Center for Assisted Reproduction

Struggling with infertility? Mental health matters now more than ever

By CARE Fertility on May 14, 2020

Thanks to COVID-19, we’ve all undergone drastic changes to our daily lives, and many of us are under incredible amounts of stress.

Stuck at home in isolation, with no sense for when things will truly get better or when we can begin making plans again, the present moment feels as though it’s stretching endlessly before us.

Indeed, the emotional and mental toll of the pandemic is threefold:

  1. We’re worried about our physical health. Whether we catch the coronavirus or not, we’re all paying more attention to our bodies and feeling added stress about our health.
  2. For many of us, the economic impacts of the virus are placing additional strain on our financial health.
  3. Social distancing and isolation make all of this more difficult to bear.

Sound familiar? Many of those battling infertility already know these same three stressors well:

  1. Infertility is a disease, and therefore often physically stressful -- from mentally battling our own bodies, to enduring the more uncomfortable aspects of some fertility treatments and medications.
  2. Treating infertility is often a significant financial burden, as insurance plans rarely cover fertility treatment, and whether to do so is left to patients’ employers.
  3. We often don’t talk about infertility openly, and the disease is still greatly misunderstood, which can lead to feelings of isolation and loneliness.

Infertility is difficult enough without throwing a global pandemic and economic crisis into the mix. Now, each of those three stressors can feel like an even heavier burden than before.

Therefore, it’s more important than ever for couples with infertility to pay attention to their mental and emotional health.

Times of great stress have been known to throw our mental and emotional equilibrium out of balance. Even among those who’ve previously never shown symptoms, it’s possible they may surface now.

So don’t discount advice about mental health as not relevant to you, just because you’ve never had any issues before.

You’re not alone in feeling sad, angry, confused, worried, or anxious. Far from it.

It’s okay to not feel okay.

No one knows what the future holds. But we do know this:

  • As Americans, we’ve never come out of a major crisis without an awe-inspiring rebound, with major innovations and quality of life improvements. While tragic, we have to believe the same will be true of this one.
  • With the dramatic rise of telehealth over the past few months, doctors are able to treat more patients than ever before. That means access to medical care is improving across the board, including for infertility patients.

Therefore, there’s no need to wait until this is all over to treat your infertility or your mental health.

Don’t feel embarrassed, and don’t wait to get help.

To learn more about the psychological impact of infertility, visit the American Society for Reproductive Medicine’s FAQs on mental health. You can also view a list of suggested resources and search a directory of mental health providers here.

Be sure to also lean on the free resources and support available via RESOLVE.org, the National Infertility Association.

At CARE Fertility, we’re here for you, and we care about you. If you’re ready to take the first step towards building your family, you can do so safely from your own home.

Schedule a telehealth appointment by calling 817-540-1157.

 

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