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It’s a new year and a new chance to get pregnant. For many of my patients, this can be a difficult time of year. It represents another mile marker in their fertility journey with no definite end in sight. Unfortunately, stress and fertility are often constant companions, making for a difficult journey for my patients who are struggling to become pregnant.

Here are some tips for coping with infertility in 2016:

  • Let go of blame, shoulds and plans you can’t control. It’s natural to blame yourself, your partner, your OB/GYN or your fertility specialist when things don’t go your way. However, the blame doesn’t help anyone. Neither do expectations that start with should, as in, “I should be pregnant by now.” The fact is there are some plans you can’t control, and infertility is one of them. Recognize what you blame, expect and can’t control, and let them go. It will give you more time to focus on the things you can do that are more positive.
  • Take care of yourself. Stress is a destructive force in the most balanced people. Take time to do things that relieve your stress, even if you feel like doing so would be selfish. Take a trip, go to the spa or schedule a long hike on the weekend. Whatever it is that helps you unwind should be part of your fertility treatment plan. These activities will help you replenish your resources to manage the ups and downs of daily life during treatment.
  • Feel what you feel, but with limits. If you feel disappointed when your period arrives, allow it. Scream into a pillow; write an angry letter about your disappointment; cry. It’s OK to feel negative feelings, healthy even. It’s allowing them to linger and bring you down for days that’s unhealthy. Try to face your anger, sorrow and disappointment head-on and then move on. You will likely find that acknowledging how you feel in an honest way is enough to let you get past it.
  • Let people help, but be specific. When you are having a difficult time, however, friends and family often want to help but don’t know how. This year, let them, but tell them what you need. If you need a loan, ask for one. If you need help managing your other children for doctor’s appointments, ask for it. If you can’t possibly cook by the third week of your injections, see if you can get some help with dinner. Often if you tell people what you need, they will be happy to step up to help.
  • Consider a support group. Some people would rather not talk about their feelings in a group. However, many of them also never have. This year, why not try something new? Go to a support group and see if it helps to share stories with other couples going through the same things. You might find the camaraderie helps immensely with your feelings.

Every January is a chance to make changes. When you are working to become pregnant through fertility treatment, coping with infertility is an important part of your treatment. Why not make changes in how you deal with stress and infertility by trying one of these? You might find it’s just the thing you needed to put a little more “happy” in the new year for you.

Sources:

Gurevich, Rachel. “10 Ways to Cope When Trying to Get Pregnant Overwhelms You.” Infertility.about.com. Web. 12 January 2016. < http://infertility.about.com/od/copingwithinfertility/a/10-Ways-To-Cope-When-Trying-To-Get-Pregnant-Overwhelms-You.htm>.

“Managing Infertility Stress.” www.resolve.org. Web. 12 January 2016. < http://www.resolve.org/support/Managing-Infertility-Stress/coping-with-holidays.html?referrer=https://www.google.com/ >.