If you’re struggling with infertility, you’re not alone. 1 in 8 couples have trouble getting or staying pregnant, according to the National Infertility Association.
For National Infertility Awareness Week, we’re sharing 8 recommendations from Maven members who have been through fertility struggles themselves.
We asked Maven members to share in their own words what they want others who are going through this to know.
Of course, this year, National Infertility Awareness Week carries additional struggles. With fertility treatments like IVF, IUI, and egg freezing on hold temporarily due to the novel coronavirus outbreak, we know individuals are struggling to manage the emotional challenges of infertility on top of so much else. Many members have told us that the uncertainty around when fertility clinics will fully reopen has created additional anxiety. While fertility experts are trying to get back to treatments as soon as possible, Maven is here for you with our telehealth network. Maven providers and specialists are available for video appointments through our app to help you through fertility issues, including Reproductive Endocrinologists, Maven Mental Health Specialists, OB-GYNs, Nutritionists, Relationship Coaches, and more. We encourage you to tap into your virtual support system on Maven when you’re ready.
Here are 8 recommendations to cope with the emotional challenges of navigating infertility from Maven members.
Open up when you’re ready
- “Accept that this is just the hardest thing and find people to talk to that have gone through it. That is what got me through. Don't be embarrassed or ashamed about what you're going through. Once I opened up I learned how many people were dealing with similar issues.” - Kathryn
Find and build your support network
- “Talking with other couples who have gone through the process really helped.” - Ariadne
- “I've found that most people that have gone through it are happy to talk to other people that have gone through it. It's kind of a beautiful community. No one else can understand what it is like and how difficult it is. So having that kinship in the hardest of moments helped so much.” - Kathryn
- “Talking with other friends who have gone through it is helpful but remember that everyone is unique and your journey may be different.” - Samantha
Turn to experts
- “Seek out a therapist that has experience treating patients going through infertility. Sometimes we all need an objective professional to listen and guide us through.” - Samantha
- “For me it really helped having a doctor that I had a good relationship with who I felt comfortable confiding in.” - Ariadne
Make time for activities you enjoy, and find things to look forward to
- “Schedule activities for yourself that will distract you.” - Samantha
- “I tried to keep something on the calendar for the next week that I was really looking forward to. Keeping busy with work, friends, and exercise helped me.” - Ann
Communicate openly with your partner or support system
- “Talk openly with your partner: Discuss how you feel. Tell them how they can best support you and what you need from them during this time.” - Samantha
- “Being open and honest with each other about feelings throughout the process helped my partner and I.” - Ariadne
Forgive people who say the wrong things
- “Try to forgive your friends who unintentionally are not very supportive. I think it's hard for others to relate to the stress of infertility—even parents! We had some friends who unintentionally said some comments that were hurtful at the time; it's hard, but my husband and I tried to tell ourselves they mean well even if it didn't come through in that instance.” - Ann
Create new memories
- “Continue to create memories with your family, friends, or partner that are separate from the fertility process.” - Kathryn
Remember you’re not alone
- “Women and families go through it all the time, but it doesn't make it any easier. The emotional pain hurts more than the physical; and it's OK to stop or pause along the way if you need time to recover and heal.” - Christine
- “Try to get in the mindset that your time will come.” - Samantha
- “It's really hard to be happy for and enjoy other people who seem to be having babies without any effort—remember that everyone has their own struggles.” - Kathryn
“I've found that most people that have gone through it are happy to talk to other people that have gone through it. It's kind of a beautiful community. No one else can understand what it is like and how difficult it is. So having that kinship in the hardest of moments helped so much.”
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