Infertility in women is one of the major life events that bring about social and psychological problems. 40% of infertility is female related, 20% are related to both male and female, while 40% are male-related. However, in our community today, every childbearing inability is often blamed on women even when it’s not related to them.
Infertility in women is not a disease, however, it can affect a woman’s life by causing physiological and emotional disorders like frustration, depression, anxiety, guilt, a feeling of worthlessness, fear, worry, loneliness, and regret.
Women with infertility issues have experienced this one way or the other due to the pressure from a family, spouse, and the community. The emotional pain comes when friends and family offer misguided opinions and advice to/about you.
While it is a difficult period for women in this situation, I urge you to relax your mind and instead of allowing worry take over, let’s look at possible causes, meanings, and solutions, together.
The most common cause of infertility in women may include problems with the cervix, ovulation, and damaged fallopian tubes or uterus. Age can also be a factor, as a woman’s age increases, her fertility decreases at some point.
When in the process of getting infertility treatments, it is normal to experience some emotions but when these emotions affect you for a long period it can be called infertility depression.
The symptoms include;
-Difficulty in concentrating on normal activity
-Difficulty in sleeping or staying asleep
-Loss of appetite
-Thinking about your infertility issues all the time
-Strained relationship with your partner and friends
-Drug or alcohol abuse
-Anger and bitterness
Undergoing treatment on infertility can be very stressful and emotional. If you are dealing with this here are a few points that can help you deal with the emotional side of infertility in women.
1. Remember that many people have been successful after undergoing treatment: Most times women are concerned if the treatment is going to be successful and if they will ever be able to conceive. A lot of women have struggled and were successful. You will too.
2. You Are Not Alone: Even though women around you are getting pregnant or already have children there are other women facing infertility issues too.
3. Learn To Go Through The Grief Positively: This is the most important part of dealing with the emotional side of infertility in women. Women who get diagnosed with infertility or experience miscarriages may go through grief, denial, anger, depression, and then acceptance.
Acceptance is where the mistake is mostly made. The human mind is powerful and will give you anything you strongly accept in your emotions and feelings. You need to accept that your body and reproductive system are perfect and can/will carry your child to full term. Learning to cope with the mental acceptance of what you want during this period, is very important.
4. Learn About Your Problem: Once you know about your fertility issues, learn about them. Make research, ask questions before making any decisions.
5. Get Support: Infertility is a very personal issue, but sharing your emotional experiences can help you let out the pain that you feel. Communicate with your partner and learn to support each other. Also, reach out to those who can give you support during difficult moments.
6. Have Time For Yourself: People go through stress differently. You can take time and find what comforts you. Try writing a journal, exercising, or traveling. Have fun, and always remember it takes time to be able to conceive and deliver a child.
Therapies That Can Help Deal With Emotions Associated With Infertility in Women
Many women can cope on their own but some people need additional support.
1. Counselling: Counselling helps to increase coping strategies and also help you to make decisions. It helps to address psychological factors like depression, anxiety, and stress which can increase the chance of having a child.
2. Psychotherapy: This can help control tiredness, stress, anxiety, or depression. A good therapist can help you sort out negative emotions related to infertility, and help you develop positive emotions.
3. Relaxation Techniques: Meditate, exercise, and relax. This will help you to sleep better and concentrate on other things in your life.
4. Medications: Medications help to stimulate ovulation. Using antibiotics helps to remove infections, and having minor surgeries to remove blockage or tissues from the uterus, fallopian tubes or pelvic area, also helps increase your chances of getting pregnant.
5. Be on Guard: Guard your thoughts and feelings to only reflect your acceptance that you can and will have your child/children. A wise man once said, “be careful what you say/accept for yourself because you are listening, and the universe is also listening. What you accept is what you will get.