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Studies have shown that the levels of depression and anxiety in infertile women are comparable to levels in cancer patients. And despite the fact that one in six women and their partners have infertility, unfortunately there’s still a great deal of unnecessary shame and secrecy surrounding it.
Family and Friends
Family and friends can be a source of support or a source of angst when you’re dealing with infertility. Many “well meaning” thoughts and comments can be inappropriate or unhelpful. Therefore, it’s important to consider whom to tell about your infertility and what to tell them.
Secondary Infertility and Miscarriage
Secondary infertility and miscarriage each have their own unique set of challenges. Women who have never been able to conceive don't understand the anguish that may accompany secondary infertility. Others may feel that you should just be happy that you've been able to have a child.
An early miscarriage is often an invisible loss—others may not have known you were pregnant or they focus on the fact that you were pregnant rather than that you lost a pregnancy. With a later miscarriage it is important to have some mementos, and a memorial ritual or other service may be healing.
In both cases, try connecting with other women in the same situation—it’s difficult for others to understand.
The way you cope with infertility is unique to you, and is dependent on the way you manage stress, change, and uncertainty. (What is common amongst almost all fertility patients, however, are the emotional stages you’ll go through.) This is a good time to try and learn new coping mechanisms; your coping skills will have to come into play in a number of ways.
And, keep in mind that support and good information are critical as you work towards resolving your infertility.