Going through fertility challenges it not only physical but also an emotional and social experience. It can make us feel a rollercoaster of emotions that we feel we cannot control. In fact, 90% of people facing infertility report feeling depressed, 42% feels suicidal and several said it was the most upsetting experience of their lives.
Because the experience of infertility is so personal, and one that society often doesn’t talk about, we can feel isolated, ashamed and don’t talk about it with family and friends. There’s a feeling that other are not able to understand what we’re going through, because their experiences of pregnancy are so different to ours. This can strain friendships and make us look for a different group of friends, others who have been there, who understand the journey we’re going through - a place where we can belong. One support solution doesn’t not fit all, and there are several ways to find your support crew.
Family and Friends
Because so many people we surround ourselves with – family, friends, co-workers – haven’t been through infertility, we usually have the feeling they don’t understand what it’s really like. Whether you decide to be open about your journey or not, the most important thing is to get the support you need, in your own terms. You don’t need to share all details with everyone. Do whatever feels right for you. If there is one person you feel will be understanding, go for it!
Social Media and Webinars
An alternative to family and friends support is social media. Here you will find a lot of people who have indeed been through similar problems and who do understand what you are going through. You can even create a fake name for this social media account, and no one will know who you really are, unless you want to. This community can be found on Instagram or closed Facebook groups and they are always there 24/7, ready to listen when you need to vent or when you have a question about some aspect of this journey. Free webinars are also available in all these platforms, as a way of listening to others live, interact, learn and get support.
Fertility Events and Meet ups
Attending a fertility event or meet up is the next step forward which allows you to interact face to face with others in similar journeys. A lot of these events and meet ups are free or low cost, allowing you to talk about infertility in more natural environments like a coffee shop or over lunch. It can be very helpful to meet others face to face, it will make you feel less alone and maybe new friendships will flourish!
Even though it’s great to talk and vent with others who are going through similar challenges, it is often not enough when there are signs of depression, anxiety or suicidal thoughts. Getting professional support from a healthcare professional can help you with managing strong emotions, making difficult decisions, communicating with your partner or significant others, and coping with the challenges along the way.
Trying to conceive can be physically, emotionally and socially challenging. Connecting with others who understand what you’re going through or with healthcare professionals, can help you find your support crew in this challenging journey.
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