By Mary Sabo, L.Ac DACM
Struggling to conceive can sometimes be the toughest challenge a couple goes through. Having the right support from friends and family can make a difference in quality of life during the journey. The following blog was written by Mary for the national blog MindBodyGreen. For the full article, click here.
Couples struggling to conceive can experience levels of stress and anxiety as extreme as patients undergoing cancer treatments. The process reminds us that we don't have absolute control over our bodies or our fertility. It is frustrating, to say the least, and can be excruciatingly painful the more time goes on. The experience can be tough for friends and family members, too, who may not understand the intensity of this journey. According to resolve.org, one in eight couples will struggle to get pregnant, so there is a good chance someone in a couple's life may know how difficult it can be, but for those who don't have an experienced friend, co-worker, or family member, it can make this process even harder. Below are some tips that may help you create a more supportive interaction with your loved ones who are struggling to get pregnant:
1. Don't assume what worked for you, your friend, your sister, your mother, a celebrity or anyone else will work for them.
Each fertility case is different, and there are many reasons a couple may struggle to conceive. What worked for one person will not work for everyone. Unless your friend asks, try not to give advice or assume you know the reason she's not conceiving unless she asks.
2. Her infertility is not a result of her stressing about her fertility, so please stop telling her to relax.
While intense long-term stress can create hormonal changes that can contribute to infertility, it is typically not the cause. A couple does not usually start out stressing about their fertility, so implying that they are causing it with their anxiety will likely make them feel worse. This is a process that cannot be controlled yet even with the most advanced technology, so assuming a woman can control her fertility in any way, including by just not caring anymore, is reinforcing her stress. Relaxing may improve her quality of life, but reminding her about how unrelaxed she is will probably not help her get pregnant.