5 Ways to Cope with an Infertility Diagnosis

So You’re Infertile. Now What? 5 Ways to Cope With an Infertility Diagnosis.

Finding out you may not be able to get pregnant, or get someone else pregnant can be  a bit of a shock. If you are like most people, you spent your teen years and early adulthood  actively trying to prevent pregnancy and likely knew very little about infertility. After all, sex  education classes aren’t exactly comprehensive. Many individuals finally get to a place where  they feel ready to start a family only to find out they won’t be able to without a little help. For  some, it may mean a medicated cycle to help them ovulate. For others it could mean IUI or IVF.  Maybe for others, infertility means they will never be able to carry their own baby or perhaps  even use their own genetic material. Many hopeful parents are left feeling overwhelmed, scared  and grieving the loss of the baby making journey that suddenly got a lot more complicated.  And usually a lot more expensive.Talk about a range of emotions! As a Fertility Therapist, this is  usually the point when my clients reach out to me.  

5 Ways to Cope with an Infertility Diagnosis (1)

Written by Guest Blogger: Ariel Taylor BSW, RSW Fertility Therapist  

While there is a lot to process and certainly a lot of feelings after an infertility diagnosis,  there are some steps you can take right away that will help you feel more grounded, more in  control and better equipped to handle the journey to parenthood. 

 1. Get support.

Nearly 15% of individuals will suffer from infertility yet most people I see in my  private practice still feel isolated and alone and even ashamed after they receive a  diagnosis. Don’t forget that infertility is a medical condition and you deserve to be treated  with the same care and attention you would receive if you were diagnosed with any other  medical condition. Support can come in many forms like a spouse, friend, family member,  coworker, your medical team, or a therapist. Connecting with others in the fertility  community is also a great way to receive and provide peer support. This might be through  online support groups, in-person meetings or even connecting over social media. They  often say that the fertility community is the worst club with the best members and I happen  to think that is very accurate. 

2. Research!

Knowledge is power and the more you understand about your body and your  diagnosis, the more confident you can feel advocating for yourself. Even though fertility  treatments are still relatively new, there is a wide range of options. Depending on your  diagnosis, you may be looking at a medicated cycle, IUI or IVF or possibly third party  reproduction including gamete donation or surrogacy. Infertility isn’t one size fits all. The  best way to research is to search for articles, Facebook groups, research studies and  organizations who educate on the topic. You can also connect with others going through  infertility or receive one-on-one coaching or consults from a professional for your specific  situation.  

3. Advocate for your needs.

Navigating the medical side of infertility can be challenging and  not all Reproductive Endocrinologists or clinics are created equal. You are allowed to have  a say in your own medical treatments and the course you would like to take. It is so  important to have a clinic and a doctor that understands your unique needs and are willing to be collaborative. This might look like changing the medication protocol, doing more  testing or deciding to move to IVF or third party reproduction. If you have experienced  medical trauma or miscarriages, its even more important to have a medical team that  understand the complexity of your situation. In my experience as a therapist, clients that  feel more in control of their treatments and like they are listened to by their providers report  lower levels of stress and anxiety around their treatments.  

4. Up your self-care.

This one may seem simple but is usually the most difficult to do. We  think self-care and we assume bubble baths and face masks but self care at it’s core is  simply taking care of yourself. Ask yourself, am I eating regular meals? Have I drank any  water today? Have I gotten any fresh air or exercise recently? Am I doing things that bring  me joy? If your answer to any of these was anything besides an enthusiastic “YES”, you  need better self-care. Think of self-care as the foundation to your wellbeing. It needs to  happen before anything else. You wouldn’t start building a second floor on a house before  ensuring the foundation was sound. Building positive self-care habits will allow you cope  better with stress, be more resilient and flexible in your thinking and manage the  unpredictability of infertility. When in doubt, take care of your SELF. Sleep, Exercise,  Laughter and Food.  

5. Keep a clear perspective.

Infertility is only a part of your life, not the whole thing even  though it often feels all-consuming. Remember to invest time in other areas of life too. Your  relationships, your career, your hobbies. The person you were before infertility matters and  that person deserves to have a fulfilling life even while waiting to add tiny humans to the  family.    

If I leave you with one thought, it’s that parenthood comes to people in many different  ways and there isn’t one “right” way to do it. Understand that you are more than your infertility  and that a medical condition does not mean you are not meant to be a parent. Infertility will  never go away but it’s possible to build more positive coping strategies and approach infertility  head-on while feeling grounded and in control.  

Guest blogger,

Ariel Taylor

Ariel Taylor is a Fertility Therapist and a prominent figure in the fertility community. She owns  her own private practice and provides virtual counselling specialized in fertility, pregnancy and  postpartum and miscarriage/loss. Having carried 4 children as a surrogate and donated her  eggs a number of times, she is well versed in the world of assisted reproduction and supports  those going through their own fertility journey – whatever that may look like. You may know  Ariel from her Instagram page @carried.with.love where she has documented her surrogate  pregnancies and continues to educate, inspire and entertain the fertility community through her  content.  

You can find Ariel on Instagram, Facebook and TikTok @carried.with.love or on her website  carriedwithlove.com

P.S. Catch Ariel’s interview in this week’s episode of The Hormone P.U.Z.Z.L.E Podcast. You can also find the episode on this podcast page as well as Spotify, and Stitcher.  Don’t forget to subscribe, follow, and write us a review on Apple Podcast (if you LOVE it).

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