- Have you been frustrated in your attempts to conceive?
- Have you experienced a miscarriage?
- Are you in treatment and wondering when or if you should stop?
- Are you considering alternative ways of building a family?
- Are you worried about the impact of your fertility challenges on your relationships?
- Have fertility problems left you feeling sad and unsure of yourself?
- Are you looking for mind-body approaches to help you reduce your stress?
You Are Not Alone
If you have answered yes to any of these questions, please know that you are not alone. One in eight people struggle with infertility in some form and it is never easy. Despite the prevalence of fertility problems, it is easy to feel alone and different. It may seem that friends, family and colleagues are all having babies while you struggle. You look perfectly normal and only the people you choose to tell know that you are suffering.
Fertility problems and the worry of possible infertility are known to create high levels of depression and anxiety. Studies funded by Harvard measuring depression levels of participants in mind-body programs have shown that women dealing with infertility were more depressed than cancer patients and others dealing with serious illness. High levels of stress, depression and anxiety are understandable as hope is followed by disappointment and then followed by the need to regroup and try again. Fertility problems are especially difficult because they can impact every aspect of your life including your finances, your plans, your vision of the future, your most intimate relationships and your deepest dreams. Many have told me their sense of self worth has been diminished by infertility. Even though they know intellectually this doesn’t make sense the feeling persists as a painful emotional reality and they long for the times before a fertility issues dampened their spirits. It is painful to have something so important feel so out of control.
Counseling, Group Support, and Mind-Body Skills Training Can Help
Counseling, group support, and mind-body skills training have all been shown to help relieve stress and depression. Several studies including those funded by Harvard and by Boston IVF have shown improved fertility outcomes and improved mood for women who participated in support groups and mind-body skills training. Mind-body groups as developed by Alice Domar and by whom I am certified, were shown to have the greatest impact on one's general sense of wellbeing over time.
If You Still Have Concerns
You may have concerns about what is right for you at this time. Please feel free to contact me for a no-obligation consultation. I have worked with people experiencing all aspects of fertility concerns for twenty years with great success. In addition to individual and couples counseling, I have led fertility groups for Resolve, The Center for Mind-Body Medicine, and in my own private practice.
My book, The Infertility Workbook, A Mind-Body Program to Reduce Stress, Enhance Fertility and Achieve Emotional Balance, New Harbinger, 2011 addresses many of the issues you may be facing. Please let me know if I can help.