Help Online, In Person, and On the Phone
If you’re struggling with infertility, you know how emotional the journey can be. The ups and downs of fertility treatment, the excitement of taking steps to have a baby, the sadness and even grief if your efforts aren’t immediately successful—many patients describe it as an emotional roller-coaster ride.
Infertility can strain your relationship with your partner and make you feel lonely. When your friends are having babies and you’re having trouble TTC, the pain can be hard to bear. But you can find support during your journey from other people who understand and sympathize with you.
Sharing Your Feelings
For many people, it’s hard to talk about their emotions when they’re having problems with fertility. Embarrassment, shame and grief are common feelings—feelings you may not want to share. Even well-meaning family and friends can say insensitive things that hurt, especially if they don’t know you’re in treatment. But it’s important to share your emotions in a safe place, with people who care about you or who have gone through the same thing. Withdrawing from your partner or your family and friends will only make you feel even more isolated and alone. RESOLVE, the National Fertility Association, has advice on how to handle common questions, situations and comments. And there are lots of ways to get the emotional support you need.
Online Support Groups
There are a lot of online resources available for people dealing with infertility or fertility treatment. RESOLVE has joined with Inspire to create two online communities. One is focused on people who are pursuing fertility treatment, and the other is for those who have ended treatment. Some fertility centers host online events or communities, especially during times of stress like the holidays. The Bump is another well-known online forum which has a thread specifically for those dealing with infertility or undergoing IVF treatment.
There are many bloggers, podcasts and online forums focused on infertility. The Delinquent Stork is a blog which chronicles the blogger’s fertility treatment over the course of two years, finally ending with the birth of her daughter. Healthline picked these podcasts as the best on infertility in 2017. Player FM also has curated a number of podcasts on infertility. For any online resource, investigate the author or the podcast host to find out if they are reliably giving accurate information.
In-Person Support Groups
The emotional support of an in-person group can make the stress of fertility treatment easier to bear. Most fertility clinics have support groups or individual counseling available for their patients. In many parts of the U.S., RESOLVE can help you find a support group and help you know how to tell if you need counseling or a support group. If you find you feel sad, depressed or hopeless for more than two weeks, you’re brooding over failed treatment cycles, or using drugs or alcohol to cope with your feelings, it’s time to see a therapist or counselor. Don’t hesitate to get the support you need during this difficult time.
Wherever you are on your path to parenthood – know that you are not alone. There are resources and support systems available to you.