Finding Support During Infertility

30th June 2016

While egg donation treatment can be a stressful experience, some people find it difficult to seek out emotional support during infertility. Whether it be from friends, family, their spouse, or a mental health professional, finding support during infertility can be crucial to making it through treatment. For some reason, some people treat infertility differently, even though it’s a disease that carries a medical diagnosis. Most people wouldn’t hesitate to seek treatment—medically and emotionally—for other conditions but some people feel differently when it comes to infertility, thinking they need to handle the emotional difficulties that can accompany on their own.

Patricia Sachs, LCSW-C, of Shady Grove Fertility’s psychological support team, explained, “It is hard to seek out emotional support during infertility because people fear feeling emotionally out of control at a time when they are already experiencing an enormous loss of control over their body’s ability to perform a basic function.”

Sachs continued to explain how sharing one’s feelings may leave them feeling exposed, “They are afraid that sharing their feelings and turning to others may leave them even more vulnerable and inadequate than they felt before. Not only is it difficult to seek out professional help, but for some it is even hard to ask for support from friends, family, or even one’s spouse.”

You are Not Alone

It is important to remember that despite everything that you might be feeling, you are not alone. There is a community of former and current patents, and over 600 SGF staff members who understand what you are going through. Many of us have even been in your shoes.

Infertility patients who have worked with Shady Grove Fertility for counseling often admit that are afraid that they will be assessed as “crazy” or perhaps unfit for medical treatment if their true thoughts and feelings about their infertility are revealed. But, that idea could not be further from the truth.

We reached out to our patient community and had an overwhelming number of responses, from encouragement to advice. One patient wrote, “I definitely felt alone. I didn’t know anyone else who was struggling. Now, a lot of women have shared their stories with me and I am able to walk beside them as they walk this road. I try to use my experiences and trials to help others through theirs.”

Another said, “You don’t need to keep this journey a secret! You’d be surprised how many people you know are on this path as well.”

Signs That You May Need Emotional Support during Infertility

It is important to recognize when infertility is taking its toll on you emotionally and when it can be beneficial to turn to others for support. Some signs that it may be time to seek out emotional support include:

  • Thinking about infertility all the time but being unable to decide on a course of action or treatment plan, i.e., “spinning your wheels”
  • Feeling sad or depressed much of the time, a loss of interest in activities that are usually pleasurable to you, loss of energy, and a sense of hopelessness about the future
  • Feeling a sense of isolation and alienation from others, and wishing you could connect with them and share your pain

Communicate Early On

Don’t wait until you are at the end of your rope and have depleted your emotional reserves before turning to help. Many people in counseling or in support groups say they only wish they’d done it sooner. And as one patient put it, “It only takes one, try to stay positive.”

 

To learn more about the Shady Grove Fertility’s International Egg Donation Programme or to find support during infertility, please reach us by phone at 0208.003.0827 or email Amanda Segal, International Patient Liaison, at Amanda.Segal@integramed.com.

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