Many of us take for granted that when we want to have a baby, it will happen. As the reality sets in that it is not happening, all kinds of feelings can come up. You may get caught in that cycle of uncertainty, the lack of control, the overwhelming amount of “information” regarding how to get pregnant, and the emotional and financial drain. Well-meaning friends think you just haven’t tried X, Y, or Z, and it feels like everyone around you is getting pregnant without even trying. Research suggests that therapy can be helpful for some individuals struggling with fertility challenges. One study found that pregnancy rates were over 50% in individuals participating in cognitive behavioural therapy and supportive therapy (i.e., active listening), as compared to 20% in individuals who did not have therapy. Other individuals may find themselves at the end of their journey for varied reasons and encounter struggles with finding social support or others’ challenges in respecting this decision.
What to expect from treatment for fertility issues*
Depending on where you are in your fertility journey, we might talk about your options and strategies to help with your decision-making. Though we leave recommendations to the medical professionals, we can provide guidance around how to understand the information that is out there and with navigating the private pay system. For those in the middle of fertility treatments, we will often talk about how to keep these processes from taking over your life. If you have decided to move forward on a different path, we hold space for the complex emotions that may be associated with this. The areas we target for intervention are informed by guidelines released by the Canadian Fertility and Andrology Society Counselling Special Interest Group.
*It is important that you carefully consider that no treatment can guarantee that you will get pregnant. The factors you are struggling with may or may not be modifiable by therapy. We understand how vulnerable individuals are who are trying to get pregnant, so it’s important that you have a realistic understanding of what therapy can actually do for you. While much of the work we will do will have benefit for you outside of your fertility issues, therapy will be targeting the stress associated with the fertility journey and not necessarily directly targeting your fertility issues.