Support for Infertility
There are some trials in life that we prefer to suffer alone, but infertility doesn’t need to be one of them. An estimated one of every eight women in the United States has difficulty conceiving and is considered infertile, which means that there are plenty of others out there who can – and are willing to – help offer support for others in the same predicament, whether in person or online.
Add to that the members of the medical community who work in finding fertility solutions and you’ve got a vast network of support for infertility issues.
Support can be garnered in the following ways:
Finding your infertility “sisters”
There are literally thousands and thousands of individuals participating in infertility-related support groups established throughout the country and on the web. The trick is finding the group that’s right for you.
Don’t jump into the first one you discover. Not all support groups will be to your advantage. Look for groups where you can certainly share your struggles but also where you can receive a reassuring pat on the back or an “atta girl” once in a while. Some support groups focus on the negative only.
While there’s certainly plenty of dark places in your fight to conceive, you’ll want a group that’s uplifting during those struggles, not one where the members just grumble and complain.
So take time to choose. If you’re looking for a local group, check out a few if there’s more than one available. If you’re looking online, try to gauge the dynamic of the group before making a decision to join. And remember, you’re not stuck. If you find a group isn’t for you, make a change. But do give it a chance!
Your doctor may be able to lead you to a top-notch group in your area or online, so don’t hesitate to ask for recommendations.
Educating your family
No matter how much you’d rather your extended family not be involved in your fertility struggles, it’s going to happen…unless you don’t tell them at all. But that’s often difficult. There’s no doubt, of course, that Mom will want to offer her advice and your sister will want to tell you all about that friend of hers who tried to conceive but failed, despite all her efforts.
So, the best thing you can do is to educate them on the process with ACCURATE information. Provide them with copies of info your doctor has given you. Send them to RELIABLE websites that offer information they can read in order to help you through things like IVF and other treatments.
Fill them up with as much good information as possible and ask them to stay away from places that do not disseminate facts and places where negativity reigns.
And, just as with support groups, you can remove yourself from discussions with family members if they are having an adverse effect on you and your partner. Remember, it’s okay to be transparent about your struggles but you don’t have to offer every tidbit of information. Just tell them what you believe they need to know in order for you to receive their support.
Communicate with your partner
Your best source of support for infertility is likely your partner, but you’ll need to understand that you will probably process things in different ways. Recognize that there will be marked differences in the way you deal with the stress of infertility treatment. After all, one of you is literally going through the treatments while the other is watching with a keen eye from the “outside”.
And remember to be open. If you don’t want to talk, tell him/her. If you want to skip that family baby shower for your new niece because you can’t handle it, tell him. If you need a hug, express that need.
Couples who communicate honestly will find the whole experience is much easier.
You may not always agree, you might get upset with each other, and you might even scream and shout once in a while, but the fact that you’re letting the other know how you feel makes all the difference.Go back