Specialist fertility counselling during COVID-19
During this COVID-19 pandemic, many patients feel that their anxiety about fertility treatment has been amplified. Every fertility journey will undoubtedly have moments of uncertainty, but the current COVID-19 circumstances – with patients not knowing when their treatment can start or resume – has understandably left many feeling like they have lost control of their situation.
At the best of times, struggling to conceive is an emotional challenge which can greatly affect a person’s mindset. I am sure that COVID-19 has only added to a wide range of confusing, and even contradictory, emotions. Now more than ever, patients may benefit from counselling with a specialist fertility counsellor, which, alongside your family, friends, support groups or forums, might help you to process these emotions and mentally prepare for when we are able to resume your treatment.
At CARE, counselling is free and open to everyone having treatment with us, wherever you are in your fertility journey and at whatever stage of treatment. Each one of our clinics has a dedicated, specialist fertility counsellor, and you can choose to see your counsellor multiple times. Speaking with someone who is knowledgeable about, but not directly involved with, your treatment provides a safe and supportive space away from the clinic environment for individuals and couples to explore their emotions.
Though we are not offering our usual face-to-face counselling sessions, we remain as committed as ever to ensuring all patients have access to the support they need, so our counsellors are now offering phone and online appointments, such as by Skype.
These sessions are an opportunity to explore emotions that are troubling you, and to learn practical coping strategies that you can apply in day to day life. Learning techniques to identify and deal with negative emotions can not only make you feel more physically and emotionally comfortable, but can also help you feel more in control in these uncertain times.
Of course, you may wish to speak with a counsellor about things unrelated to COVID-19; we are here to support you with any issues that may be affecting your ability to cope with, or access, fertility treatment. While many people do cope well with fertility treatment, most find the experience stressful, and this stress may be exacerbated if your treatment leads to complex and difficult decisions, such as considering alternative ways of creating a family, perhaps by using donated eggs, sperm or embryos. Issues with fertility may also have an impact on relationships, as individuals often feel differently about their treatment and how to emotionally process the experience. If you are part of a couple, you can choose to speak with your counsellor individually or together to help you to understand how to support each other. Through gentle, non-judgemental, and compassionate exploratory conversation, your counsellor will be able to help you.
As counsellors, we always listen with respect and empathy. We understand your deep desire for family, and are here to help you process your fertility journey and any decisions that arise. Now, as ever, there is always someone to talk to at CARE, and if you choose to speak to a counsellor, we are here to listen.
To find out more about counselling or to book an appointment, get in touch with your local clinic.