Infertility: it’s more common than we all think and for those who are dealing with it, it can be devastating. The pressure to have a family, for many people, is intense, and when it seems like that’s not possible, it seems inevitable that grief, depression, and frustration would be just a few of the emotions someone would experience. Many women struggle to feel truly happy for friends and loved ones when they announce a pregnancy, knowing that they are having trouble conceiving. Infertility, though common, is often kept quiet, for fear of bringing up a “sore” subject for someone.

Those who are experiencing it can feel very alone.  You’re not alone, though—and that’s something you’ve probably heard over and over. It’s true. Coping with infertility can be extremely difficult, but thankfully, there are methods and resources that can ease the pain, stress, and disappointment.

Don’t Blame Yourself

As with not being alone, you’ve likely been told, time and again, not to blame yourself.  However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t hear it yet again. It’s easy to try and pinpoint all the things you’re doing wrong—

  • Are you eating the wrong things?
  • Or not sleeping enough?
  • What about stress? Is being stressed about infertility exacerbating the problem?

There are a million ways to blame yourself for being unable to conceive, and it’s important to resist doing so. Instead, try and feel centered in the moment – focus on what’s happening now, rather than what has already happened. Try and zero in on looking forward to the ways you can manage infertility, rather than criticizing yourself for being unable to get pregnant.

Set Realistic Expectations

If you’re struggling to conceive, it’s important to work with your partner to set realistic expectations of what you’ll do—will you turn to alternative methods for conceiving? How long will you try the “traditional” method? No one can tell you but yourself when the correct time is to look to alternative methods of conception, so it’s important to keep communication between you and your partner open and honest.

Seek Second or Third Opinions

If you’re seeking medical attention about how to start a family, and you aren’t pleased with the first doctor’s advice or recommendations, you can always see other doctors. Getting a second opinion is something recommended for many other areas of medicine, and infertility is no different. They may also be able to point you in the direction of infertility support groups or fertility counseling, should you want to explore ways to better cope with this difficult time.

Reach Out for Support

Knowing that you’re not alone is one thing, but seeking support is the next step. Talking about your struggles with infertility or even hearing other people’s experiences can be beneficial as it can drive home the fact that other people are going through the same thing.

Seeking support is not a sign of weakness. Infertility counseling in Chicago is plentiful, as are infertility support groups. Depending on whether you prefer one-on-one help or a group setting, you’ll be able to get the help you need. Remember that infertility issues, while painful and exhausting, are not something you have to deal with on your own.