOS, diabetes, hypertension, STDs (sexually transmitted diseases) can also lead to infertility in a couple.

Dealing with Infertility Stress

When a couple is unable to reproduce, it can lead to frustration, anxiety and stress. This at times may result in extremities like feeling dejected or blaming your partner. There are couples who either blame their bodies, or contemplate a divorce as they allow the pressure to deteriorate their relationship. This may not be the right approach to handle the situation.
There is a deep-rooted social myth that if a couple fails to conceive, it is a woman’s fault. Men are equally responsible for reproduction, and the cause of infertility can be associated with either of the partners.
Issues with infertility don’t just stop at establishing this fact, but they pave way for a host of other issues to deal with. Undergoing infertility tests and treatments is just the beginning of a long, painstaking and sometimes fruitless journey. Couples may have to go for expensive procedures like IVF and IUI, bear the grief of losing a pregnancy if the procedures aren’t successful; there are times that pregnancies may result in still-births and complicated deliveries mainly due to age-related factors.
In such circumstances, it is extremely important to be patient and look for appropriate treatments that can help in conception. Communicate your feelings to your partner and discuss the probable solutions. Consult a doctor to understand the best course of action for your case.

Dealing with Infertility StressInfertility Treatments

  • Find a donor or opt for a gestational carrier in case either of the partners is infertile.
  • You can also adopt a child after discussing the details with your partner, family and friends.
  • IVF (In-Vitro Fertilisation) involves fertilisation of the couple’s extracted egg and sperm in a lab, and insertion of the embryo into the uterus of the female.
  • Gamete Intrafallopian Transfer (GIFT) includes stimulation of egg production in the female body through hormone injections. The eggs and sperms of the couple are then extracted, fertilized and inserted into the fallopian tube of the woman.
  • There are some time-tested herbal medicines which can help in the boosting the fertility. You can start with herbal medicines after consulting with your doctor.

Consult a counsellor, either individually or together, to deal with sudden anxiety, depression, guilt or pessimism that may arise during this phase. It is important to support each other, instead of playing blame games.

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