If you and your partner are struggling with infertility, you may already be seeking help from a reproductive endocrinologist. A reproductive endocrinologist can help to diagnose your fertility difficulties and advise you on fertility treatments, but he may not be able to help you with the emotional side of your fertility struggles, at least not to the full extent that you need.
It is important that both you and your partner visit with a fertility counselor in order to deal with your emotions in a positive and healthy way. A fertility counselor can help you to understand and process your emotions so that you can move on with your fertility treatments or explore other options.
What is Fertility Counseling?
Fertility counseling is a type of talk therapy that is used to help couples dealing with various fertility issues. During a fertility counseling session, you talk with a trained professional about the emotions that you are experiencing as you struggle through infertility.
Your counselor helps you to understand these emotions and aids you in finding healthy ways to deal with these feelings. Fertility counselors also assist you in making decisions regarding fertility treatments and other options, like adoption, that you can pursue in order to become a parent.
This type of counseling is usually conducted by a psychiatrist, psychologist, or sex therapist with special knowledge in the area of infertility.
Who Can Benefit from Fertility Counseling?
Anyone undergoing fertility diagnosis or treatment is advised to have at least one session with a fertility counselor. Most fertility clinics require that you and your partner meet with a counselor before treatment begins, in order to discuss your feelings surrounding your infertility.
You may decide to have more sessions with your counselor as your treatment progresses. Fertility counseling is especially advised if you are experiencing any of the following:
- prolonged depression
- extreme stress and anxiety
- feelings of guilt, anger, or blame
- mood swings
- preoccupation with infertility
- loss of interest in other activities
- change in appetite or weight
- change in sleep patterns
- increased use of drugs or alcohol
- relationship problems
- suicidal thoughts or self harm
Why Do You Need Fertility Counseling?
If you are going through fertility diagnosis or treatment, it is important that both you and your partner seek some type of fertility counseling. Dealing with infertility can raise a lot of intense emotions.
If these emotions are not processed and dealt with properly, they can lead to increased stress levels, relationship problems, and severe depression. And because fertility counselors are highly knowledgeable about different treatment options, yours may be able to provide you with another voice when it comes to choosing the right fertility treatments for you.