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How to cope with infertility

Trying for a baby should be a joyous and exciting process, but when you’ve tried for many months with no results, it can become emotionally draining and overwhelming. When this is the case, it can feel like everyone around you is having a baby and it seems unfair that you aren’t. 


If you’ve only just discovered you will struggle to have children or you’ve been dealing with the news for some time, read on to find out more about dealing with the emotions of infertility. 


How to emotionally deal with infertility


One of the most difficult things about infertility is dealing with the emotions it triggers. Below, you can find just a few ways you can cope with infertility, with useful links to other organisations and sites that could help you or your partner.


Identify your feelings


In order to cope with infertility, it’s important to understand exactly what you’re feeling and why. Hiding those feelings, either from yourself or your partner, isn’t going to help. While it’s difficult to expose yourself further to the pain you’re feeling, it’s an important part of the overall healing process.


Identification can be tricky, because you’re probably feeling a whole host of emotions: annoyance and anger that this is happening to you, guilt that your body is unable to do what you need it to, hopelessness that there seems to be no way out of the situation and so much more. These feelings will likely be temporary and may be unwarranted (feeling guilty is normal, for example, but you have nothing to feel guilty for).


The best way to understand your feelings and know that you aren’t alone is to speak to your partner.


Speak to your partner


Communication is absolutely key if you want to understand what the other person is feeling, and generally, you find they are experiencing very similar emotions to you. While this may feel insignificant, it means you can be a source of comfort for each other and get through the problem together. 


It’s not uncommon for anger and even resentment to build up towards your partner, but good communication may prevent this from happening and could help you both to move past it much faster. Your partner is the only person close to you who understands exactly what you’re dealing with so let them in instead of hiding your emotions. If you’re both finding it hard to move on, you shouldn’t be afraid to ask for professional help. 


Find a support group


Infertility can make you feel alone, particularly when you’re attending your own friends’ baby showers, or seeing announcements all over social media. But finding a support group can help you to realise that there are lots of other couples all dealing with the same thing. 


HIMFertility is a support campaign for men that was set up by comedian Rhod Gilbert, after he and his wife had trouble conceiving, which may be a good place to start. There’s also the Fertility Podcast, which has a whole host of previous casts to listen to. To find other men in a similar position, you can use the Men’s Health Forum.


Finding a support group generally comes some time after speaking to a doctor about infertility. You likely need time to come to terms with what has been said, and you may not feel ready to speak to other people immediately. 


Allow yourself to cry


Being emotional isn’t just allowed - it’s encouraged. It’s a way of releasing pent up energy and feelings and you usually feel a lot better afterwards. Many people express their emotions through crying, and this is OK. 


If you feel like you can’t or don’t want to cry, there are other ways you can express your emotions in a healthy way. You could write your feelings down in a journal or diary that is for your eyes only or you could go for a walk to mull over your thoughts. Listening to music may help as well. If you’re able to, you could begin volunteering for a charity that’s relevant to you, such as Verity, the UK’s only polycystic ovaries (PCOS) charity. These things are usually the start of a self-care journey and looking after yourself is very important right now.


Dealing with infertility isn’t easy, but it can get easier over time. If you require help or advice, you can reach out to one of the organisations we’ve mentioned above, and be sure to speak to the people closest to you.