When a woman or couple together decides that they want to have a child, they look forward to that child with anticipation. Each time you miss a period, you hope beyond hope that that means you are pregnant and that you will have that child you’ve wanted on the way. You go to the store to buy a pregnancy test and eagerly await the results. Unfortunately, those results come back negative. You may wonder what went wrong. After consistently getting negative results you may even wonder what's the matter with you. You go to the doctor, and you may decide to spend thousands of dollars on fertility treatments. You go through a huge amount of stress trying to have a child. Sometimes seeking support from friends and family can be helpful while others find it helpful to seek professional help from a counselor to be more useful.
But, this is Medical. Why should I see a counselor? You are right that infertility is primarily a physical and medical issue. Because of the medical aspect of infertility, you may experience unhelpful comments and huge medical bills bringing about financial stresses. This can all be very taxing affecting your emotional well-being, relationships, and thoughts and feelings. Below I will sometimes discuss where you might find it helpful to speak with a counselor.
Thoughts and Feelings of Guilt. You may have thoughts and feelings of guilt. You may have at one time became pregnant where you may have been too young or weren’t ready yet to become a mother and chose to have an abortion. You may have elected to wait to have children to focus on school, career, or to find the right person to have a child with. Neither of these choices is wrong though some may have thoughts of being punished for these options. These thoughts can affect your feelings, and you may experience feelings similar to depression. Speaking with a counselor or therapist, you can tell about your thoughts and feelings without judgment. Your therapist can also help you learn new ways of looking at these choices without shame or guilt.
Feelings and Emotions are becoming Unmanageable. You may be feeling a wide range of feelings or emotions while you are struggling with infertility. You may feel a broad range of emotions including anger, longing, sadness, guilt, or shame. You may even experience all of these feelings all at once. A therapist can provide you with the time and space for you to talk about these feelings without judgment or without being told to “get over” these emotions. Friends and family are capable of providing emotional support, but your therapist is capable of providing unconditional support.
Relational Difficulties with Your Partner. The stressors particularly the financial stressors of infertility can bring about difficulties in your relationship with your spouse. Speaking with a therapist allows you to learn new ways to communicate with your partner. You may even find it beneficial to seek therapy with your partner to gain support in building a healthy relationship during this time.
Seeing a therapist is not for those who are “crazy.” You can gain support in a warm, non-judgmental environment. You are free to experience your feelings and emotions in your own time without pressure to “get over it” or to “stop feeling.”