Leaders in Fertility Research and Care
Timothy N. Hickman, M.D. | Laurie J. McKenzie, M.D. | Katherine K. McKnight, M.D.
  • (713) 465-1211
  • Make an Appointment
  • If you are experiencing a life threatening or serious illness, Call 911.

Coping with Infertility

Each individual experiences infertility in her or his own unique and valid way. While no one can predict one person's reaction to a diagnosis or treatment recommendation, many have similar reactions to this life-changing event.

Emotional/psychological experiences may include:

  • feelings of loss of control are common and sometimes uncomfortable;
  • the emotional roller coaster of hope and despair, either with each treatment or on a monthly basis;
  • feelings of failure and low self-esteem are normal; as are feeling of guilt, blame, shame and embarrassment;
  • the process erodes and consumes time and energy;
  • financial issues - loss of other dreams in exchange for treatment;
  • changes within your marriage - pull together or apart - infertility brings most couples closer together; but changes in intimacy   are often associated with treatment regimens;
  • impact on employment and performance at work
  • feelings of injustice are reality based;

Suggestions for coping more effectively:

  • begin/continue treatment with an open mind and a positive attitude - never say never!
  • realize that you must live and work in the fertile world, and manage your relationships with family members and friends;
  • develop a stress management program - simplify!
  • Confide in select friends and family members;
  • Periodically reexamine your options:
  • consider joining a support group, no one understands your feelings better than others who have experienced infertility;
  • grieve your losses - there are many for some people;engage in individual or couples therapy;if your infertility is secondary, try to renew your relationship with your child;
  • be gentle with yourself; avoid uncomfortable social situations - holidays, baby showers, certain family gatherings; be "out of town"; buy gift certificates and mail them with your negative rsvp;

It is important to maintain the perspective that treatment is a means to an end, and to realize that you are very likely to become a parent someday soon.