Stress Cause Infertility ~ Health Guide

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Stress Cause Infertility

Written by Mystic on Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Stress and infertility are intricately linked. There is little evidence that stress causes infertility but it is well known that infertility causes stress.

Stress is a normal part of life - but many would argue that dealing with infertility isn't normal. Finding ways of dealing with the stresses of infertility help a person cope both with the physical treatments and outcomes that occur.

Many see that management of stress is one of the major roles of infertility counsellors. Counselling is not only for those who aren't coping but talking with the unit counsellor can be a positive way of taking back control of the emotional side of infertility.

Counselling is important when someone is in crisis and maybe needs more therapeutic options. It is also useful and sensible to discuss options, outcomes and ways of managing stress as a way of avoiding situations getting too difficult or out of control.

Obtaining information is also a way of taking control. It is easier to cope if you have as much clear accurate information as you feel you need to make your own decisions. The counsellor isn't a clairvoyant who can predict what is going to happen, but by looking at options and thinking about possible outcomes it will be easier to manage feelings at that time. Thus seeking counselling can be proactive.

All Australian infertility clinics provide access to trained counsellors (social workers or psychologists). Some clinics see counselling as more integral to their service than others. In some states counselling is mandatory and in others it is variable. But however it is offered, counselling is of most benefit when it is client motivated ... when people are doing something for themselves and getting what they want from that service.

As everyone who has been there knows, infertility is more than a medical diagnosis. A diagnosis of infertility brings a range of emotions which can be hard to handle at times happens in the midst of and often linked to a lot of other social pressures such as tense work environment, elderly relatives or pregnant friends.

Most people cope with infertility most of the time, but reactions can be surprisingly strong and unexpected when they do hit. Many a person has seen a counsellor to find out if their emotional responses are normal, to get reassurance that others have similar reactions, and to work on coping techniques. This can also be part of the information gathering - finding out how others have coped and what has helped them.

It can be particularly difficult for people who are used to being able to organise their lives to suddenly come to this big problem - infertility. The usual methods of setting goals and steps to achieve them don't work and even more frustration occurs.

Frustration is one of the most common words used to describe infertility. People get annoyed at not being able to achieve what they want and the usual coping mechanisms aren't being effective. However the very nature of infertility often means that all the annoyances, disappointments and fears are bottled up and it helps to let them out by being able to talk.

The private and sensitive nature of infertility means that a person's usual sources of support may be inappropriate or hard to use at this time. Partners who are usually very supportive may be having their own responses to this crisis and aren't able to help each other. Or it maybe too hard to talk because both are too close to the situation.

Likewise it may be difficult to talk with friends and relatives because they don't really understand or their social circumstances are very different. Sometimes because of their very concern and closeness it may be hard to talk for fear of upsetting them as well.

It may be better to talk with someone who is not personally involved, who understands both the technology and the range of emotions, and who has professional training and experience in this area. This may be useful in untangling confused fears and looking realistically at the situation.

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