Infertility occurs when a couple has been trying to conceive for one year or more without success. In some cases, such as when a woman is over age 35, a doctor might diagnose infertility when conception has been unsuccessful for less than one year.
Either way, there’s a lot to process when you receive an infertility diagnosis. You may not think so at the moment, but receiving an infertility diagnosis can bring a strange sort of relief: Finally, you have a name for what you’ve been struggling with. Of course, it can also elicit feelings of disbelief and heartbreak.
Dr. Asia Mohsin of Progressive Women’s Health explains how an infertility diagnosis affects your mental health and offers insights on how to deal with the emotions.
What happens after an infertility diagnosis?
There’s no right answer to this question because every couple reacts to an infertility diagnosis differently. While this process varies, you might expect to undergo further tests, receive a recommendation to see a mental health professional, discuss fertility treatment options, and/or take some time away from work or other obligations to mentally deal with the diagnosis.
Dealing with the emotions
Few things can compare to the swell of emotions that accompany an infertility diagnosis. Many couples feel shock, fear, sadness, anger, loss, and other emotions — all at once. Regardless of whether or not you decide to pursue fertility treatment, it’s critical that you and your partner deal with the emotions you’re feeling after your diagnosis.
If you find yourself feeling anxious, depressed, isolated, or otherwise unwell — or suspect your partner is feeling the same — seek counseling. A mental health professional who specializes in infertility can offer a great number of benefits and may be able to:
- Help you understand the emotions you’re feeling
- Offer coping mechanisms
- Help get your sleep schedule back in order
- Strengthen your relationship with your partner
- Teach you to avoid social isolation
And always, always keep your partner in the loop. You shouldn’t feel embarrassed to talk about your feelings with your significant other. After all, you’re in this together. Keeping communication open and honest helps everyone.
Devising a plan
Every couple deals with infertility differently. Many couples decide to adopt or embrace the diagnosis. Many other couples decide to pursue fertility treatment.
If you decide to go through with fertility treatment, you need to have a lot of discussions with your partner about the different available treatment options and how the process will work for you both. The process can still be long, confusing, and frustrating, but advances in medicine and technology have resulted in fertility treatments that are more successful than ever.
Dr. Mohsin and the rest of our staff are here for you and your partner. Whether you want to learn more about fertility treatment options or be referred to a fertility counselor, call our office in Friendswood, Texas, at 281-993-4072 or request an appointment online.