Infertility is defined as the inability of a sexually active, non-contracepting couple to achieve pregnancy in one year.World Health Organization
June is World Infertility Month. This topic can be difficulty for people to deal with but millions of women and men deal with infertility, and mostly in silence. The CDC reports that 12.7% of women 15-49 years of age have received some type of infertility service. It is important to stay educated on risk factors and strategies to help manage the emotions associated with infertility.
Many risk factors for both male and females are the same while others are gender specific. Infertility is not solely a women’s issue as about 30% of infertility cases involve male factors.
Risk factors for women include:
- Chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, asthma etc.
- Hormonal imbalances.
- Sexually transmitted diseases.
- Fallopian tube disease.
Risk factors for men include:
- Cigarette or marijuana use.
- Hernia repair.
- Certain prescription drugs for ulcers or psoriasis.
- Undescended testicles.
Infertility can often create one of the most distressing issues for couples. Infertility brings to light deep emotions while dealing with the multitude of medical decisions and the uncertainty that follows. Feeling depressed, anxious, or isolated are only a few of the emotions in the process of pursuing infertility or infertility treatments. The journey can be very hard.
If you are struggling with infertility consider the following tips:
- Give yourself permission to be angry.
- Allow your partner to cope and feel differently than you.
- Improve your communication about infertility.
- Improve relaxation skills such as deep breathing.
- Try a support group (consider Resolve.org).
Consider discussing this with a mental health professional to clarify thoughts and help with decision making. Counseling may be helpful for learning how to cope with physical and emotional changes, communication with your partner, and to strengthen coping skills to manage moving forward. NOAH is here to help. Our counselors and medical staff are here to support you through your journey of infertility.