Recently, I have noticed an influx of clients in my therapy practice who are struggling with fertility woes. These range from moving forward with a fertility specialist to secondary rounds of IVF as well as closing this chapter of their lives.
Resoundingly, I am met with women who are not given resources for how to process through ALL of the feelings that come with fertility and fertility that needs intervention. Here are some things that a therapist thinks you should know as you work through these differing stages of fertility.
- Seek out therapy! I wish that more clinics would give referrals for therapy in every stage of this journey. It is hard! It is hard on your marriage, it is hard on your body, its hard on your soul.
- Be pushy! Ask the questions you need answers for, ask for sooner appointments and to be put on the cancellation list. Do not be intimidated by the doctors, nurses and the process. You know your body better than they do and no question is a stupid question.
- Ask for a timeline. I find that many of my clients don’t know what next steps are and this waiting period can cause a lot of undue anxiety. At the end of each appointment ask what you can anticipate coming up in terms of appointments and next steps.
- Talk to your partner about how far you are willing to take this journey. Are there absolute NOs? Is there a monetary number that would indicate the end of the road? If the fertility journey ends would you move towards adoption or surrogacy? I think these conversations are super important to have, even in the early stages.
Connect with your partner. Fertility woes can be stressful and cause difficulty in your marriage. Sometimes your partner might not understand the journey and how your body feels and how stressful it is on your body. Go on dates, take a vacation, don’t neglect “us.”
Be kind to yourselves, ladies. This is a stressful process and self care is key. Listen to your body and be your best advocate.