Fertility challenges can lead to emotional trauma and put strain on a partnership. While fertility treatments in the medical field may be able to help improve the likelihood of conception, entering therapy while undergoing these treatments can be a helpful way to work through grief, anxiety, worry, and other emotions that may be experienced as a result of fertility issues, especially in the event that treatments fail.
Many counselors and therapists, especially marriage and family therapists, may be aware of the challenges that accompany fertility issues and the common treatments for infertility. In therapy, those faced with infertility will be able to discuss options and make decisions about how to proceed, whether through adoption, fertility treatments, artificial insemination, surrogate parenting, or even separation. Therapy can also help couples deal with the feelings of guilt or anger that may arise between two partners when only one person is infertile.
A recent diagnosis of infertility can potentially cause stress and anxiety, and both the wait for a diagnosis and attempts to find a fertility treatment that works can cause anxiety and conflict in a partnership. Those affected by infertility may also experience depression, feel hopeless or defeated, and experience low self-esteem or self-loathing.
When a couple is affected by fertility issues, couples therapy can help improve communication and may make it easier for the couple to make decisions that work for both partners. Sometimes partners may disagree about the best course of treatment or one partner may feel hesitant to seek medical help, and a therapist can help a couple navigate these concerns. Therapy may also be a useful place to discuss how long infertility treatments should be pursued or the amount of money that should be spent on attempting treatment.
In some cases, infertility may affect other members of a family, such as children and grandparents. A couple might also have a hard time sharing news of infertility with other members of the family, or they may feel pressured to have children even when they cannot or pursue treatment options for infertility that they do not wish to pursue. Any of these issues may be addressed in individual therapy, and in some cases, family therapy may also be of benefit.