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Emotional Aspects of Infertility for Atlanta Couples
One of the most difficult aspects of infertility for couples is the emotional aspect. 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, there is often unnecessary shame and secrecy surrounding it.
Infertility is a roller coaster with emotional ups and downs ranging from excitement about starting a new treatment to uncertainty about whether the treatment has succeeded to the feelings of loss if you find out you are not pregnant or you have suffered a miscarriage. Emotions a couple can experience while coping with infertility can include:
- Shock and numbness
- Guilt and shame
There are several points in the infertility journey that can be difficult for Atlanta couples, according to Lisa Hasty, MD, a fertility doctor with Atlanta Center for Reproductive Medicine (ACRM). "First, just deciding that there is a problem and that they need help — many folks cannot get past this point," she says. "It is also difficult if a first cycle of a new level of care fails — it is hard for them to see that a second cycle will make all the difference. Being patient is not easy."
According to Dr. Hasty, it helps patients emotionally to find a fertility doctor and team that they trust "to give them the straight information, that can lead them to a successful conclusion in the shortest amount of time."
In addition, counseling can help. "A counselor can also be a big support in all aspects of this journey," Dr. Hasty says. "We have two counselors in our offices and also recommend other ones in private practice. We provide a free support group in one of our offices every Wednesday evening."
The way each Atlanta couple copes with infertility is unique and dependent on the way the couple manages stress, change and uncertainty. A journey through infertility is a good time explore new coping mechanisms because they most certainly will be used while working to resolve infertility.