Dealing with the uncertain outcomes of fertility treatments, managing the roller coaster effects of treatments, and making important treatment related decisions, are all stress inducing. For many people, infertility challenges quickly become infertility and anxiety challenges. A psychologist can’t untangle the infertility and stress package, but I may be able to help you manage better.
Stress is not inherently bad
Stress is supposed to be useful. The kind of stress that helps when you need to meet a deadline, or respond to a crisis, is good stress. Unfortunately, infertility treatments often trigger stress that is not helpful.
Many of my patients describe how specific concerns about infertility seem to appear as stress into more and more corners of life. In some cases, you find yourself arguing more with your husband than you used to. For other people, relationships with colleagues become strained; work feels like an insufferable burden; and even normal everyday interactions can become fractious and irritating. The list can expand without limit.
The infertility and stress combination is not a recipe for success
For many people, stress can impact health and aggravate your underlying challenges. Study after study shows that chronic stress can impair everything from your immune system to your ability to heal wounds. Just when you need your reproductive system firing on all cylinders, stress might be causing it to run at half-speed. More prosaically, everyone knows that an atmosphere of tension and discord at home is just not how babies get made.
Learning to manage stress can be an important part of negotiating the period in your life.
Tools to break the negative feedback loop
The good news is that this negative feedback loop can be turned into a positive one. Learning the tools to make stress work for you and not against you takes time, but the benefits will last your whole life.
Without mastering stress, you might get lucky. The next test could be positive and your stress will start melting away… but something is likely to bring stress right back into your life. It might be negotiating maternity leave, it might be finding a babysitter, or it might just be your beautiful – but demanding – baby boy or girl itself.
Coping with infertility stress can help you build resilience
In therapy, we will work together to develop skills and tools that you can use to make long lasting, tangible improvements to your life. You can, in this difficult period, add lifelong meaning and enrichment to your life.
You don’t have to face the emotional and medical challenges that infertility presents all alone. I would be privileged to help!Please share this post!