Infertility can be a lonely and challenging journey. Women struggling to get pregnant may consider numerous options while experiencing a wide range of emotions in the process.
About 10 percent (6.1 million) of women in the United States between the ages of 15 and 44 have difficulty getting pregnant or staying pregnant, and the psychological toll can be great. Undergoing different types of infertility treatment, studies show, can exacerbate the emotional pain and anxiety as women wait for good news.
Those who try a natural fertility approach may initially feel lonely or detached from mainstream doctors because it’s considered a non-traditional path to pregnancy, says Hethir Rodriguez, founder and president of Natural Fertility Info.com (www.natural-fertility-info.com), a website that features natural fertility-focused expert advice and support.
“Most doctors tend to recommend medical interventions such as in vitro fertilization,” says Rodriguez, also a certified herbalist specializing in women’s health. “Many women will start researching different options online and trying to make a decision, but it can be confusing and overwhelming, and many couples can’t afford the medical interventions.
“Regardless of which route they choose, high levels of stress kick in, which makes it’s very difficult to conceive. Sadness, despair and loneliness are often part of the journey, and women struggling with infertility need support and sound direction on different levels.”
Rodriguez says there are four ways for women to find relief from the stress and sadness of infertility, and to maintain their hope of getting pregnant:
•Talk to someone you trust. “It really helps if you connect with someone who understands what you’re going through – a loved one, therapist, or another woman who has gone through what you’re experiencing,” Rodriguez says.
•Find inspiration. “This is a great way to keep hope alive,” Rodriguez says. “Many women eventually become pregnant after months or years of trying to conceive naturally. The key is to keep trying and never lose hope. There is always a path to motherhood for every woman out there – natural conception, medical interventions, sperm or egg donor, or adoption.”
•Manage your stress. “Stress only exacerbates infertility and could potentially make it worse if your body is constantly in the sympathetic nervous system response of fight or flight,” Rodriguez says. “Do things to take your mind off it: start yoga, get involved with a spiritual group or your community, spend time volunteering, and practice gratitude for what you have.”
•Stay connected. “This process may take some time, so it’s important to stay motivated and connected with whoever you’re working with, in whichever fertility path you choose,” Rodriguez says.”You need a support structure. Don’t go it alone.”
“When infertility becomes an issue, many women can feel like they have no one to talk to,” Rodriguez says. “But as they decide on a path to take, they will find they can build a support team, along with a bank of knowledge, that can keep them strong and help them realize their dream.”
Hethir Rodriguez is the founder and president of Natural Fertility Info.com (www.natural-fertility-info.com), a website focusing on many aspects of natural fertility, infertility, and reproductive health. She has been a certified herbalist for nearly 20 years, specializing in women’s health and natural fertility. Rodriguez holds a bachelor’s degree in nutrition sciences and is also a certified birth doula. Since founding Natural Fertility Info.com in 2007, Rodriguez has written and co-authored over 1200 articles on fertility. Her research, articles and guides have been read by over 40 million people.