Coping With Infertility

Communication as a Way of Coping

Working through your feelings and becoming educated about your infertility diagnosis are stepping stones to dealing with it. Another part of coping with this difficult time is learning how to communicate. It is a natural response in women who are going through infertility to withdraw and isolate themselves. The last thing they may want to do is be in a public place where mothers are doting over their precious children. Also, talking to family or friends may lead to the unbearable comments, such as "just relax and it will happen" or "maybe you just weren't meant to be parents."
It's natural to want to just avoid these types of situations rather than dealing with them. Although the life of a hermit may be appealing to many women going through the dark days of infertility, an important part of coping with this is to learn how to communicate with your partner, family, and friends. So why is this so important?
One of the reasons communication is important is because it will help you build a strong support system that is crucial to surviving this difficult journey. For some women, this support group isn't necessarily family and friends. While they can give you that unconditional love, you may find it difficult to talk to them about what you are going through and the feelings you are having. This isn't their fault. It's simply because they are not walking in your shoes and have not experienced the pain you are feeling.
Finding people who have experienced similar emotions may provide you with that extra support you need to make it through the day. This can come in the form of a counselor, spiritual leader, or an infertility support group. There are online groups, or you may be able to find one in your hometown. Hearing about how others deal with their various infertility problems and feelings may give you some ideas on how to cope as well. Also, being able to feel comfortable talking to others about what you are going through can help you release those emotions and learn how to move on.
Talking with your spouse or partner may also uncover some obstacles. This can be difficult for many couples, as each partner will cope with infertility in his or her own way. Learning to communicate and being understanding of how the other one is coping will help build a strong foundation for you to stand on when days are filled with uncertainty.
This may include telling your partner what you need. Maybe it's simply a hug, to be left alone, or to just listen rather than trying to "fix it." This will help your significant other know how to help you -- after all, they aren't a mind reader! Try to find some middle ground. For a woman, not becoming pregnant each month can be devastating; however, your partner may not have that same feeling. Also, your partner should not try to make you feel the same way they do. Communicating each other's needs will help bridge this gap.
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
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