Starting a family is an exciting journey! You will most likely do a lot of research about conception, think about baby names, and even start...
Infertility is known to cause anxiety, stress, and feelings of isolation. When your body isn’t functioning like you thought it would, it can be scary and confusing. It surfaces questions and concerns you hadn’t had before. For many, mental health struggles come along with fertility concerns.
One way to combat the rollercoaster of emotions that comes with infertility is finding a secure and reliable support system. Rena Gower, a licensed therapist who specializes in infertility, says, “I always say it takes a village. It can be beneficial to find a support group or find individuals in your life who can hold space for what you are going through. It is important to communicate with them what you need in terms of support- i.e. do you want them to check in, do you want to be the one to let them know what's going on...the most important thing is to communicate and be open and honest. Since infertility is unfortunately so common, once you get comfortable being vulnerable and opening up to people about your journey that usually allows for many other doors to open and you will start to hear other people share their stories with you. The first step- opening up- is the hardest but can lead to beautiful things.”
There are many reasons why a support system is important on your fertility journey - we’ve listed a few of the most common below.
- To have important conversations about your experience.
- When you’re going through infertility, it can feel like something new is around every corner- something you had no idea was coming, and that no one told you how to prepare for. When you open up to a support system, whether that be a friend, therapist, group, or partner, you have an outlet to discuss exactly what you’re feeling. It’s vital to find someone who you feel comfortable sharing with, whether it’s about your symptoms, emotions, or stressors. No one should feel like they can’t talk about what they’re going through. If you’re struggling with infertility, it’s important to have these conversations about how you’re feeling through it all.
- To realize that you’re not alone.
- Although infertility is (unfortunately) common, it can feel like you’re the only one going through it. Whether you’re just starting trying to conceive, or you’re in the midst of fertility treatments, the process can be very isolating. That’s why it makes a huge difference to connect with others who have been through similar things. There are many ways to connect with people who have been in your shoes- you could ask your clinic if they host any support groups, or you could find one online. Also, because infertility is far more common than it seems, it may be helpful to spark up a conversation with people you feel close to about these topics. You may be surprised how many people relate to you. When you have a support system, especially one that truly understands what you’re feeling, it helps you understand that you’re not alone.
- To ask for help.
- Infertility comes with many questions. How should you be tracking your cycle? Should you be taking vitamins, or supplements? When is it time to pursue medical help? All of these questions have answers- but it can be overwhelming to try to answer them by yourself. If you’re feeling like you can’t do it all, having a support system to help you out can make all the difference. It can be as simple as asking a friend to help you schedule a doctor’s appointment, if you just don’t have time to call the office. A support system can help you tackle all the things you want to do to better understand what’s going on and reach your goals.
These are only a few of the many reasons why it’s important to have a support system that you trust. There are many places to seek support, such as:
Infertility is difficult- physically and emotionally. If infertility is taking a toll on your mental health, you are not alone. Take some time to think about how you can seek out the support you need to feel the best you can on your fertility journey.
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