How to deal with depression over infertility 

If I ask you to close your eyes and think of all the blue things around, what comes to mind? Let yourself linger there for a minute, then open your eyes. 

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Now look around you and notice all the blue things. Hopefully, you now see a heap more blue things than you did in your minds eye before actively looking for them. 

The same thing happens with infertility. Pregnancy is not on your radar until you want to get pregnant. Suddenly everywhere you look there is a pregnant person, a baby shop, a new-born in a sling, and this makes dealing with infertility even harder. 


How to cope with infertility

Coping with infertility is a challenge that many people face daily. Typically, women ovulate approximately every 28 days, so 13 opportunities to conceive each year. A year feels a long time when you feel the strong desire for a baby. 13 opportunities do not seem enough, considering the factors of modern life.


Infertility and depression

Recently someone said to me; “Infertility has broken me”. Infertility is emotionally and physically exhausting. When it takes over your life or begins to define you as a person, there is the possibility of depression creeping in.

Many people feel so in control of their life that it is difficult to accept the natural path of fertility. When you do not fulfil your intention to conceive on or by a certain date, you will need to adjust your mindset in a way you might not have needed before. The energy it takes to do this can also lead to depression.

Infertility, depression and life

When depression and infertility take over your life, it is difficult to enjoy anything. Infertility is diagnosed when you do not conceive within 12 months of having regular unprotected sex. This does not mean there is something wrong with your reproductive system. It means you are more likely to get an appointment at an NHS fertility clinic, if you want one, to check for any problems. 

When all you want is to conceive, you might find yourself with the symptoms of depression, for example no longer finding joy in the things you did before. Like life isn’t worth living if you cannot have a baby. Constantly tired as you expend so much energy on trying to conceive, charting your cycle, having robotic sex at the right time, ovulation tests, reading and writing in forums, researching everything about fertility, but rarely finding anything new.

Taking supplements and then more supplements, exercising or not exercising, depending on what your latest research told you, stopping the slightly damaging but fun habits like late nights and a glass of wine with friends. Changing your diet to something preferable, but difficult to maintain. Trying to de-stress but only feeling more stressed with the situation. 

The most powerful thing you can do for yourself is relinquishing control. Modern life teaches us that we can take control of everything, but pulls us further and further away from the real control we have when our mind and body are fully connected – guided by your internal wisdom rather than your prefrontal cortex. 

Self-hypnosis and meditation 

When you practise self-hypnosis/meditation regularly, to connect with yourself you will find an inner knowing that helps you understand your own body. You will know when you ovulate, for example, rather than peeing on a stick. Naturally, we feel more drawn to sex when ovulating. In fact, Masie Hill, in her book, Period Power, states that many women only desire sex when they ovulate, and rarely at other times. Giving yourself time to understand your own bodily feelings will give you the opportunity to follow those feelings.

As a natural animal, your body functions in a way that makes sense. Your purpose as an animal is to procreate, evolution designed you in a way that makes that possible without modern technology. Marketers teach us their latest invention will help us, but we function best when we do so in the way our body expects. For some people, there is an impediment to natural fertility, as with all nature, not everything forms typically. If you learn there is something physical preventing pregnancy in your body, the natural way is not to procreate.

However, modern technology, such as assisted reproduction, can help if you choose that route, and there are multiple other options, such as surrogacy or adoption. This does not negate the depression you may feel. Seeking the support of a therapist in this situation will help you process your situation, work out what you feel is the right route for you, and give you a safe supportive space to scream, cry, rant or simply speak depending on how you feel. 

Assisted reproduction is taxing on the mind and body. You may feel more settled, like something is finally happening, but there are times you feel overwhelmed and affected by the situation. Not to mention the physical effects of the medication and procedures.


How can hypnotherapy help with depression over infertility?

Therapy will help you relax and feel more in control. Sometimes therapy, in particular hypnotherapy, will help with physical discomfort too. If you feel that infertility is causing depression in your life. Or that depression is causing your infertility, a first step at home is to work on living mindfully. An online course is a nice start point. Some one-on-one hypnotherapy sessions with a therapist experienced in infertility and depression will help you with the difficult emotions you face.

Hypnotherapy Directory is not responsible for the articles published by members. The views expressed are those of the member who wrote the article.

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Farnham GU9 & GU10
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Written by Juliet Hollingsworth, MSc
Farnham GU9 & GU10

Juliet is a trauma-informed therapist. Her passion is helping people reach their potential through a combination of hypnotherapy, psychotherapy and transpersonal psychology. Juliet works online and face to face with clients across the world. (DHP Clinical Hypnotherapy & Psychotherapy. MSc Consciousness, Spirituality & Transpersonal psychology.)

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