Anyone who has been diagnosed with infertility will know that it is not just the physical effect that can derail the hope of having a much-longed for child. The emotional side can have a deeply devastating and lasting impact too.
This is why IVF babble believe it is important to not only look after your physical health, but also your mental health.
There were many times during our own personal journeys where the self-doubt, anxiety and depression crept up on us and before we knew it, feeling guilty, ashamed, embarrassed or a failure seemed the norm.
But luckily there is a lot of support out there for anyone who is facing such a huge emotional struggle as infertility.
The UK’s Human Fertilisation and Embryology Association has recently re-launched its website and has a whole host of articles on counselling and why it is important to not only look after your physical health, but emotional health as well.
Firstly, all HFEA member clinics have to offer the opportunity of counselling to clients before they start treatment. So, if your clinic does not, then start asking questions.
Some clinics will offer it for free and others will charge, but make sure you put it on your checklist of questions when you start researching clinics.
If you cannot afford counselling privately, talk to your GP, who should refer you via the NHS
You can also contact the British Infertility Counselling Association as they offer expert advice and guidance on counselling and are specifically there to support you. They have a directory of counsellors across the UK, so take the time to do your research.
Men are notorious for failing to open up if they have fertility issues. This can lead to them withdrawing and hiding their feelings and can also have a negative impact on their mental health.
The HFEA recommend the Men’s Health Forum, which has a whole host of articles, FAQs and information available.
Content editor Claire Wilson didn’t think she needed counselling, but after four rounds of IVF failed, she now wishes she had looked into it more.
She said: “I vaguely remember our clinic offering counselling after the treatment failed for the second time, but I was so consumed with grief, I didn’t even think about it. Now, I really wish I had, which is why I have started to look for a counsellor near us.”