Infertility: Emotional Needs and Resources

Infertility: Emotional Needs and Resources

Fertility treatments are extremely stressful and taxing to say the least. Studies have shown that women who are undergoing fertility treatments tend to be more successful in achieving pregnancy when they take the time to care for their emotional needs.

One study reported in Reproductive Endocrinology 73:4, April 2000 concluded that women who received psychological intervention avoided becoming depressed and had significantly higher rates of viable pregnancies, compared to women who did not receive any psychological intervention.

Another study reported in Journal of American Women’s Medical Association 54, 1999 concluded that women who received treatment for depression showed a 60% viable pregnancy rate within six months, compared to a 24% rate for women whose depression went untreated.

Counseling can greatly help support women and/or couples who are trying to navigate through the difficult and complicated journey of infertility.

Counseling can be helpful when faced with making a difficult decision, embarking on new parenting options, or dealing with a major loss. Feelings of anger, anxiety, sadness, isolation, grief and guilt can be addressed in counseling sessions.

If you are wondering whether or not you need counseling, consider these common reasons for seeking counseling with a knowledgeable counselor:

  • When feeling lonely and isolated
  • If you have no one or very few people to talk to about your infertility
  • If infertility is starting to affect your work or career
  • When you feel like your life plan is out of control
  • If you’re having difficulty in making decisions about medical treatment options
  • When trying to decide whether or not to stop treatments
  • When the holidays and/or coping with family and friends is becoming more difficult

The following are some helpful resources for you to consider.

Pregnancy Grief & Loss Bibliography List:

  • Surviving Pregnancy Loss by Rochelle Friedman and Bonnie Gradstein
  •  Silent Sorrow by Ingrid Kohn and Perry-Lynn Moffitt
  • Unspeakable Losses by Kim Kluger-Bell
  • Trying Again: A Guide to Pregnancy After Miscarriage by Ann Douglas and John R. Sussman, M.D.

Infertility Bibliography List:

  • Conquering Infertility by Alice D. Domar and Alice Lesch Kelly
  • Having Your Baby through Egg Donation by Ellen Glazer
  • Unsung Lullabies by J. Jaffe, M. Ourieff Diamond, and D Diamond
  • Waiting for Daisy by Peggy Orenstein
  • So Glad We Waited by Lois Nachamie

Helpful Websites:

  • American Society of Reproductive Medicine www.asrm.org
  • Path 2 Parenthood www.theafa.org
  • The Endometriosis Association www.endometriosisassn.org
  • Fertile Thoughts www.fertilethoughts.net
  • The National Infertility Association www.resolve.org
  • Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology www.sart.org
  • Single Mothers by Choice www.singlemothersbychoice.com

Stacey Wald, LAPC, RD
Swald @growcounseling.com

Photo Credit: Public Domain

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