Coping with isolation and infertility

If you are struggling with infertility, you may feel isolated and alone. You may feel disconnected from your family and friends, as everyone around you seems to be getting pregnant.

As social media announcements appear, it can become even harder to cope and get a break from reminders of what you are longing for.

Perhaps you feel your friends don't understand the depth of your struggle and cannot offer the emotional support you need. If it's too painful to be constantly reminded of what you are lacking, you may withdraw from pregnant or mother friends. Other friends may offer well-intentioned, but insensitive suggestions, like "you just need to relax" or ask intrusive questions such as "which one of you has the problem?"

Even if your loved ones are understanding and supportive, infertility can cause you to feel alone, afraid, and depressed.

Isolation from family and friends

“Couples undergoing fertility treatment often turn inward and stop confiding in family and friends because of the pain involved in talking about their struggle to conceive,” said Barbara Collura, executive director, RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association. “It’s important for couples to know that extensive resources exist to support them throughout the process.”

It is common for couples to struggle to decide how much to disclose to family and friends, and many couples close themselves off from others. If someone you love is struggling with infertility, it is important to reach out. Usually, simply saying "I'm here if you want to talk," is all they need.

How isolation and infertility affects your marriage

Infertility can have both positive and negative effects on marriages. For some couples, infertility forces both partners to learn how to support each other. Other couples admit feeling isolated from their spouse because neither partner has the energy to help the other.

Infertility can lead to increased tension in relationships with more arguments about minor day-to-day occurrences.

Reach out for help

If you are struggling with isolation and infertility, it’s important to reach out for help. Often, simply discussing your struggles can offer perspective and reveal ways to cope.

Pamala Kelberg specializes in helping couples cope with the emotional challenges of infertility. To make an appointment with Pamela, contact her today. She also offers group sessions for men and women coping with infertility.

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