29 Mar Tips for Coping with the Stress of Infertility
The fertility treatment road almost always causes some level of stress and anxiety for patients. And, since most of them were already worried or anxious about infertility before they found us.
That motivates us to help patients cope with emotional stress sooner – rather than later – to minimize the amount of time your body spends in that unhappy, unwelcome, and disruptive state of mind, heart, and being.
Tips For Coping with Infertility Stress
One of the most concerning things for patients is the news stating that stress negatively impacts fertility. Now, in addition to worrying about infertility diagnoses, fertility treatments, and any failed treatment cycles, patients face the predicament of trying not to stress out about being stressed out.
We’re here to help with all of that. These tips for coping with fertility stress, and learning how to process, release, and manage life stress in general, will help you to regulate your nervous system and gain vital tools that will support you into parenthood and beyond.
1. Search for a therapist or counselor specializing in fertility
When’s the best time to seek support from a fertility counselor? Now, of course. Receiving an official infertility diagnosis should automatically trigger a referral to area therapists or counselors specializing in infertility. Do you need to see your counselor every week? Not at all. Appointments would depend on how you’re doing at any given time.
However, making the connection now means you have someone there for you indefinitely, ready to provide insight, support, and personalized coping strategies along the way. You never know exactly what the fertility treatment path will bring, so having a counselor at the ready can be an invaluable tool for minimizing stress and anxiety.
There are so many different reasons individuals and couples lean on therapists to support their infertility journey. Just a handful of examples include:
- General stress/anxiety
- Process anger and resentment felt toward the partner who has the infertility diagnosis
- Emotionally recover from failed treatment cycles
- Cope with the grief and devastation of past or post-treatment miscarriages
- Go over potential scenarios if you decide to use donor eggs, sperm, embryos, or a gestational carrier
There’s no predicting where you, your partner, or your relationship will go along the way, and it’s best to be prepared and have your support options in place.
2. Join a fertility support group
That’s a perfect segue into the next recommendation for coping with the emotional stress of infertility. We highly recommend joining an infertility support group. There is almost no better support for those pursuing fertility treatments than connecting with people who have walked – or are walking – the same path. Unfortunately, well-meaning friends and family aren’t the same things.
You can visit the RESOLVE website to find a local, in-person infertility support group or join one online. Some patients find support groups via social media channels, like MeetUp, Facebook, Instagram, and NextDoor. As with fertility counseling, access to a support group helps you unload all you carry, which can immediately alleviate stress and anxiety.
3. Take advantage of smartphone apps
Our patients speak highly about the positive impact – and stress release – they experience via smartphone apps that facilitate mindfulness and meditation. These apps can be used long after you’re a parent, and many have stress release and relaxation practices for children, too – making it a healthy household practice.
Some of our favorites include:
If stress levels negatively impact sleep, we also recommend trying the iSleepEasy app from Meditation Oasis. These apps have a huge range of options – and some are as easy as a 5, 10, or 15-minute breathing exercise or soothing visualization that can be used just about anywhere – or anytime – including in the midst of a hectic work day or before a fertility appointment.
4. Practice healthy sleep habits
Speaking of sleep disturbances, healthy sleep habits support fertility goals. And, you guessed it, they also support lower stress levels. We’ve dedicated an entire post on how sleep affects fertility, including tips on establishing healthy sleep habits for yourself.
Some of the most important steps include the following:
- Getting seven to nine hours of sleep each night
- Creating a soothing nighttime ritual that helps your brain get into “sleep mode”
- Avoiding stimulants in the hours before bedtime
- Establishing a screen-free zone for at least 30 minutes before bed
- Making the bedroom a sleep-friendly environment
5. Focus on a connected partnership
It’s not surprising that our partners are the most likely targets for our stress and angst. However, couples already have enough coming at them when they’re undergoing fertility treatments. So, do your best to keep the romance alive by focusing on connection and communication and making the most of quality time.
Fertility Specialists at Fertility Center of Dallas Are Here to Help You Cope
Are you feeling overwhelmed with the emotional stress of infertility? Please confide in the Fertility Center of Dallas team. We have a wealth of resources and want to do all we can to ensure you’re supported throughout your fertility journey.