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Dealing With Infertility

By Pec Indman, EdD, MFT

Dealing With Infertility

It seems that when you want to get pregnant, every woman you see is pregnant or has kids. Even the guy with the beer belly looks like he’s expecting! So how is it dealing with infertility?

Maybe you’ve been told, “don’t stress, just relax and it will happen.” But each month brings anxiety; every period means another failed attempt. Stress turns to distress and your worries may only further decrease the likelihood of conceiving.

Finding Control

To relax, it’s helpful to first clarify what is in your control. For example, you can take prenatal vitamins with folic acid, eat healthy food, stop smoking, and adopt other healthy habits.

It’s in your control to make sure you are getting regular healthcare for any ongoing problems and that you check with your care provider about how any medications you’re taking may affect your pregnancy.

It’s also in your control to monitor your ovulation and learn when best to have intercourse to increase your likelihood of conceiving. Actually conceiving? Well that part, unfortunately, isn’t in your control.

If you’ve been trying to conceive for at least 6 months, ask your healthcare provider about when it would be appropriate to take “next steps,” and what those would look like for you and your partner.

Your Concerns

Your Positive Answers

“What if I never get pregnant?”Just because I haven’t gotten pregnant yet, is there any evidence or reason to believe I will never get pregnant? There are a number of different ways to be a mom.
“I feel angry at my body; it’s letting me down.”My body is doing the best it can. This is a very complicated process. We may need a little more practice, more fun, and time to get it right.
“How can I not be stressed—everyone else can get pregnant!”I am not everyone else. I don’t know every pregnant person’s story. I don’t have to compare myself to anyone else.
“The stress is getting to be too much!”I can go to yoga, a mindfulness class, acupuncture or see a healthcare expert for advice.
“I feel so out of control.”Yup, much of conception is out of my control. But, I am doing well with that which is in my control. I can continue to do that well, and acknowledge what is out of my hands.


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About the author: Pec Indman EdD, MFT, is a psychotherapist, specializing in reproductive health and the Chair of Education and Training for Postpartum Support International. She is co-author of Beyond the Blues: Understanding and Treating Prenatal and Postpartum Depression & Anxiety.

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