Dealing with the psychological impact of infertility and its treatment
Infertility is the inability to conceive despite regular and unprotected sex for over a year. If the couple has been trying for a long time without being able to successfully conceive, it is quite likely that an emotional sense of loss and grief will overcome them. They might also feel incomplete both as an individual and in the relationship.
Thus, the reality of infertility in someone’s life can be haunting, and it can take some time to accept the same. It can have long term repercussions on the emotional health of the individual as well as the relationship. Some of these have been briefly discussed below:
Inadequacy or incompetency
It does not matter if it is the male or the female partner that is suffering from infertility, once a couple is diagnosed with infertility they are burdened with feelings of inadequacy or incompetence collectively and individually. They may also feel extreme guilt for being the one that is responsible for the childlessness. These factors may together contribute to increased stress, depression, and other psychological effects.
Anger and helplessness
If only one of the two partners is suffering from infertility, it could also lead to a sense of obvious or suppressed anger. In some cases, in addition to or in place of anger, it could be a sense of helplessness that takes over. They want to help their partner but have no avenue to do so. All of these can affect the relationship adversely and can cause a lot of psychological stress on both partners.
Being around friends and family who have children can be emotional for those who cannot have their own. The yearning for children can haunt the infertile couple. This can affect them socially and lead to social awkwardness or withdrawal from social gatherings.
Although the society in the modern times has seen a lot of progressive change, childlessness is still seen as a sin or a curse by many even today. Or some others frown or snigger at childless couples. They can face a lot of prejudice and discrimination which can in turn affect the couple’s psychological well-being.
Not just the condition of infertility but the treatment may also cause certain side-effects as well as have certain psychological ramifications. Firstly, there is a financial aspect to consider. Often infertility treatments can be quite hard on the pocket. The financial impact of the treatments can cause a lot of stress for the couple.
Infertility treatments can cause a myriad of changes in the body. This is especially true in the case of females. The drugs given to stimulate ovulation and to assist successful pregnancy can cause irritability, anxiety, mood swings, disrupted sleep, and disrupted thought processes. While these side-effects are rare, it can be difficult for both the patient and the doctors to predict what kind of side-effects will manifest themselves during the treatment.
Also, there is a sense of uncertainty accompanying the couple right through the process. While infertility treatments have a high rate of success, pregnancy cannot be guaranteed as the outcome of the treatment. After putting strain both on the finances and their bodies, the chance that the treatment may not be successful can cause the couple to be anxious and stressed. Previous miscarriages or failed infertility treatments can add to the emotional and psychological effects.
Get Timely Help
Getting timely help from a professional therapist can help you tackle the emotional and psychological strain of infertility and infertility treatments. Recognizing the signs of psychological effects can help you get through this phase of life successfully. Contact us at Oasis Fertility and we are here, ready to help.
Talk to us if you are experiencing any of the signs given below.
- Not able to enjoy activities that you once did.
- Extreme sadness that does not change
- Strained relationships with family, friends, partner, or colleagues.
- Unable to think of anything but infertility.
- Inability to complete daily tasks and chores.
- Inability to concentrate.
- Changes in sleep patterns
- Changes in appetite
- Abuse of alcohol or drugs
- Suicidal thoughts
- Avoiding social situations
- Prolonged guilt and negativity
- Prolonged anger or bitterness