When trying to conceive, it is difficult to cope with the stress of infertility. Here are some coping strategies we recommend to couples trying to conceive a baby.
- Knowledge is power. Learn as much as you can about infertility and its treatment. Do your research on the web or take a trip to the book store or library. Keep in mind that assisted reproductive technologies are constantly evolving, so look for recent publications if you are interested in up-to-date medical information. TALK TO OTHER COUPLES WHO HAVE EXPERIENCED INFERTILITY.
- Participate in your treatment ‘“ Write down your questions and concerns before you make a phone call or go to an appointment. Take notes during your consultation and treatment plan. Your input and feelings are important. Please request clarification if you do not understand what is being said.
- Be an informed consumer on infertility- based services. Keep track of your medications, tests, and procedures, and the dates and costs associated with each. Review your insurance plan and make sure you are following the guidelines to guarantee maximum coverage. Investigate your state’s laws dealing with coverage for infertility treatment.
- Take care of yourself – Be gentle and kind to yourself. Don’t neglect your overall health; eat well, exercise and get enough sleep. Consider acupuncture treatment in combination with your fertility treatment. Indulge yourself occasionally. If certain situations or individuals make you feel anxious, avoid them whenever possible.
- Don’t let infertility run your life – This may be difficult to do at times, but is one of the most important things you can do for yourself and your partner.
- Take a break from treatment if you feel physically or emotionally exhausted ‘“ Be specific about the length of time you plan to ‘œtake off’ and stick to it. Taking a break, even for a month, can be refreshing for both body and mind.
- Avoid isolation ‘“ Choose carefully the family member you talk to about your infertility. Consider each individual’s level of comprehension and your investment in the relationship. Let the people who care about you know how they can help you.
- Take control of your social life – Be selective about accepting invitations to emotionally charged gatherings like baby showers and holiday parties.
- Keep a journal – The right way to keep a journal is the way that feels most comfortable to you. It is a safe place to express your thoughts, feelings and dreams. You can share your entries with your partner if you wish.
- Consider counseling or a support group ‘“ The empathy and objectivity of a good counselor can help you understand and deal with the intense emotions associated with infertility. Strength and perspective can also be gained by sharing with other couples in an infertility support group setting.