Not being able to conceive a child can be one of the most stressful and emotional things a person can go through. When you are dealing with infertility, it is an emotionally gut-wrenching experience. Maybe you have always wanted children, and the reality of not having them is hitting like a ton of bricks. Or maybe you only realized later in life that you wanted them.
Whether you are the person conceiving or the partner, infertility can really be emotionally damaging to your mental health. Here are just a few of the ways that infertility affects mental health. Followed by some tips to help you feel more supported during this time.
How Does Infertility Affect Mental Health?
Insecurity In The Relationship
The bond that we have with our significant other is one of the greatest things we have in our lives. But when infertility enters the relationship, it can affect your mental health.
For the partner who is infertile, it can cause a lot of turmoil mentally. You may constantly question why they want to stay with you if you can’t have kids. Even if you are reassured, you can’t quite feel as if they secretly resent you. Causing you to feel insecure about the whole relationship.
“Am I Being Judged”
You can’t help but feel as if people are blaming you directly for this. As if you aren’t measuring up to the standard that society sets for people who are in the child-bearing years.
Even though no one has ever remotely come close to this, you can’t help but feel as if the well wishes and good lucks are secretly laced with judgment.
Infertility can cause you to feel really lousy about yourself. While we have a lot of control over many areas of our lives, fertility, sadly, is not one of them. Many people will place a ton of blame on themselves, questioning their self-worth. It makes you feel as if you are not doing something right.
How To Deal With Stress That Comes With Infertility
It’s always on the back of your mind. This new reality that you can never have kids the natural way. It’s so hard, challenging, and heartbreaking to try and accept this. And while there isn’t a lot that can make things easier for you to deal with this, there are ways to reduce the stress that you feel.
This is so important. We often give others grace and patience when it comes to taking care of themselves. And yet we don’t do it nearly often enough for ourselves.
Each day, try to do something for you that makes you happy. Whether that is exercising, journaling, or reading a book. By giving yourself little moments of distraction, you can reduce stress overall.
Talk To Your Partner
No matter who is infertile, it’s always important to have conversations with each other. In your own ways, you are likely struggling with the harsh realities of this. It can be uncomfortable to talk about it, but opening up the lines of communication in your relationship can help you feel more at ease. It’s hard to know your partner is struggling, but it should give you some comfort in knowing that you are not alone in this struggle.
Coping with infertility is a truly challenging experience. When you are going through this, it’s okay to admit that you need support and help to guide you. Pushing it out of your mind can only worsen the stress it causes you and it can help by talking to a licensed therapist who can help.