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.

Emotional Distress

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.

Decision-Making

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.