Navigating fertility challenges can be difficult with highs and lows, and a great deal of uncertainty.There is the time it takes to understand the underlying challenges that are impacting fertility. The drain that might be associated with deciphering what treatment options fit your needs best and what the cost might be. Dealing with the impact of fertility drugs on your mood, sleep, sex drive, and more. Outside of the medical realm, there is a toll in contending with the stigma and assumptions regarding pregnancy/fertility. For many there are deep feelings of grief and loss when fertility treatments are not successful and when they have experienced the devastating loss of miscarriage. It should come at no surprise that those experiencing infertility have a higher incidence of depression and anxiety.
In my work as a health psychologist, I am aware of the challenges that accompany fertility issues. In my work with patients, I aim to create a safe space to process the many issues related to fertility and validate the intense feelings and emotions that come with it.
The goal of treatment depends on the needs of the individual, but might include:
1.) improving communication with key players such as partners, medical providers, friends and family with the goal of improving social support
2.) reducing patterns of self-blame, rumination, and catastrophizing which worsen infertility-related distress
3.) improving medical advocacy and medical decision-making, and
4.) fully processing the trauma and grief associated with loss.