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Why you need infertility counselling on your journey to parenthood

Dealing with infertility struggles can be difficult and hopeful parents like you need help to understand your infertility options and work through your struggles. This is why infertility counselling is crucial. Professional counsellors experienced with people in your situation know how to address the emotional difficulties you’re going through and can help you understand how to move forward. With the help of an infertility therapist, you can well be on your way to parenthood.

Infertility is a medical condition that touches all aspects of your life. It may affect your relationships with others, your perspective on life, and how you feel about yourself. How you deal with these feelings will depend on your personality and life experiences. Most of the time, people in your situation can benefit from the support of family, friends, medical caregivers, and mental health professionals.

When considering infertility treatment options such as sperm, egg, or embryo donation or gestational carriers, it may be especially helpful to gain the assistance of a fertility counsellor. Critical information that may help you decide if you need to seek professional help in managing the emotional stresses associated with fertility treatment or need assistance regarding your treatment options is available.

Consider counselling if you are feeling depressed, anxious, or so preoccupied with your infertility that you feel it is hard to live your life productively. You also may want to seek the assistance of a counsellor if you are feeling “stuck” and need to explore your options.

While struggling with infertility could be draining, when you work with an infertility counsellor, it is not as exhausting as it seems. Learning to accept your infertility is an important part of moving forward when you take advantage of the practical and emotional benefits that infertility counselling can offer.

Today, infertility counselling involves that same psychological aspect of helping intended parents address their infertility emotions in order to move forward in a more positive way. Many infertility therapists are trained in assisted reproductive technology as well, which is why infertility counselling also involves education of which infertility options are available in a couple’s specific situation. So in this way, infertility counsellors are much more helpful than any other kind of therapist intended parents may work with, as they can provide psychological and medical advice.

Read also: Look on the bright side when dealing with infertility

Depending on where you are in your infertility process, you may receive different stages of infertility counselling ranging from patient-centred care, which is counselling focused on the infertility options available to you. An infertility therapist gathers information about your infertility struggles, determines which options are available and educates you about those processes.

The therapist will also help you analyze the pros and cons of each process to determine which is best for you if you’re ready to move forward. If you’re not ready to make a decision on an infertility option, you will usually receive support counselling to acknowledge the difficult feelings you are facing.

Before you can move forward, you must address issues like the potential inability to experience pregnancy and a loss of genetic connection with your future child. Support counselling is also received throughout the family-building process to address any issues that intended parents continue to struggle with.

Psychotherapy is more extreme infertility counselling, usually reserved for people who express major depressive symptoms, severe marital or sexual problems or any other psychological distress that may impact their infertility. This counselling may take longer in order to address more long-term crises and issues.

When you start infertility counselling, your process may be a combination of different stages. Your counselling will be tailored to your own specific situation and needs, whether that’s learning more about the surrogacy process as a family-building option or addressing remaining emotional barriers before moving forward.

No matter where you are in the emotional journey of infertility, it’s highly recommended by family-building professionals that you contact an infertility counsellor. Some will even require it before you can start working with them.

You may wonder, though: If you’re ready to start the assisted reproductive technology or adoption process, why do you even need to work with an infertility therapist? This is where medical counselling comes in.

When you use infertility treatments to become parents, you’re most likely entering into processes that you have no experience in and that you’re not fully prepared for. Therefore, infertility counselling is necessary to make sure you understand the requirements of each medical process, what you can expect as you move forward and more.

Infertility counselling is also important to make sure that you and your partner are on the same page in regards to your hopes and goals for your family-building journey. Infertility treatments can be emotionally difficult, and you and your partner will need to support each other along the way.

An infertility counsellor can help you address any lingering doubts or concerns you or your partner have before embarking on this journey. Leaving them unaddressed can negatively impact your family-building process. It’s recommended that you speak to an infertility counsellor before pursuing any infertility treatments.

If you’ve already started working with a fertility clinic or family-building professional, they will likely have a list of trusted infertility counsellors that they can refer you to. You will always be able to choose the infertility counsellor you’re most comfortable with, but these referrals can be extremely helpful when there are so many infertility counsellors available to you.

When you’re choosing an infertility counsellor, it’s a sign that you’re strong enough to accept what you’re feeling and move forward to a more positive time in your life.

Abayomi Ajayi is the MD/CEO of Nordica Fertility

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