Coping With Infertility

Knowing What You Can and Can't Control

Most women have had a time in their life where they have wanted something, they knew how to get it done, and they achieved their goal. However, with infertility, you can do everything right and still not be able to reach the goal of becoming pregnant. This can leave a woman and her partner feeling like they have failed. A key to coping with infertility is to start taking a close look at what you can control and what you cannot.
For instance, when you and your partner have gone through all the right steps and yet another menstrual period starts, it's important to take a step back and realize that for some reason the process has failed -- it's not you who is the failure. You have done everything you know to be right to achieve pregnancy, but there's something that is out of your control that's preventing the pregnancy from happening. When you don't reach your goal, you can be left with a very vulnerable feeling -- a feeling that you can no longer control what may happen in your life.
This vulnerability can lead to feelings of inadequacy, helplessness, and even defectiveness. These feelings can lead to an obscured view of your situation. You may lose hope and feel like everything is out of your control. This is where it is crucial to look at what you do have control over.
Infertility covers a wide variety of problems, which may include problems with sperm, ovulation, and implantation, just to name a few. The way to determine what you can control is to first sit down with your healthcare provider to help determine the cause of the infertility. Although some infertility is considered "unexplained," there are tests and procedures that can help you and your partner figure out what may be going on.
If you can figure out why you are unable to get pregnant, it can help restore some of your hope that if certain medical issues are treated, then you may be able to become pregnant. If it is a male problem and sperm is an issue, there are ways to help improve sperm count and motility. If your problem is ovulation or implantation, then there are medications you can try.
One of the toughest parts about infertility is the uncertainty it brings. Not knowing what lies ahead can leave you feeling completely out of control and helpless.
However, you can start collecting information. Reading, researching, and talking to your healthcare provider about your options can help you attain some knowledge in understanding the infertility process. This, in turn, helps you feel educated and more in control over the various options you have. It also gives you hope that by treating some of the causes of infertility, it may lead to that long-awaited "plus sign" on your pregnancy test.
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
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