Being diagnosed with infertility, for some, can be a very upsetting experience.
It can be confronting and challenging and it can feel like something has been taken away from you.
It is normal to feel any of the following emotions of sadness, denial, anger, shock, isolation, overwhelm, fear, panic, shame, guilt, frustration and worry.
Infertility is a type of loss and it needs to be recognised as such.
You are not the only one going through this.
Approximately 20% or 1 in 5 couples experience fertility difficulties.1
Around 30% of fertility problems in couples originate in the woman.
Another 30% originate in the man and 30% is found in both partners.
No cause is found in 10% of couples investigated for infertility.
This is called ‘unexplained’ or ‘idiopathic’ infertility.1
The causes are many and varied and your doctor should be able to explain what is happening for you and your partner.
Does stress impact on fertility?
This is an interesting question and one which has yet to be answered conclusively in any studies.
We know prolonged distress is not good for us, as it increases our adrenaline and cortisol levels and that impacts on our nervous system, which in turn affects other bodily systems.
We know people cope with stress differently and that is dependent on factors such as how we interpret the situation; how we have responded to past stress; other events that are happening in our lives at the same time and whether we have adequate support.
The male and female reproductive systems are influenced by the nervous system.
For the men, it’s a battle between relaxation and arousal as the different parts of the nervous system, the sympathetic and the parasympathetic, battle each other.
When excess cortisol is released into the body it can impact on the circulatory and cardiovascular systems which in turn affect blood flow and thus can impact on the male reproductive system.
It “can also affect testosterone production, sperm production and maturation and cause erectile dysfunction or impotence” 2
For women, it may affect ovulation, menstruation and sexual desire. 2
How can counselling/hypnotherapy help you?
- It allows you to talk about your fears and feelings without judgement.
- You can learn new techniques that help alleviate the stress you are feeling.
- Helps you to understand your beliefs and perceptions around infertility and how this can impact on how you feel about it.
- It can help you to find new ways to look at what is happening and refocus on what you can do.
- Helps you to learn relaxation and mindfulness skills.
Some information is adapted or directly from the following sites:-