I was talking to a friend recently about her infertility struggles and the idea of counseling came up. She responded, "I didn't know counseling for infertility was a thing. I’m sure that would've helped me a lot."
I think my friend's sentiments are probably true for a lot of people going through infertility. There is so much that you are concerned with while you're going through fertility treatments - focusing on getting pregnant, managing shots, making your appointments - just to name a few. And you're juggling all of this on top of your typical daily schedule.
To say this is a stressful time is an understatement. It's not surprising that people don't seek counseling right away. Who can think of squeezing one more thing into their schedule on a regular basis?
Stress is a funny little beast too. Sometimes you can be under a tremendous amount of stress and not really notice how you are carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders until something clues you in. It may be your reaction to your friend’s pregnancy announcement or feeling incredibly angry at what must be the 100th person to ask you about having children.
This is where counseling can be a great help. Counseling gives you a safe place to vent your frustrations, talk about your disappointments, or let out whatever else is stressing you. You can say whatever it is that you hold back from saying to your family or friends. You don’t have to worry about anyone else’s feelings or opinions in counseling.
Counseling can help you find ways to manage all the stress you are dealing with right now. You may need help creating a response to the awkward things people can say to you at this time. You know those well-meaning but hurtful comments, such as “you just need to relax” or “have you considered adoption?” Or maybe you need help figuring out how to feel less stressed, despite what may be going on with your fertility treatments.
If you have a partner/spouse, then you are not going through infertility alone. And you don’t have to with counseling either. You can come together to sessions to discuss whatever it is that may be troubling you both. Maybe it’s figuring out how to have fun again as a couple or talking about things you need to consider regarding this process.
Whatever you may be dealing with, know that help is available. Counseling for infertility is definitely a thing, and actually a very helpful one. If you’re ready to get started with counseling, contact me today to schedule an appointment or ask me any questions.
Laura Winters, LCSW is a therapist specializing in infertility and prenatal/postpartum stress. Laura's practice is located in Chatham and Mountain Lakes, NJ.