Mt Lawley Counselling Centre, Perth - Western AustraliaMt Lawley Counselling Centre, Perth - Western Australia

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Coping With Fertility Problems

Rebecca Lyon

Psychologist
Perth, Western Australia

The want to conceive a child is a natural progression in many relationships. When a couple encounters barriers to this wish it can come as a shock. Sadly, this scenario is all too common and can have a damaging impact on the psychological and emotional well being of those experiencing it.

The diagnosis of infertility comes with a host of overwhelming feelings. Anxiety is common as the couple worry about why they are unable to conceive without intervention. Either member of the couple may blame themselves and feel as though they are less feminine or masculine for not being able to do what many others can do naturally. Feelings of loss and sadness prevail as the couple comes to terms with the possibility of missing out on the experience of parenthood. Anger and jealously are also common feelings. It can feel as though life is unfair particularly when having a baby seems to come so easily to others. All of these feelings are normal and it can help to recognise that challenges to fertility are one of the most difficult problems a couple can face.

Infertility can also cause relationship stress. Tension can arise around a couples sexual relationship as it becomes a means to trying to produce a baby rather than an enjoyable way of expressing love for one another. The member of the couple with the infertility diagnosis can fear abandonment as they worry their partner may want to leave them to pursue a family with someone else. A couple may disagree over which treatment options to try, or when to commence or cease treatment. Financial strain can also cause conflict as fertility treatments can be costly. It is important that couples communicate with each other about how their fertility journey is affecting them and find ways to cope together and also as individuals.

Together a couple can learn to work as a team in order to support each other emotionally. Each member of the couple may have different feelings at different times and it can help to pay attention to what the other is going through. It can also help to make sure you leave room in the relationship for other things besides getting pregnant. It is easy to let this become the sole focus of conversation so ensure you continue to talk about other topics and remember to just have fun together as baby making can become a serious matter.

Many couples decide to pursue fertility treatment which has advanced significantly over the past few decades. Many people report feeling nervous at this prospect but it can also lead to positive feelings as they are proactively contributing to a step towards finding out what is causing the problem.

It is very important to seek support whether through family, friends, or by talking with a counsellor. Working through your thoughts and feelings can lessen the emotional burden and can also help you feel less isolated. Many couples find that professional individual or couples counselling helps them cope with the stress of infertility and fertility treatment.

If you would like to learn more about coping with infertility please contact Rebecca on 0438 920 056 or email rebeccalyon12@gmail.com.

Rebecca Lyon
Psychologist

Mt Lawley Counselling Centre
13 Alvan Street
Mt Lawley (Perth) 6050

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