How to Proceed after Diagnosis of Infertility
Posted by Cecil Horwitz
Receiving a diagnosis of infertility can bring about a wide array of overwhelming and confusing emotional reactions, making it difficult to know how to proceed.
The whirlwind feelings of loss, disappointment, anger, jealousy, shame, denial, and powerlessness are entirely normal after receiving infertility diagnosis. These overwhelming emotions can lead to feeling isolated, confused and uncertain about what can be done, and how to move forward. Whatever the cause for the infertility, you are not alone and there is reason for hope. Here are some steps to take to gain clarity and empower yourself to discover how to maximize your chances of conceiving.
The first step after receiving an infertility diagnosis is to educate yourself about what this diagnosis means. Do your homework and seek information and resources. The more you know about infertility (and alternatives such as adoption or living child-free) the more control you have. Educational sessions are frequently offered by clinics such as Whole Family Health, so keep an eye open for local information sessions and ask your health care practitioners if they have any recommendations. Vast resources are available online as well; just ensure you are getting your information from reputable and multiple sources. Becoming familiar with infertility terminology, abbreviations, and jargon will be helpful in effectively communicating with specialists and accurately deciphering treatment options. Keep up to date on the latest infertility news and current research surrounding fertility.
The next step after receiving an infertility diagnosis is to discover appropriate treatment. This involves finding a trustworthy fertility specialist that can accurately evaluate your circumstance and develop an effective treatment plan. Seek out recommendations from those you trust and do your research on clinics and specialists. The process for starting treatment may simple, or complicated and involved. You may find your treatment requires a whole team of specialists; reproductive endocrinologist, acupuncturists, naturopaths, massage therapists, and/or psychologists.
Despite the fact that one in six Canadian couples faces fertility issues, infertility challenges can often leave individuals and couples feeling isolated and alone. The repercussions of feeling alone can manifest in depression and relationship problems, so it is important to seek support. Be it through family, friends, professional counselling, online forums, or support groups, it is crucial to find somewhere to talk with those who understand and can help you feel less alone. Talk with your health care practitioners about methods of support if you are unsure.
Do Not Let It Define You and Fill Your Life with Other Things
While doing ample research and talking about it offers great support, your infertility diagnosis should not consume your life or define you and your relationships. Ensure you fill your life and relationships with things that have nothing to do with trying to conceive. Find a hobby that you enjoy and remember that you are a powerful individual comprised of much more than just your ability to conceive.
Chronic or acute lifestyle stress can have a wide variety of negative effects on the body. Learning relaxation techniques to calm yourself when feeling overwhelmed is extremely beneficial for overall well-being. Practicing focused deep-breathing, meditation, yoga, tai-chi and other activities are among those that can increase your chances of a healthy pregnancy. Listening to music, focused breathing, or being outside in nature are also effective methods of managing stress. Calming the heart and mind is particularly important in the context of Chinese medicine for a successful conception.
By taking these steps to empower yourself you advocate for your own care, feel more in control of your circumstance, and can determine the best way to move forward.
If you are experiencing fertility issues, Whole Family Health can help! We take a holistic approach to restoring fertility by focusing on your entire health and wellness. The reproductive system is connected to and affected by all the other systems. By treating the entire person, we identify and remove hormonal, physiological, and even emotional issues impacting fertility, bringing you into balance and enhancing your ability to conceive.
We have a wealth of information and experience and are the only acupuncture clinic in Edmonton that specializes in fertility medicine that has board certified fellows of the American Board of Oriental Reproductive Medicine.