Are you experiencing difficulties conceiving? Does it feel like you are surrounded by pregnant women everywhere you go? Does it feel like it’s unfair or that you are being punish and you don’t understand why? Do you find yourself consumed by questions about infertility? Do you need someone to talk to who will understand what it’s like to not a choice? Does it feel insensitive when people constantly ask you when you are having children?
Unfortunately, awareness of the psychological impact of infertility issues is limited in the general public. People assume it is a socially acceptable questions to ask when you are going to have children because for many years it has been considered appropriate.
In my experience, many of the people who often ask questions about having children are well-intended family members, friends or colleagues who mean no disrespect or harm. They may even urge you to hurry up because your biological is clicking is ticking or tell your if you leave it too late you will have problems. This is often because of their lack of insight and understanding about infertility issues rather than deliberate insensitivity towards you. The shame, pain and sadness that is invariably connected to infertility issues can make it much more difficult to have open conversations with those around you.
Many people are unaware of what’s it’s like to spend every waking moment thinking about having a baby or trying any treatment that may improve your chances only to be left disappointed yet again. They don’t realise that some couples have experienced unsuccessful IVF treatment cycles or miscarriages along their journey. Sadly, others have been told that they will never be able to have children even with donated eggs or sperm.
Fear of judgment or upsetting loved ones and rejection can stop you from expressing what you’re experiencing which can leave your feeling unsupported and isolated. It is true, that some people will judge you no matter what you say and you may not want to open up when you are feeling so vulnerable and alone . You may even be judging yourself and blaming yourself for the decisions you made in your life. You may hold yourself responsible or feel you are been punished. These feelings are a normal part of grief associated with the losses of infertility. Stop beating yourself or your partner up about it. Be kind to yourself and seek support to help you deal with the emotional rollercoaster and make decisions about your future.
You may prefer a private space to share your pain, explore your options and learn how to deal with emotional and social impact. Speaking to your psychologist who has expertise in this area and understands the complex nature of infertility can be a safe place to begin to open up. They can help you work through your available options including: IVF treatment with or without donor egg/sperm/embryos, finding a way to have children in your life in some way that lessens the pain or building a meaningful life without children.