Emotional Rollercoaster: Emotions To Expect When Going Through Infertility
Experiencing infertility is as much an emotional journey as it is a physical one. Trying to conceive and going through repeated rounds of IVF and fertility treatment can be an intense time in any potential parent’s life and so knowing how to take care of your emotional health is vital.
While everyone’s experience is unique, there are common experiences when it comes to the fertility emotional rollercoaster. Here are the emotions to expect when going through infertility.
Infertility often brings an acute sense of loss which can be likened to grief. You may feel the loss of miscarriage or grieve for a family you feel you may not have or be saddened by the loss of not having children ‘naturally’. Then there are the emotions associated with a loss of control over your situation or losing a biological connection if donor eggs or sperm are used. As a result, you may also feel like you are going through the five recognised stages of grief – denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance as you progress on your infertility journey.
Jealousy can be another strong emotion you may experience as you deal with infertility and associated IVF or ICSI treatments. In many ways what you are wanting may still seem unobtainable and it can hurt to know you have to go through so much to get what you see others have. And those feelings of jealousy can be triggered by everyday events such as a friend who announces they are pregnant.
While going through fertility it may at times feel a challenge to remain positive, especially if an IVF attempt fails. And the fear of future failures can make changing a negative mindset all the harder. Keeping things in perspective and accepting the possible trial and errors as well as successes of the process can help you to remain more positive.
With its medical terminology, unfamiliar procedures, treatment schedules and appointments, there is a lot to take on board when it comes to IVF treatment. And all this information and expectation can leave you feeling overwhelmed and on a rollercoaster of stress and anxiety. Especially if it is your first round of treatment, it is understandable to feel out of your depth and unsure. Which is why, whether you are being treated by the NHS or a private fertility clinic, it is so important to find a consultant who understands all your concerns.
Managing the infertility rollercoaster
The best way to cope with all the emotions associated with infertility is to recognise and acknowledge them, then look at what is causing you the most distress. From here, you can start to create day-to-day coping strategies to help you manage and ultimately overcome these feelings.
It is also perfectly normal to feel strong emotions during fertility treatment and you should give yourself permission to do so, as well as ask your partner, friends, or family for support. And that also means seeking professional help if you need to – your GP or fertility clinic are there to support you to navigate the emotional rollercoaster that can be infertility and IVF.