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How Infertility Counseling Can Help You Navigate Pregnancy Loss

02.10.2023 / Rosemary Joanne
How Infertility Counseling Can Help You Navigate Pregnancy Loss

Pregnancy loss can be devastating. You may find yourself working through feelings like grief, confusion, and anger. If you help navigating these feelings, a fertility counselor may be able to help.

Navigating infertility or other fertility issues can be difficult, not just for you but for your partner, too. During these challenging times, it's important to remember that you aren't alone in your experiences.

According to a study in the US, infertility rates in the country have mainly remained the same since the 1990s and affects both men and women of reproductive age. In the study, researchers found that infertility was more common among older women who lacked access to sexual and reproductive health services.

Despite that, infertility can also happen due to other reasons, such as a health condition or environmental factors. At the same time, 10 in 100 known pregnancies end in an early pregnancy loss or miscarriage.

Going through a miscarriage can feel devastating. However, there are resources and strategies that can help you navigate the pain and confusion you may be feeling.

One option is to seek infertility counseling.

How effective is infertility counseling?

Working with an infertility counselor can if you are having difficulty conceiving. It can also help if you are confronting big decisions like considering using a sperm or egg donor, or thinking about adoption and surrogacy.

An infertility counselor can be immensely helpful for people who have experienced miscarriages.

A study on the effectiveness of counseling for infertile couples ran a clinical trial on two focus groups of infertile couples — one receiving infertility counseling and the other without. Researchers found a significant difference in reports of depression and social support between the two groups studied.

Another study focusing on the relationship between infertility and psychological distress found that psychotherapy in the form of infertility counseling is an essential intervention for couples faced with any fertility-related challenges.

Researchers conclude that counseling before patients start any medical intervention, like assisted reproductive technologies, may be more beneficial.

Because of the link between stress and fertility, addressing psychological problems such as depression, anxiety, and stress with a professional may even help increase the chance of conception.

Through infertility counseling, patients are exposed to interpersonal treatment, in which they can improve relationships or resolve disputes to make the process of trying to conceive less stressful. This, along with cognitive behavioral therapy, can help patients with infertility who also are experiencing symptoms of depression and anxiety.

What other strategies can help me after a miscarriage?

Like other forms of psychotherapy, fertility counseling's effectiveness ultimately depends on a person or couple's responses to the treatment. Fertility counseling can also be expensive, like many aspects of fertility care.

However, having access to a qualified professional to help process your emotions and feelings during such a challenging time can really help support your physical and mental health.

Of course, other practices complement fertility counseling and uniquely benefit couples. Below are some other things you can do to cope after pregnancy loss.

Practice mindful movement

Prior studies have recommended pairing counseling with relaxation techniques. Techniques such as meditation, deep breathing, guided imagery, and yoga have been recommended by specialists for those dealing with infertility.

Yoga is a popular activity that can be particularly beneficial because it bridges exercise and mindfulness. 

Over 14% of US adults reporting that they practiced yoga in 2017 — and this number has likely increased even more in recent years. Aside from improving your physical health without being a physically intense workout, yoga has also been found to help enhance the quality of sleep and time. Sleep and time are both fundamental aspects of your healing journey. 

Yoga can help decrease negative feelings and thoughts associated with infertility, allowing you to process your emotions through a physical outlet.

Lean on friends and loved

Grieving a lost pregnancy will take time and energy. Additionally, the aftereffects of a miscarriage on your body may feel painful or uncomfortable. Doing everyday chores, errands, pet care, or child care may be too taxing on your body during this time.

Don't be afraid to reach out to friends and loved ones for help to get through your normal schedule.

Pregnancy loss is an emotionally and psychologically challenging experience, and it's perfectly alright for you to take your time to process your emotions before returning to your routine.

Outside of therapy and counseling, your loved ones will be the best sounding boards for your thoughts and feelings as you grieve, supporting you with their presence.

You also are never obligated to share your story with others if you are not ready to talk about it.

Communicate with your partner

Lastly, even if your instinct is to pull back and take time for yourself, it is a good idea not to shut out your partner during this time.

Avoiding your partner out of frustration, guilt, or shame can often feel easier than confronting these feelings head-on. This can put a lot of strain on your relationship during a time when you are both already navigating challenging emotions.

Remember that a miscarriage also affects your partner. Communicating your feelings with your partner can help you connect and inform them of your needs moving forward.

While you're at it, don't shy away from planning some positive activities that can strengthen your relationship and lighten your mood during hard times, like a fun date or a movie night.

Article written by Rosemary Joanne for the exclusive use of

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