Guess what? Infertility makes you blue. It’s official. Baby-making is fun for maybe three months. Six at a pinch. Sex gets a tad less spontaneous. Excitement fades pretty damn fast.
Niggling doubts, worry and plain old icy fear. Once the ‘f’ word leaps out of the bedroom and onto the doctor’s couch there’s no stopping it. Next thing is a fertility clinic cast of strangers. The ones you get to know. The ones you never see. Faceless lab technicians intimately acquainted with your body fluids, reading bloods and scans, minding you through surgery, filling prescriptions. Oh and you’ve still got work, social life, your folks and his to juggle. All the while acting as if all is fine, grand, great. Bumps and baby news – oh, joy! If’ that’s not all a teeny bit stressy I don’t know what is. No matter how convincing a front you put up – it takes a toll emotionally. Even for perfect couples. What’s normal? What should you feel? Who wants to admit to feeling blue, fear and isolation? People – I hate the word patient – going through infertility often get anxiety and depression. That’s normal in the surreal world of trying to conceive, according to research results in the July issue of the journal Fertility and Sterility. Shockingly, very few get useful, targeted care, advice or support. Clients tell me they don’t want to add another weak link to their less-than-ideal fertility profile at the clinic. “We’re fine, grand thanks, just want to get pregnant.”
Infertility makes you blue
A new University of California research study shows dismal findings. But at least it’s out in the open. We need to talk about it. Study lead, Dr Lauri Pasch is associate professor of psychiatry at the University of California. He believes patients need to get used to the idea of mental and emotional health support as a normal part of infertility care.
” We need to address the question of how we help patients through this. I think we need a change in the culture at fertility clinics. The central focus has been treatment success rates.”
His study checked out 352 women and 274 men over a 12-month timeframe.
Men are not immune
Most of the patients suffered clinical level depression or anxiety at some stage during the study. Over half of the women (56.5%) and one third of men (32.1%) had depression symptoms. Not good for sperm.
Up to three-quarters (75%) of women and over half of men (60%) recorded clinical anxiety.The numbers were even higher for those who did not go on to pregnancy. Yet only a quarter of women (26.7%) and men (24%) received professional mental health therapy. Blokes need to sit up and take notice of these stats. It’s real and affects fertility. Stress-reduction hypnosis is rapid and effective. Sperm really like it.
Mind your mental health
Infertility is tough. No one chooses it. And there’s a sting in the tail of a long-awaited pregnancy. Women who have babies after fertility treatment are at greater risk of post natal depression. But you can take care of yourself beyond physical. Fertility coaching is a proven stress-buster, designed to help you navigate your journey, reduce emotional roadblocks and set you up for pregnancy. Prevention of mental health problems is a ton easier now. If you do sport you know the importance of mindset. Infertility is no different. Discover it for yourself!