San Diego Infertility Counseling

Infertility and Self-Care

You probably never dreamed that your web browsing history might include such seemingly random and unrelated search terms as red clover blossom, folk healing remedies, acupuncture and horny goat weed. But, then again, you probably never thought you’d be facing infertility.

Defined variously as the inability to conceive a child (after a year or more of trying) or the inability to bring a child to term, struggling with infertility makes you a member of a club that no would-be parent would ever voluntarily choose to join. While it may be scant comfort, you are certainly not alone: It is estimated that infertility affects 10 to 15% of couples worldwide.

Perhaps you have successfully achieved a pregnancy through fertility treatments in the past only to suffer a heartbreaking loss or series of losses. Or maybe you’ve never been able to become pregnant. Possibly the reasons for your inability to have a child are a complex mystery — Or maybe they are crystal clear. The problem is you… the problem is your partner… Or both.

Or, as one woman’s “well-meaning” friend declared. “It’s karma.”

Whatever the reason you are experiencing this circumstance, chances are that it is taking a significant emotional toll on both yourself and (if in a relationship) your partner. You may both feel as if all of your efforts to bring a child into your lives and hearts have left you financially, physically and emotionally drained. If that is the case, it may be understandably difficult to find comfort in each other. And while friends and family can empathize, you may well feel as if you are wearing them out as sounding boards as you go through multiple rounds of decision-making about fertility treatments, adoption options or the possibility of resolving to remain childless.

To lessen the emotional pain of what can at times be a very lonely personal journey, you might consider reaching out for support. Joining an online or face-to-face peer support group with other people who are also dealing with infertility is one approach. A comprehensive resource is, the website of the National Infertility Association, which offers a state-by-state listing of local support groups, many of which are also detailed on the website.

You may have so many choices and options that you need help sorting them out. On the other hand, you may feel your options have completely run out. In either case, it can be deeply healing to talk things over with a skilled therapist who is experienced in helping individuals and couples with issues of infertility and pregnancy loss. Through counseling it is possible to get support, achieve greater clarity and to be allowed to process your feelings (including grief) on your own timeline, in an unhurried manner.

Wherever your quest to become a parent leads, please keep sight of yourself. May you always take the very best care of your heart and treat yourself with the utmost gentleness and care.

Seeking to nurture new life is a precious thing, and so is the life you now have.

Copyright ©2012 Jan Rakoff. All Rights Reserved.

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