Emotional Impact of Infertility
Emotional Difficulties for Women with Infertility
Finding out you are infertile can be one of the most difficult situations you might ever have to face. Please keep in mind that it is normal to experience a sense of loss, to feel extremely sad, to be stressed, frustrated, angry and confused.
Pregnancy is expected to be natural phenomena and something we just fall into. When faced with infertility it can be difficult to accept that pregnancy is not going to be an easy process for you. It can therefore also be heartbreaking to see happy mums or pregnant women around you everywhere, who have been blessed with something you are desperately longing for.
The overwhelming emotional reaction can also be challenging to your relationship, since, not just you, but also your partner need to cope with the infertility verdict and find a way to deal with it. It also means that a lot more planning, medical tests and procedures will likely be involved. The romance and intimacy factor is likely to disappear. It can become a stressful and painful process.
It is important not to start blaming yourself, to allow yourself to feel these strong emotions, to start educating yourself about infertility and possibly find a solution for you. Also don't feel bad to say no to activities that may involve other babies or children. Take this time to heal, so you can get strong and tackle the road ahead. Furthermore, it is extremely important to include your partner, so not to blame each other, but to tackle this together, to work as a team and to give each other support.
Only once you are ready and strong, start making decisions on what you are willing to do about your infertility, how long you and your partner are willing to try and how much you are able to spend on treatments. Please remember that many couples do eventually succeed having the baby they longed for, especially with the advances in infertility.
However, most important is to first make sure that you will come out strong and healthy, on the other end of this emotional rollercoaster. It is important to stay positive and to not forget to work on your well-being and happiness.
Emotional Difficulties for Men with Infertility
When a man finds out he is infertile, it often is completely unexpected and comes as a complete shock, especially since it is still incorrectly believed that fertility issues are due to female conditions. This myth then adds to the levels of distress and disbelieve a man is experiencing.
It is not unusual for a man to feel confused, sad, vulnerable and angry. They often find it unfair and don't understand why it is that they cannot do what a man is naturally supposed to do; ‘distribute their seeds'. This in turn can touch on their sense of masculinity and sexuality. They may feel confused and experience a sense of loss.
This emotional reaction can be challenging to the couple's relationship, since, not just the man himself, but also his partner need to cope with infertility and find a way to deal with it. It is completely normal to experience this overwhelming emotional response and it is therefore strongly recommended to get appropriate expert assistance and support.
Where can I go for support?
Sexual Health Australia is a confidential counselling service, specialised in sexual health and relationship issues.
We have experienced sex therapists and relationship counsellors who offer counselling and support to men and women who are trying to deal with infertility.
We offer individual and/or couple's counselling. Face to face counselling is offered in Sydney CBD and phone counselling is offered nationally.
We recognize that creating a positive and strong attitude is difficult to establish while going through an emotional rollercoaster, but please remember you are not alone and we are here to help and provide support.
If you wish to make an appointment with one of our friendly counsellors or require further information, please don't hesitate to contact us at:
For more information about our counselling sessions/appointment fees, please click here.
Sex therapy and Relationship Counselling is available in Sydney, New South Wales (NSW) - Melbourne, Victoria (VIC) - Adalaide, South Australia (SA) - Perth, Western Australia (WA) - Darwin, Northern Territories (NT) - Hobart, Tasmania (TAS) - Brisbane, Queensland (QLD) - Canberra, Australian Capital territory (ACT)