Can counseling for infertility help you?
Most of us grow up assuming we can have children anytime we choose. Then after spending 20 or 30 years waiting for just the right time, maybe even spending energy trying not to get pregnant, we realize that conceiving a child naturally may never happen. This is a sobering realization.
You may be surprised to find that you’re feeling anxious and depressed, and you’re not imagining it. Consider this shocking fact: Research* has found that infertile women had depression scores that were basically indistinguishable from those of women with cancer, heart disease, hypertension and HIV. The conclusion? The psychological toll of infertility cannot be underestimated.”
Maybe you’ve never considered yourself the type to try counseling. But you never expected to be in this difficult position, and talking to someone may be the support you need right now.
If you’re a couple, you may find this brings stress into the relationship. You may not be on the same page or timetable. You may begin to withhold feelings to keep from hurting the other, or feeling rejected yourself. Women can become so focused on having a baby that their husbands feel left out, or begin to miss the life they had together before infertility.
Couples counseling can educate you about what’s “normal” and how to put your relationship back on the right track.
*Dr. Alice Domar
Individual Infertility Counseling
If you are single, you may feel your chances are slipping away, that the “right person” hasn’t come along and you are unsure whether to proceed alone. Individual Infertility counseling can help you make some crucial decisions.
LGBT Couple Counseling
If you are a LGBT couple, you may be wondering how it’s possible to have a child, considering the legal, emotional and social considerations. Counseling can help you explore your options.
Kathy Fountain Infertility Counseling Experience
Kathy Fountain is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor with 16 years experience counseling individuals and couples struggling with infertility or grief issues. She has a particular specialty in the stress-infertility relationship, and the male-female differences during the infertility process.
Ms. Fountain, co-writing with Janet Salyers LMFT in the Sept. 2006 issue of Conceive Magazine says, ‘The old adage “it’s not what you say but how you say it” is never more true than when couples are trying to get pregnant. Women are often excited to find new information about fertility, but then are surprised when their husbands don’t seem as interested. They worry this means their husband doesn’t want a baby as much as they do. But experts say men will withdraw if they’re overwhelmed – not from the idea of having a baby, but from the way the information is delivered.’
Why Consider Infertility Counseling?
Counseling for couples can help teach you how men and women communicate differently, and help you reconnect as a couple.
In addition, the process of fertility treatments can be daunting, exhausting and stressful. You’re often alone, left out of social circles where children are the norm, and feeling misunderstood by others.
Even if you’ve never considered counseling before, a qualified therapist can help you work through problems and better manage your life while trying to get pregnant or become a parent.