UNDERSTANDING THE EMOTIONS TIED TO FERTILITY
From a very young age, we hear and are taught by society that having a family of our own will add to our worth and fulfilment in life. Naturally, then, when we decide the time is right for children we assume that we’ll be able to.
When the time comes and we’re unable to conceive or have a successful pregnancy, fertility issues can cause immense feelings of disbelief, sadness and despair. It can suddenly feel as though your body has let you down or that you aren’t good enough in some way. This can be made all the more difficult if and when you need to make decisions about the future.
Should you, and will you, try again?
Do you need to explore alternatives such as IVF or adoption?
What is infertility?Infertility (or subfertility) is the inability to conceive children and can affect both men and women. Characterised by the failure to achieve pregnancy after 12 months, it’s believed that up to 15% of couples in the UK have fertility problems.
In women, fertility problems can be caused by:
- Problems with the womb or fallopian tubes
- Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
- Early menopause (POI)
- Thyroid problems
- Chronic illness
- Cushing’s syndrome
- Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)
In men, fertility problems can be caused by:
- Low sperm count
- Low sperm mobility
- Abnormal sperm
- Problems with the testicles
- Ejaculation disorders
Age, stress and weight can cause fertility problems in both sexes.
COPING WITH PREGNANCY LOSS
There is no right or wrong way to feel after a pregnancy loss or during a threatened loss. It will affect every woman, man, and couple differently.
The loss of a pregnancy could be the result of miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy or molar pregnancy and can be a frightening, sad, and lonely experience.
Pregnancy loss and/or fertility problems can cause feelings of:
- Feelings of hopelessness and worthlessness
- Relationship stresses
- Loss of identity as a woman (or man)
HOW CAN PSYCHOTHERAPY & COUNSELLING HELP WITH FERTILITY CHALLENGES
The emotional rollercoaster of trying for a family when fertility is an issue can feel like it’s taking over your life and put tremendous stress on your relationship. Sometimes you’re not sure what to do. You might be considering IVF, donations, surrogacy or adoption. You might even need support in considering a childfree life.
Whatever it is you’re facing as a result of fertility issues, psychotherapy and counselling can offer you a chance to talk freely. In a safe and non-judgemental space, you can explore any feelings of isolation or feeling ‘left out’.
Psychotherapy and counselling can also help you to manage conflict or the changeable feelings that arise with the hope of pregnancy and the grief of miscarriage.
You can have fertility counselling if you’re married, single, straight or LGBT, and as an individual or a couple.
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