About 10 percent (6.1 million) of women in the United States between the ages of 15 and 44 have difficulty getting or staying pregnant, and the psychological toll can be great. Infertility can be a lonely and challenging journey. Women struggling to get pregnant may consider numerous options while experiencing a wide range of emotions in the process.
Beyond a strictly medical approach, it's important to address the mental toll. Hethir Rodriguez, founder and president of Natural Fertility Info.com, has shared a few tips to help women face this harrowing journey.
- Talk to someone you trust. “It really helps if you connect with someone who understands what you’re going through – a loved one, therapist, or another woman who has gone through what you’re experiencing,” Rodriguez says.
- Find inspiration. “This is a great way to keep hope alive,” Rodriguez says. “Many women eventually become pregnant after months or years of trying to conceive naturally. The key is to keep trying and never lose hope. There is always a path to motherhood for every woman out there – natural conception, medical interventions, sperm or egg donor, or adoption.”
- Manage your stress. “Stress only exacerbates infertility and could potentially make it worse if your body is constantly in the sympathetic nervous system response of fight or flight,” Rodriguez says. “Do things to take your mind off it: start yoga, get involved with a spiritual group or your community, spend time volunteering, and practice gratitude for what you have.”
- Stay connected. “This process may take some time, so it’s important to stay motivated and connected with whoever you’re working with, in whichever fertility path you choose,” Rodriguez says.”You need a support structure. Don’t go it alone.”
Hethir Rodriguez is the founder and president of Natural Fertility Info.com, a website focusing on many aspects of natural fertility, infertility, and reproductive health.