Knowing the emotional effects of infertility would make us more prepared physically, mentally, financially and spiritually. As they say, knowledge is power.
I always say infertility is hard and painful because it really is. The word itself is full of gloom and negativity. I would never want to be called “infertile” however; it is the reality for now.
I was reading a devotional book Anchored in Hope, and I found a word they used instead of infertility.
Oh, how much better sounding is that! I would take that word instead of infertility. This term is much more transitory and hopeful.
I may be reproductively challenged now, but I believe that I will be healed in God’s perfect timing.
As I have said, infertility is such a negative thing that causes a significant impact on the person suffering from it. I experienced the effects, and I wanted to share it with you. I hope you will learn something from it and will be able to tackle each one with a brave and hopeful heart.
5 Emotional Effects of Infertility
Infertility Can Make You Fall Into Depression
According to Merriam-Webster, depression is the state of feeling sad. It is in this state that we lose interest in doing the things we usually enjoy.
With infertility, it is common that women feel depressed when they are continuously dealing with unsuccessful fertility treatment. One study of 488 American women who filled out a psychological questionnaire stated that dealing with infertility is as depressing as being diagnosed with cancer, hypertension or recovering from heart attack.
Depression was found to be the most prevalent psychological, behavioral problem among couples struggling with infertility and undergoing fertility treatments. This occurrence is not unusual because of the constant stress brought about by a lot of things including, fear of the outcome, financial issues and unending list of medical appointments.
Although depression is common when dealing with infertility, it is rarely diagnosed. However, doctors recommend that women who undergo fertility treatments should undergo screening after.
One of the ways to cope with depression is to seek support. It can be from your family, friends or support groups. Social support was found to have a great impact in preventing depression.
Some also opt to get professional help through counseling, medication, relaxation techniques and psychotherapy.
Whatever your choose to do, just try not to do it alone.
Infertility Can Make You Jealous
I have always been one of those who get really excited when someone from my group of friends announces that they are pregnant. I am one of those who loves to throw them baby showers, baby gender-reveal party or helps throw children’s party.
But when we started our fertility journey, I started being the last one to say “Congratulations.” I mean, I am happy for them and sad for me, but I cannot help asking God, “What about me?”
Jealousy is inevitable when you are struggling to fulfill your dream of motherhood, especially when it seems that you are the only one dealing with it in the community you are living in.
I ended up being godmothers to most of my friends’ kids, and I love them, but sometimes they evoke feelings that I do not want to feel.
To deal with jealousy, you can be open to your friend on how you really feel. They are your friends so they will understand you.
One thing I did which helped was I gave myself a break. I stopped attending gatherings which involve babies and kids. Not totally stopped but I seldom go to this kind of parties.
And also, diversify friends you hang out with, focusing only on your married-and-with-children friends will not do you any good, try hanging out with your single friends or couple-without-kids friends.
If you feel these things don’t help, try talking to a therapist.
Infertility Can Make You Feel Lonely
Infertility can cause depression which in turn can make anyone lonely. In my case, almost all of my friends now are with children. I cannot hang out with them without taking into consideration their kids.
But to cope with this, I have a variety of friends, single friends, and married friends without kids yet.
I still hang out with my married friends with kids, of course, it is just that I do not focus on them a lot.
Infertility Can Make You Angry
Infertility can anger even the kindest person in the world. The frustrations and disappointments of the unfulfilled wish of motherhood can cause us to be mad at everything.
However, we are, but only human so it is normal that we express anger. And anger is one of the common emotional effects of infertility.
On the other hand, anger, if not controlled, can lead to other stronger emotions. It is important that we stay aware and in control of our anger.
I have dealt and still dealing with anger and resentment from this fertility struggle, but I have learned to be in control.
Easier said than done but there are a lot of ways to manage and release your anger without hurting someone. It can be through breathing exercise, workout, meditation, relaxation, etc.
If you think that these methods are not working for you, consider counseling and therapy.
Infertility Can Make You Feel Hopeless
When you continually get negative pregnancy test results after multiple fertility treatments, you will feel frustrated, feel sorry for yourself, and you feel hopeless.
Hopelessness is the lack of hope. However, if we let it take over us, then we are giving up on our dream.
In order to cope with this, I try to surround myself with inspirational and encouraging things.
From inspiration reading materials to encouraging talks with other men and women with successful experience.
This way seems to fill me with hope and optimism.
We were sitting in the waiting area at the fertility clinic when a couple came out of the consultation room together with the nurse. The nurse happily congratulated them and gave them a hug. And I turned to my husband and asked, “Wow! It could be us next.”
I could have taken the scenario negatively, but I chose not to.
I believe that staying positive will ward off all the negative emotions.
Did you feel any of these emotional effects of infertility? What did you do to manage it?