Anyone who has experienced infertility knows that it is a difficult, challenging, and stressful time. Identifying and talking about your feelings can help you take control of the process although you may not be able to always control the outcome. Participating in counseling can provide a supportive environment for persons to clarify their emotions, engage in problem-solving, and generate well-thought-out decisions in regard to their choices for creating a family. Research demonstrates that women who learn stress management skills cope more effectively with the stressful demands of treatment and maximize the likelihood that treatment will result in pregnancy. Taking care of your body and mind will ensure the very best chance of conception.
If you are currently being treated for infertility, please schedule a consultation if you experience any of the following symptoms:
- Persistent feelings of sadness, guilt, or worthlessness
- Social isolation
- Loss of interest in usual activities or interests
- Depressed mood
- Agitation and/or anxiety
- Increased mood swings
- Constant preoccupation with infertility
- Marital discord
- Difficulty concentrating
- Confusion about treatment options/ Indecisiveness
- Change in appetite, increase or decrease
- Increased alcohol or drug use
- Thoughts of harming self or others
Most infertility patients just need an objective person to listen and help them process their thoughts and emotions. At times, family and friends just may not be able to provide this kind of support. People often avoid confiding in others because they do not want to be a burden to their spouse or other family members. At CARE, we provide the option of including a caring professional to help you manage stress and maintain a balanced life during this demanding time.
It is well known that infertility treatment is psychologically stressful. Most patients we see at CARE are very high functioning, successful persons who do just fine initially. Over time, however, the stress can build up and start negatively impacting your physical and emotional well-being. Dr. Patricia McBride, a health psychologist specializing in infertility-related issues, is on staff at CARE and will help you develop a personalized stress management plan to ease your burden during treatment.
*Please take a moment to answer the following questions:
- Have you experienced recurrent pregnancy loss (two or more miscarriages)?
- Have you had three failed treatment cycles?
- Have you been advised to lower your BMI?
- Do you have a current or past psychiatric disorder?
- Do you feel depressed and/or hopeless?
- Do you feel irritable and short-tempered?
- Do you avoid going out with friends or family because they don?t understand what you are going through?
- Do you find it hard to concentrate and get your work done?
- Do you feel tired and overwhelmed most of the time?
- Are you having trouble sleeping OR sleeping too much?
- Do you eat more OR less than normal lately?
- Do you feel anxious and worried most of the time?
*If you answered "yes" to any of the above questions, it is strongly recommended that you schedule an appointment with Dr. McBride. She can help you cope with the grief and fear associated with miscarriage. She can help you develop a healthy eating plan and overcome emotional barriers to weight loss. Dr. McBride can also help you build coping skills to assist in managing a premorbid psychological condition during treatment and pregnancy. At Care, we want to give our patients every advantage in terms of helping them achieve the best possible treatment outcome.
Patricia McBride-Houtz, Ph.D.