If you are having problems conceiving, you are not alone. Many women, who have spent years trying to avoid pregnancy, find it incredibly frustrating when they decide to have a baby and are not able to conceive right away. In fact less than one third of the couples who have decided to have a child are able to conceive within the first three months of trying. Within a year however, eighty-five percent succeed and within two years that percentage increases to ninety-five. Statistically speaking, your chances of conceiving are pretty high if you don’t allow yourself to become overwhelmed by the spectre of infertility.
For many women the emotional impact of infertility results in a level of anxiety and depression on par with that suffered by women with cancer, HIV and chronic pain. Problems with conception can become the focal point of your life. It’s easy to get caught up on an emotional rollercoaster where you experience anger at life in general; jealousy towards others who seem to conceive at the drop of a hat; profound sadness every time a pregnancy test is negative; guilt and shame over your failure to conceive; strained relationships with your partner, family and friends; and a sense that you have no control over any of it.
Good coping skills are essential for anyone who is struggling to conceive. There are many things you can do to regain control of your emotions and reduce your feelings of helplessness.
Ø Learn all you can about conception and infertility. It will allow you to ask the right questions at the doctor’s office, make informed decisions, and help to educate family members and friends who don’t understand the stress associated with these types of issues.
Ø Acknowledge your feelings. Let yourself feel what you feel. Denying your feelings or trying to ignore them doesn’t work, and they often resurface in damaging ways. Although your situation may be difficult to talk about, sharing your feelings with others is the best way to cope with them. If you don’t feel you can talk to those close to you, find a support group of others experiencing similar problems.
Ø Keep your relationship strong. Fertility problems can put incredible strain on relationships. Being ever mindful of basal temperatures, ovulation charts and scheduled intercourse can take all the fun out of your sex life. Some fertility experts suggest you might be better served by having sex regularly and frequently throughout your cycle rather than rigorously monitoring your fertility.
Ø Don’t set unrealistic goals. Creating arbitrary deadlines, such as convincing yourself that you will be pregnant before a certain date, is just setting yourself up for disappointment.
Ø Avoid putting the rest of your life on hold while you wait to get pregnant. Stay busy and don’t miss out on all life has to offer. Take up a new hobby, book a holiday and enjoy yourself.
Ø Try natural techniques like yoga, relaxation exercises, meditation, visualization and affirmation to reduce stress levels and get into the best physical and mental state for conception. This is something that can be helpful to both you and your partner.
Ø Develop an attitude of gratitude for the good things you have in your life rather than focusing on what you don’t have.
If you don’t conceive within a year despite your best efforts, you may want to consider consulting a fertility specialist. Some fertility problems can be easily resolved once diagnosed. For more serious problems there are a range of treatment options available.
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