Wednesday, May 29, 2024

6 Tips for Managing Stress During Your Fertility Journey

Image from Marncom on Pixabay

Most couples trying to conceive have had to deal with mental health issues at some point. Several research studies have discovered that some forms of anxiety, stress, and depression stem from infertility, with infertile women showing more severe severity of clinical symptoms than infertile men. Some people who have gone through recurrent pregnancy loss have had to deal with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms. If you are in a similar situation right now, hold on. Here are some effective tips that will help you cope with stress as you go through your fertility journey.  

Seek Professional Help  

If you feel like you are losing it in your fertility journey, seek help from a mental health expert or any other health practitioner. Visiting a family nurse practitioner (FNP) with a solid background in MSN to FNP programs can be a great starting point. 

Your FNP can help you cope with the initial fertility treatment while addressing the financial and emotional burdens that come with it. They can give you timely access to treatment and necessary investigations, enabling you to achieve your pregnancy goal sooner. They also provide patient education and help you understand the rationale behind each test and medication you take, making the entire journey less stressful.      

Join a Support Group or Find a Fertility Friend 

Support groups provide a safe haven to share how you feel and find other people who can relate to your story and offer words of encouragement. You can find free support groups online and active fertility communities on social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook.  

If you have family members whom you can freely open yourself to about your fertility, preferably those who have experienced similar conception challenges, will go a long way in lightening the burden. By sharing your struggles, you will know that these issues are common and you are not alone.

Embrace Movement  

According to research, you can rely on exercise therapy to manage mild and moderate depression. While high-intensity workouts might not be advisable at a certain level of fertility treatment, you can engage in low-impact physical activities, like going for a walk or attempting fertility-safe yoga poses. You might also want to check with your doctor to know the kind of exercises they recommend. 

Make Sleep a Priority  

With quality sleep, you enhance how you feel emotionally and function physically. Try to get about eight to nine hours of sleep every night as you try to conceive. You will see how it will greatly lower your stress levels. Sleep helps your body rest and recover from the physical and mental stressors of the previous day.  

Develop a bedtime routine and sleep hygiene and stick to it. This may involve putting away your phone and switching off electronics 45 minutes before going to sleep, dimming lights, and following a consistent sleep schedule.  

Develop a Mental Health Toolbox  

Keep your self-care resources close by storing them safely in a mental health toolbox. This can be a list of items on your phone or calming items in your physical box. Some of the things you can store in your toolbox include:

  • Encouragement notes from family and friends
  • Positive mantras and affirmations
  • Relaxation and meditation apps 
  • Coloring books or sensory toys
  • A playlist with favorite songs 

Set Your Priorities 

Take time to assess yourself and determine whether you have the right mental capacity to take on new commitments or add a different thing to your plate. Don't hesitate to decline requests from family, friends, or work if you think they will make you overwhelmed. It is common for most fertility patients to lose energy and feel tired during treatment because of factors like hormonal medications and the overall stress of managing tests, procedures, and continuous appointments. 

You cannot underrate the physical and emotional toll of infertility, but once you recognize that you need help, that’s the beginning of the journey to your recovery. If you can’t handle the stress by yourself, speak out and get the support you need.

Amy Wilson is a passionate health writer dedicated to making complex medical topics accessible and engaging and covers a wide range of topics from nutrition and fitness to mental health and wellness.

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