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Tips to Alleviate Stress When Going Through Infertility

a blog by Jane Frederick, M.D., HRC Fertility, March 26, 2015

I have treated thousands of people trying to conceive and I can say that stress won’t affect the results of your treatments or hinder your success but it can make you feel worse and cause unnecessary emotional stress. I have found through the years that many of my patients feel they must do certain things that bring about stress including attend baby showers or go to lunch with pregnant friends. I can tell you that it is important while going through infertility to attempt to limit exposure to things that cause you to feel sad or hopeless.

A few things to keep in mind:

Stress won’t prevent pregnancy – Being stressed or sad will not prevent pregnancy contrary to people telling you to “just relax.” Relaxing will not get you pregnant but it will help you to keep a calm mind and keep focused on your ultimate goal. Stress is okay. When it overtakes your life and if you feel sadness all day long, you should consider seeking help from a therapist who is experienced in working with infertility.

Infertility treatments do work – The majority of couples who do fertility treatments will be successful. The technology and treatment for infertility has come so far in recent years and we have expanded technology to treat all areas. It is critical to keep the hope alive as if you are on this journey, I can promise you that all my patients do end up building the family of their dreams.

It is okay to decline invitations – You don’t have to go to the baby shower you were invited to. Most people will understand the need to skip out on some events that will cause you a great deal of sadness. This doesn’t mean you aren’t happy for someone or not brave – it only means that you understand taking care of yourself and your emotional well-being is very important. It is okay to say NO and it is okay to take care of yourself.

Tell family and friends what you need – Tell your family what works for you. Some of my patients didn’t mind questions from family and friends and others did want to talk about it and felt people were avoiding them. Tell your friends and family what you need and what works best for you so they can assist you and support you in a way that works for you. Most family members tell me they aren’t sure what to do – they want your guidance on the best way to help you.

Men and women are different – Don’t think because your husband isn’t emotional that he doesn’t care about this process and having a baby. Men and women deal with stress very differently and most of the husbands I have worked with felt hopeless and just wanted to make their wife feel better. Try as much as possible to approach the treatments as a team and don’t expect your husband to deal with things the exact same way as you do.


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