The Colorado Center for Clinical Excellence
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therapy for coping with infertility

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Infertility treatments can be an emotional roller coaster. You want a child and are willing to go through almost anything to conceive and carry the pregnancy. You feel hopeful at the beginning of each cycle, and then crash each month that goes by without conception or implantation. Or you may have had multiple miscarriages. You and your partner may find it hard to connect through all of the medicalization and pain of the process, or not know how to be there for each other through it. By bringing your hopes and fears to a safe space in therapy, you can get a handle on your reactions, learn to observe your thoughts and feelings without always getting on the roller coaster, and relieve your relationship from being the main or only source of emotional support through the process.

Infertility remains a very private, secret experience for many people, even though the number of people struggling with it increases as more people try to have children later in life. Beyond the sheer stress of it, infertility also can be a massive source of guilt, shame, and tremendous grief and fear for men and women. The tests, procedures, losses, and relentless challenge of it all take their toll on a lot of relationships. Nerves are frayed, questions emerge about the strength of the marital bond, core values are questioned as different costs and risks are argued. Seeing a therapist can provide you with your own support, and help you sort out your values in a less emotionally tense atmosphere, and without the well-meaning but infuriating comments and suggestions you may be getting from friends and family ("you just need to relax and it'll happen"; "it'll happen if it's meant to be"). Couples can find therapy helpful to reduce the stress between you and regain your sense of working on the same page, hearing each other, and being a team (you need that!).

Elizabeth Nelson, Ph.D.
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Jason Seidel, Psy.D.
The Colorado Center
for Clinical Excellence