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9 Ways to Manage Stress on Your Infertility Journey

Dec 15, 2023

IVF blog

Ways to Reduce Stress due to infertility Ways to Reduce Stress due to infertility

On a positive note regarding mental health and fertility, it's essential to recognize that psychological stress itself doesn't lead to infertility. Despite a prevailing belief among women that mental health issues can adversely affect fertility, scientific evidence does not support this notion. Even when physical or emotional stress, such as engaging in a marathon or overworking, may temporarily impact your cycle, these disturbances are typically time-limited and self-correcting. 

It's crucial to understand that infertility is often linked to factors like age, underlying physical conditions, or temporary behaviors that interfere with fertility. Therefore, there's no need to place blame on oneself.

However, on the flip side, while stress doesn't directly cause infertility, the experience of infertility can, in turn, lead to heightened stress levels. Numerous studies indicate that both women and men facing infertility often grapple with increased stress, depression, and anxiety. In some instances, recurrent pregnancy loss (RPL) can even result in symptoms resembling post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

To navigate the stress associated with infertility, consider implementing some of the following suggestions, which may prove beneficial on your journey.

Conduct a mental health self-assessment

Conduct a mental health self-assessment by examining the three "D"s, which often indicate psychological overload:

  1. Disorganization: Experiencing moments when an item like a pen seems to vanish inexplicably or appears right in front of you after an exhaustive search
  2. Decision-making difficulties: Not concerning major choices like voting but needing help with minor decisions, such as deciding what to order for lunch.
  3. Dependency needs: Wishing others to handle daily tasks that were once enjoyable. If you identify with any of these symptoms, it's crucial to prioritize your mental health. Explore the strategies outlined below to enhance your well-being.

Direct your attention to the present moment

Let go of dwelling on the "should haves" and "could haves" of the past, recognizing that it's unchangeable. Similarly, avoid fixating on the uncertainties and anxieties of the future, as they remain beyond your control. By staying grounded in the present, you empower yourself to make choices that diminish stress and anxiety. 

Prioritize self-care

Prioritize self-care by treating yourself with the kindness you extend to your family and friends. Ensure you get sufficient sleep, exercise regularly, spend time alone, and nurture your connections with others to cultivate a sense of being cared for. Be your own best friend in practicing self-care.

Communicate Yourself

Engage in positive self-talk, recognizing the influence of our internal dialogue. While external encouragement may have a limited impact, affirmations from yourself can significantly lift your mood. Remind yourself that there is always a way, and observe the positive shift in your mindset.

Communicate with Others

Communicate with others about infertility despite potential reservations. Addressing concerns about Verbalizing emotions can be more manageable and supportive than internalizing them.

Focus on Work

Channel your focus into work as a constructive distraction from fertility-related stress. Immersing yourself in projects can alleviate anxiety, provide a sense of accomplishment, and boost self-esteem and confidence.

Practice Cognitive Restructuring

Practice cognitive restructuring to shift your thinking patterns. Choose to adopt new perspectives, fostering behaviors and feelings that align with hope and positivity. Strategic thinking rooted in hope can lead to positive outcomes, creating a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Monitor your Depression

Monitor for signs of depression, ranging from mild fatigue and sadness to more severe symptoms like frequent crying, loss of appetite, and despair. Take signs of depression seriously, addressing them promptly with your physician for potential therapy, support, or medication. Consider a change or break in fertility treatment if needed.

Do not make sweeping changes

It is important to ‘hope for the best but be prepared for the worst’ Do not give up your job, change your residence, or make such permanent changes to your life. Fertility treatments should be planned into your daily routine and do not require prolonged bed rest to improve outcomes

While the physical aspects of infertility may be beyond your control, you can proactively manage the stress associated with it. Your thoughts and actions shape your feelings, so choose behaviors and perspectives that reinforce your sense of control. Prioritize your mental health by integrating work and play into your coping strategy, ensuring you seek support when needed. IVF Centre in Mumbai, Rotunda CHR IVF, and Team provides counseling and support to individuals and couples.