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3 October, 2018

Fertility. How to face #stress when you cannot have a child?

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* Stress is intimately related to the experience of infertility, as a result of the difficulty to conceive a child, of not knowing what is the cause of infertility, not knowing if a pregnancy is going to be achieved some day and of the pressure that is felt from the exterior world.

Why do I get stressed?

Couples with reproductive problems often refer to infertility as the worst crisis of their lives and given the high level of stress they endure, phrases like “this is the worst thing that has ever happened to me” are very frequent.

 

What to do?

The first step is to know that this is a common process in couples with reproductive problems.

The second step is to ask for help. Remember that fertility centers usually have psychologists specialized in reproductive psychology, who can guide and accompany you in the process.

 

Do you feel some of these moods?

-Anxiety. Product of uncertainty and the impossibility of predicting whether a pregnancy will finally be achieved, couples usually go through strong states of anxiety, with a very characteristic symptomatology: difficulty breathing, fatigue, dizziness, severe headaches …

-Depression. The very concept of infertility is often intolerable for those who suffer from it. Depression is very frequent in patients with reproductive problems with rates comparable to those patients diagnosed with cancer, chronic pain and cardiovascular diseases.

-Anger. “Why me?” Is a very frequent phrase in those who seek an explanation for their infertility. They are angry, but they cannot explain well with whom, if with themselves, with their partner, with the doctor who has given them the diagnosis, or with some superior being who is punishing them.

-Feeling: “Nothing makes sense in my life if I do not have a child”. It is fundamental for the mental health of patients to have other projects in operation besides having a child. If the treatment fails, keep in mind other activities that we would like to do and that have been left aside, will help us to pass this difficult moment and start a new treatment with hope.

-Sensation of deceit. Usually, patients come to the consultation after having collected all kinds of information in books, internet, friends, acquaintances, in other consultations, etc. As expected, each of these information channels has its own sources, with greater and less scientific rigor, so they do not always coincide, and the patient usually mistrusts everything that is said by the excess of information itself not always proven.

 

-Sadness vs. Hope. The oscillation of humor is characteristic of patients in reproduction. One day you can be hopeful with the treatment, eager to start and other days, wanting to leave, not wanting to listen and with little receptivity.

 

How to improve these sensations?

Live this experience in two, as a couple, feel accompanied by the other. Although they cannot always go to consultation together, the fundamental thing is to feel and know that the other is present. Ask for help when you consider it necessary.

Psychologists are very useful at this time and will provide you with tools to help you cope with the most difficult situations.

Ask everything that comes to mind, express to the doctor or to any member of the team what you feel, the concerns you have.

It is essential to have other projects underway, in addition to being parents. Focusing on a single objective that does not depend entirely on us is not beneficial, especially when we do not know when that objective will be achieved.

Not living the treatment as the last option to be a parent, but as a treatment that we all hope will work out well, but at the same time it may not be the last.

 

Why do not my partner and I feel the same in the same situation?

Gender differences between men and women mean that each one responds in a different way to the diverse situations that they have to face, substantially varying the state of mind, the involvement in the treatment …

In addition, reproductive treatments will physically impact more on women. When a couple faces a reproductive problem, women tend to express their sadness by crying and taking refuge in their loved ones. The man, however, usually adopts evasion behaviors and seeks refuge in his work, in outings with friends …

This does not mean that one is more distressed and involved with the project than the other, but that each one expresses his discomfort in his own way.

Given this context, it is important:

* Know that although within the couple they have different reactions, both are having a difficult time.

* Have a fluid dialogue between the couple regarding these reactions and respect the expressions of anguish of each one.

 

Sources: Asociación Red Nacional de Infértiles / HC Fertility Center.

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