Many studies have examined the stress of infertility and fertility treatments. There is intense psychological stress that comes from wanting children but not being able to have them. Sometimes financial burdens secondary to expensive fertility treatments can further complicate stress levels.
For years, doctors have suspected a link between stress and infertility. A recent study found that higher than average perceived daily stress interfered with reproductive hormone levels and increased the likelihood of sporadic ovulation. While there is no strong evidence showing that stress prevents a woman from conceiving, this study indicates it could make it more challenging to conceive.
Stress is not an easy enemy to overcome, you can’t tell a stressed person to be less stressed and expect results. Fortunately, there are many techniques available to battle stress including daily meditation, regular exercise and good nutritional habits.
Find activities or spaces in your life that you enjoy. Make an effort to include enjoyment into your daily and weekly routines. Some doctors recommend scheduling fertility-free days where you don’t think about trying to conceive and do something for you. Try talking to your partner or a friend to enlist help learning to relax.
For couples seeking fertility treatments, everything about your lifestyle changes. The daily injections and required monitoring can add stress on a marriage. Furthermore, the emotional stress of not being able to conceive may lead to depression. Everyone manages these feelings in their own way. Understanding your partner’s needs and communicating about your emotions can help alleviate some of the tension you’re both facing. Respect the fact that you’re both working through the process in your own ways. Consider seeking guidance from a counselor or therapist specializing in fertility counseling.
A 2014 study evaluated the link between infertility and divorce rates. Although fertility treatments often increase the amount of stress for couples, the study did not find an increase rate of divorce. Childlessness does not lead to divorce but it could bring up a reason to redefine your wants and desires for your future together. Many couples choose to get counseling prior to undergoing fertility treatments. Communication between you and your partner is essential to cope with the stressors that infertility can present.
Possibly the most effective way to cope is by setting some guidelines.
Keeping a journal and meditating regularly will help the journey. Most importantly of all, stay positive as there are amazing medical advances that have great success rates.