Coping With Infertility

Coping With the Feelings of Loss

When a woman going through infertility is trying to get pregnant month after month, a lot of work goes into it. Depending on the type of fertility problem you have, your experience may be different. However, before healthcare providers will intervene with medical treatment, a woman and her partner have to try to get pregnant the "natural" way. This can mean checking your temperature every day, charting your peak days of ovulation, checking cervical mucus, and trying to time everything perfectly.
After all of this, you have to wait that dreaded two weeks to see if you are pregnant. The day your period starts after this long month of preparing and hoping can be devastating. Another failed attempt. Disappointment, sadness, anguish, and helplessness are just some of the emotions that flood in with that first sign of blood that signals another period is on the way.
While some women try to put on a "happy face," it's important to face your emotions head-on rather than dismissing them. By paying attention to your grief, anger, and other emotions, you will find that they will lose their power over you. Allowing yourself to feel these emotions will help you find the energy to keep going.
You're angry -- allow yourself to be angry. You're incredibly heartbroken -- allow yourself to cry and be sad. You're frustrated -- allow yourself to yell at the top of your lungs to let the frustration out. It's okay to feel these feelings. By feeling them, you can get them out and then move on.
Bottling up your emotions will keep you at a standstill. Not acknowledging how you're feeling will keep you in a stage of denial and your progress will be halted. However, by moving through the stages of grief and emotions, you will get to a point where you feel a type of relief. After making it through the full course of getting your emotions out, you will realize that it didn't destroy you and, more than likely, made you even stronger.
Although it may seem like the emotions of loss and grief will never pass while you are in the thick of it, they will. After you realize that you can survive the anger, disappointment, and sadness, you will gain a new sense of strength that you can make it through the next stage. However, if you do not work through your emotions, it will leave you stuck in a sense of denial. So don't feel bad that you are having these emotions. It's normal and it's okay to allow yourself to feel them.
How do you "work through" your emotions? Each woman will have her own way to deal with the rush of emotions -- there is no "right" way to do it. Some possible ways to help get through these times may include:
  • Writing down what you're angry about. Having a journal where you feel like you can write down anything and everything can give you a good outlet to release those negative emotions without having to worry that someone may criticize or judge you.
  • Exercising. Finding ways to work out your emotions, such as going for a walk, run, or bike ride, can help get out those frustrated feelings and get those feel-good brain chemicals and hormones kicking in.
  • Talking to a friend, family member, counselor, or support group. In some cases, talking to friends or family members may be difficult, as they can't quite relate to what you're going through. In these cases, a counselor or support group may be easier to relate to, especially when you are able to hear how someone else is coping with their own infertility challenges.
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
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