The Hidden Struggles of Infertility

Social stigma has long been attached to infertility. Even now, the stigma persists. As a result, many couples struggle with infertility in silence, feeling too ashamed to discuss what they’re going through with family or friends. Trying to cope with the struggles alone often places a greater strain on your relationship and may lead to anxiety and depression. 

Feelings of Shame and Blame

Although it is neither helpful or true, individuals and couples struggling with infertility often grapple with feelings of shame and blame. You may feel responsible for not being able to carry on your family’s genetic line or name, or ashamed that you’ve been unable to conceive. 

Even after beginning infertility treatments, it’s common to struggle with these same feelings. And when the cause of fertility is diagnosed, it can be easy to label it as the fault of one partner. It’s important to remember that infertility is no one’s fault, and to do your best to let go of the stigma surrounding infertility. Agree to look at infertility as a problem you face as a couple and will address together, without assigning guilt or blame.

Strained Relationships

Being bombarded with questions about when you’ll start a family or when you’ll give your parents grandchildren can be intensely painful, particularly when there’s nothing you’d like more in the world than to have a child. And watching your friends and siblings announce pregnancies, have baby showers, and introduce their new babies may prompt feelings of grief, jealousy, and resentment. These feelings, in turn, can lead to strained relationships as you begin to avoid the people and situations that bring them up. 

Your relationship with your partner may also undergo significant strain. Anxiety and depression are common when dealing with infertility, and fertility treatments bring their own set of stressors. One partner may feel resentful at having to go through more medical treatments. And hormone injections can wreak havoc with your emotions. Plus, there’s the financial strain. And if you don’t disclose your struggles to anyone outside of the relationship, the entire burden of support falls on your partner.

Financial Difficulties

Like many medical procedures, fertility treatments can be costly. But unlike other types of procedures, fertility treatments are often not covered by insurance. For many couples, financial difficulties are one of the hidden struggles of infertility. It can be disheartening to try multiple rounds of expensive treatments without success, and you may disagree about how much you should spend to continue trying. 

At RISE fertility, we don’t want cost to be a barrier to achieving your dreams of parenthood. That’s why we do our best to help you afford your treatments. From maximizing your insurance benefits to offering 0% interest loans and accepting various forms of payment, including cryptocurrency, our financial team will do their utmost to help make fertility treatments accessible for your family. 

Coping With Treatments

Addressing infertility often involves going through many different medical tests and procedures to address the cause of your infertility. While your doctors will always do their best to minimize your discomfort, the reality is that some treatments may be long, uncomfortable, and intense. You may need surgery, or you might need to take hormones. And some procedures, like in vitro fertilization, may require you to make frequent trips to the clinic for testing and treatment. 

As a result, there’s a good chance that your life as a whole is impacted by your fertility treatments. You and your partner may feel a loss of romance, as having sex on a schedule timed to treatments and ovulation begins to seem more like a chore. You may have trouble concentrating at work or feel exhausted all the time. If you’re experiencing secondary fertility, you may be trying to cope with all of this while caring for your older children. 

Other Health Concerns

For many people, infertility isn’t their only health concern. For example, if you’re seeking help to preserve your fertility before cancer treatment, infertility worries may be compounded with fears about your own mortality and whether you’ll recover from cancer. Or you may have conditions like diabetes, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), or an autoimmune disorder  linked to your infertility.

Alternatively, you may discover during your fertility assessment that you have an undiagnosed health condition or genetic disorder. Having additional health concerns frequently compounds the stress you already feel. 

Grief and Loss

Whether you’ve suffered miscarriages, worry that you will never realize your dreams of having a baby, or are grappling with the decision to turn to third-party options, grief and loss are one of the hidden struggles of infertility.

Remember, it’s perfectly normal to grieve the loss of how you imagined growing your family. And it’s natural to grieve the babies you were unable to carry to term. But keeping your grief and loss secret from others is a heavy burden to bear. Instead, consider sharing your struggles with trusted friends and family, join an infertility support group, or seek help from a therapist who has experience helping individuals and couples who are struggling with infertility. 

At RISE Fertility, we believe it’s time to let go of the stigma attached to infertility and lift others up instead. You can expect a supportive, caring environment with our team. If you’re experiencing infertility, we encourage you to schedule a fertility consult to learn about your options. The RISE team will be with you every step of the way, so you never have to face the struggles of infertility alone. 

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