Atlanta Infertility Counseling
Coping With Infertility
One of our goals at Atlanta Center for Reproductive Medicine is to provide
sensitive care to the "whole person." We work closely with and
will often refer our patients to trained mental and emotional health professionals
who can help them through the stress and depression that often accompany
a diagnosis of infertility.
Embarking on a program involving the Assisted Reproduction Techniques (ARTs)
is a major decision. Many people see it as renewed hope for conception
as well as their last resort. While the ARTs have helped many couples
overcome their infertility, they are not the answer for everyone. For
those who choose the ARTs, the process can be emotionally, physically,
and financially draining.
We regard emotional support and fertility counseling as an important adjunct
to treatment. We want to help patients maximize their coping skills during
this stressful time. Having an outside, unaffected voice to discuss options
with can be a major benefit.
Counseling can be helpful for new patients
Counseling can be a helpful step in preparing for fertility treatment and
can provide foundational infertility support. Many couples coming to our
program have never seen an infertility counselor before. Infertility counselors,
along with the rest of your medical team, have expertise in assisting
couples with what to expect during and after treatment.
Stress Support & Relief
A session with an infertility counselor can also assist couples in coping
with stress. Many couples feel relieved and hopeful when they know there
are positive ways to cope with the stress and disappointment of delayed
family building. Stress can even have an impact on your fertility.
Communicating with your partner
Many patients also benefit from learning how infertility affects marital
communication. Infertility is often the first life crisis a couple shares
together. Men and women cope differently with stress in general, and with
infertility stress in particular. Helping couples recognize some of these
universal patterns early in the treatment process often goes a long way
towards maintaining marital harmony. Early counseling can help prevent
misunderstandings or communication problems before they start.
Couples benefit from support throughout the infertility process and especially
when it comes to dealing with strong emotions. Anger, self-blame, fear,
anxiety and feelings of loss may surface and feel overwhelming at times.
Couples who have experienced a pregnancy loss, failed cycles, or who have
a history of recurrent miscarriages may benefit from additional support
as they attempt another pregnancy. An infertility counselor can also help
you identify certain types of depression or anxiety conditions that should
be treated prior to beginning a treatment cycle.
Many patients find it helpful to consult with a counselor when faced with
important treatment decisions, such as the use of donor gametes or the
decision to end treatment. All of our patients will meet with a counselor
when using donor eggs or sperm and for all gestational carrier arrangements.
In addition, patients often choose to meet with a counselor during the
"waiting period" of their treatment cycle, for support during
an IUI cycle, or for post treatment follow-up.
You may also be interested in learning more about
stress and infertility,
frequently asked questions and our
support groups. If you wish to meet with a counselor at any time during your treatment
at ACRM, please call your patient care coordinator who will assist you
with a referral to an ACRM trusted source. Our weekly support group is
also available for free to all patients.