Finding Support for Infertility
Infertility is stressful for couples and individuals who
are trying to conceive. Coping with infertility can be extremely difficult. However,
it helps to have a stable network of support. That way, you will have somewhere
to turn to when the anxiety becomes too much to handle alone. You will also
have a solid basis for making decisions when things start to seem overwhelming.
There are a number of things you can do to help cope
with a diagnosis of infertility.
Research Your Options
Before diving into infertility treatment, research the
available treatment options for your infertility. Think about their benefits
and side effects. It’s a good idea to decide in advance what kind of procedures
each person is willing to have if assisted reproductive technologies (ART) are
needed. That way you can make a plan with your doctor to follow these treatment
While you research treatment options, it’s smart to
think about alternative ways of building a family. Discuss whether adoption
might be an option if you can’t succeed in getting pregnant. You should also
investigate whether surrogates and gestational carriers are legal in your
state, if such options are of interest to you.
Finally, talk to your partner about how you feel about
donor gametes. How would it affect your relationship if only one–or neither–of
you is your child’s biological parent? You might also want to consider
discussing these issues with a relationship counselor.
A professional may also be able to help you prioritize
your goals for starting a family. Consider asking for a referral to a counselor
who has experience dealing with infertility issues. They can help you
understand your parenting options.
Set Limits on Cost
Fertility treatments carry significant financial cost.
Many couples tell themselves they will exhaust all means to conceive a child.
However, this can drain their finances with no promise of success. Such
financial burden can place additional stress on individuals and relationships. Before
you begin treatment, talk with your doctor about costs. It’s important to make
a plan for how much you’re able to realistically spend before looking at
If cost is an issue for your fertility treatment, talk
to your doctor about options. Some practices may reduce costs for couples
willing to donate eggs or spare embryos. You may also be able to receive free
or discounted care if you participate in research studies.
Seek Support from Others Dealing With Infertility
Communication with other infertile couples can be
incredibly useful for people who are having trouble conceiving. Many fertility
specialists and doctors can recommend support groups or counseling services.
Groups can help you handle the emotional and psychological stress that often
accompanies fertility treatments. These support groups may be especially
helpful in the event fertility treatments are not successful.
state-by-state list of infertility support groups is also available from Resolve: The National Infertility Association