Infertility is a condition that affects men and women worldwide. According to data from the World Health Organization, one in four couples living in developing countries are affected by infertility. However, it is difficult to define exact numbers of the prevalence of infertility around the world due to the lack of common tools to carry out and report the diagnosis of individuals and couples.
Over the years, the demand for infertility treatment has grown due to the emergence of more modern techniques and easier access to such technologies. Along with this, there was a growing concern with the emotional and psychological aspects that involve this condition, these variables being considered necessary for a more complete and efficient treatment of infertility.
Many researchers have been working on studying the impacts of infertility on mental health , as well as the impact of prolonged exposure to all the treatments that many couples have to undergo when they want to overcome this situation.
To get an idea of the impacts of infertility, a study of American women, for example, shows us that women who suffer from infertility feel as anxious or depressed as women who are diagnosed with cancer or who have heart problems.
That is why we have to redouble our attention to this condition that can cause so much psychological suffering . Throughout this article, we’ll talk a little bit about how infertility can impact mental health and how we can deal with this whole situation in a healthier way!
Psychological stress, anxiety and sadness
There are many feelings that arise in couples who are facing infertility. Those that are frequently reported are stress, anxiety and sadness . All these feelings, when not exaggerated and frequent, are normal and even healthy, as they are our body’s natural responses to the situations that occur in our life. However, we must be aware when such feelings become a constant and begin to affect different areas of life.
It is possible that some women who experience infertility have the following thoughts:
- “I will only feel complete when I am a mother.”
- “I am alone and no one understands me”.
- “Nothing in my life will make sense until I get a child.”
- “My partner is going to leave me if I can’t get pregnant.”
These are common thoughts, but it is necessary to say that infertility is a path that does not need to be walked alone and, therefore, paying attention to our feelings and thoughts is a good tip to check when it is time to be alert and seek help. .
Many studies, for example, have reported the incidence of depression in infertile couples undergoing treatment. It is noteworthy that the longer the treatment, the more frequent the chances of experiencing symptoms of depression and also anxiety. One study showed that patients who had tried and failed treatment once had high levels of anxiety, and patients who had already experienced two failed attempts, had a high level of depression when compared to other patients without a treatment history.
In women, depression is associated with abnormal regulation of the hormone LH , the hormone responsible for ovulation. So it is very important to have a healthy mental state so that the chances of conception are maximized. Our body is interconnected, so it is important to look for ways to keep mental health as balanced as possible.
Some tips to take care of your mental health
- Looking for leisure activities – Many women who face infertility think about it all the time, and this causes them to stop enjoying moments and activities
that were once pleasurable. Plan moments just for you, like exercising, reading a book, painting, writing, among others; or also, going out with friends or your partner are possibilities that can act as an outlet for such thoughts.
- Avoid baby showers and children’s birthdays – If these events are situations that affect you and make you sadder, why not avoid it? In fact, this behavior is totally understandable for women who are facing infertility. Only care must be taken that this does not become an attitude that leads to isolation. Choosing other events, for example, is a possibility that may be enough for you to still keep in touch with your friends.
- Provide more time for your relationship with the partner – Faced with the dream of having a positive, sexual relations are now planned in order to enjoy the fertile period as much as possible. This can affect the relationship, since sexual relations are thought only for the purpose of conception, and not as an intimate and pleasure moment for the couple. Thus, providing more time for the couple’s intimate relationship is also part of promoting healthy mental health.
- Finding support groups – Support groups serve as a way to show that we are not alone. Belonging to a group and being able to share experiences is something that can alleviate the feeling of being alone or that no one can understand your pain. It is worth participating!
- Find a psychologist – This tip here is essential! Seeking help and support to help during infertility challenges is a very important decision for anyone who wants to have a space to talk about their anxieties, anxieties and thoughts without being judged. A good psychologist will offer support and support during this situation, providing self-knowledge to deal with your feelings.
Investing in your mental health is very worthwhile, as our body works like an orchestra. Thus, if one part does not go well, everything else falls apart. So, look for a professional you trust so that this journey is not so painful and lonely.
My name is Dr. Alexis Hart I am 38 years old, I am the mother of 3 beautiful children! Different ages, different phases 16 years, 12 years and 7 years. In love with motherhood since always, I found it difficult to make my dreams come true, and also some more after I was already a mother.
Since I imagined myself as a mother, in my thoughts everything seemed to be much easier and simpler than it really was, I expected to get pregnant as soon as I wished, but it wasn’t that simple. The first pregnancy was smooth, but my daughter’s birth was very troubled. Joana was born in 2002 with a weight of 2930kg and 45cm, from a very peaceful cesarean delivery but she had already been born with congenital pneumonia due to a broken bag not treated with antibiotics even before delivery.