It can feel like a lonely battle, but you don’t have to face it alone.
Story: Hethir Rodriguez
About 10 percent of women, or 6.1 million, in the United States between ages 15 and 44 have difficulty getting pregnant or staying pregnant, and the psychological toll can be great. Undergoing different types of infertility treatment, studies show, exacerbates the emotional pain and anxiety as women wait for news.
Those who try a natural fertility approach may initially feel lonely or detached from mainstream doctors because it’s considered a nontraditional path to pregnancy.
Most doctors tend to recommend medical interventions such as in vitro fertilization. Many women start researching different options online and try to make a decision; however; it can be confusing and overwhelming, and many couples can’t afford medical interventions.
Regardless of which route a woman chooses, high levels of stress kick in, which makes it even more difficult to conceive. Sadness, despair, and loneliness often are part of the journey, and women struggling with infertility need support and sound direction on different levels.
I’ve discovered four ways for women to find relief from the stress and sadness of infertility, and to maintain their hope of getting pregnant:
- Talk to someone you trust. It really helps if you connect with someone who understands what you’re going through—a loved one, therapist, or another woman who has gone through what you’re experiencing.
- Find inspiration. This is a great way to keep hope alive. Many women eventually become pregnant after months or years of trying to conceive naturally. The key is to keep trying and never lose hope. There is a path to motherhood for most woman out there: natural conception, medical interventions, sperm or egg donor, or adoption.
- Manage your stress. Stress exacerbates infertility and potentially could make it worse if your body is constantly in the sympathetic nervous system response of fight or flight. Do things to take your mind off conceiving: start yoga, get involved with a spiritual group or your community, spend time volunteering, and practice gratitude for what you have.
- Stay connected. This process may take some time, so it’s important to stay motivated and connected with those you’re working with, in whichever fertility path you choose. You need a support structure. Don’t go it alone.
When infertility becomes an issue, many women may feel like they have no one to talk to, but as they decide on a path to take, they find they can build a support team, along with a bank of knowledge, that keeps them strong and helps them realize their dream.
About the writer → Hethir Rodriguez, a certified herbalist for nearly 20 years, is founder and president of naturalfertilityinfo.com, a website focusing on natural fertility, infertility, and reproductive health.