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The Importance of Mental Health During Fertility Treatments

By Dr. Jesús Alberto Félix Atondo

Receiving fertility treatments is an exciting time in your life. It can also be very stressful. With that, stress can come anxiety and depression. The importance of mental health during fertility treatments should be handled positively and respectfully.

Psychological Effects of Fertility Treatments

There are many aspects of infertility and its treatment that you may not recognize during treatment. As a prospective parent, you may already be anxious, depressed, and feeling the stress of years of unsuccessful pregnancy attempts. Add to this testing, invasive examinations and treatments, and a high failure rate in previous fertility treatment, and it is understandable that these emotions surface.

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Choosing the right medication to combat these emotions can be tricky. You may fear that medication to manage depression or anxiety will affect the treatment or the pregnancy.

Working with your doctor, you can develop a safe and successful regimen that can alleviate your depression and anxiety so you can enjoy your journey to motherhood! Positive mental health during fertility treatments is essential to your fertility journey.

Fertility Drugs Can Make You Emotional

We have discussed how stress can make you anxious and depressed, but there are other emotions fertility drugs can produce. Research proves irritability, grief, isolation, and jealousy are common emotions during fertility treatment.

Feeling helpless, vulnerable, and exposed during medical procedures can lead to irritability.

Grief is an expected emotion, especially if you have experienced multiple miscarriages or prior attempts at fertility failed. Grieving the family you hoped to have is essential to healing and healthily dealing with future IVF. Letting go of the grief will allow you to make emotional room for a new family and accept all that will happen in the future.

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It is natural to feel jealous when another family member becomes pregnant. It is unfair that you are missing out on that joy. Understanding your jealousy and why you think that way will help you feel less overwhelmed. Once you have acknowledged these emotions, you can start working through them with a counselor and improve your mental health during fertility treatments.

The emotional effects of fertility treatments can make you feel isolated. You think you are the only one who can’t have children and must have fertility. You are not the only one feeling this way. Discussing it with your partner and a counselor allows you to work through the negative feelings and ready yourself for new fertility treatments.

Many times, fertility medications can make you feel irritable, anxious, or depressed. Discuss this with your doctor as soon as you start to feel this way. Untreated, these emotions can throw you off balance. Treating them before starting infertility or during your fertility will lead to a more successful fertility outcome!

IVF’s Effect on Your Mental Health

Failed IVF cycles can make these events even more traumatic,  impacting your mental health. Financial expenses, IVF medications, and treatment can be stressful, leading to low self-worth, depression, and anxiety. Seeking out friends, family, and support groups can boost your mental health during IVF and help you maintain a positive attitude.

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Interventions and Help Coping

Seeking mental health help is a positive step to overcoming emotions that can hinder fertility treatments. Current depression and anxiety medication is safe during fertility treatments and pregnancy. Tell your fertility specialist what medication you are taking, and together you can decide if it is the best choice.

Support groups for infertility and cognitive behavioral therapy are good options for those opposed to medication. Always keep your fertility specialist up to date on your mental health!

Educate yourself on mental health during fertility. You will feel less isolated and alone when you understand why you think the way you do, which is acceptable for the situation.

Learning to cope with the mental health aspect of infertility is also difficult for your spouse/partner. As a couple, never hide your feelings from your partner. Chances are they are feeling the same things as you are. Be angry, and cry when you need to. Release the emotional pressure valve!

Not everyone copes in the same way. Give your partner space to manage their feelings in a way they are comfortable with. There is no wrong or right way to deal with your emotions!

Partners do not read minds! If a family event is too emotional for you because of the children or persons there, convey that and devise a solution as a couple. Always say you need space, to be held, or whatever you need to feel comfortable. Be aware of their needs and meet them as best you can!

Listen without judgment or speaking. Let your partner communicate and be heard!

The Fertility Center México offers all-inclusive, cutting-edge IVF for 30 – 40% less than in the United States. This includes the cost of medication. In the US, IVF costs do NOT include medication costs!

Contact us today! Start your fertility journey with a consultation with one of our fertility experts. Ask about our best services such as intrauterine insemination, IVF in Mexico and more.

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Dr. Jesús Alberto Félix Atondo

Gynecology, Obstetrics and Biology of Human Reproduction Surgeon at the Autonomous University of Guadalajara, specialist Biologist of Human Reproduction by the Mexican Institute of Infertility.

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