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29/06/2024 - 5 min read

Trying to Conceive? How Counselling Can Help

Care Team

Struggling to conceive can be a stressful and emotionally draining journey. At Care Fertility, we understand the complexities of this process and the impact it can have on your well-being. Counselling can be an invaluable resource when navigating these challenges, offering support and strategies to manage stress and maintain your mental health.

Counsellors are frequently asked whether being stressed will impact chances of conception, and while the body of evidence remains uncertain (plenty of very stressed people get pregnant every day!), there is no doubt that stress affects us all, and triggers cortisol, which in women may result in inflammation, gut, thyroid, and immune system issues. This in turn may affect ovulation and menstruation – so it is important to manage stress wherever possible – but also to realise that it is only one of many factors on the road to pregnancy. 

Prioritise relaxation
Take a moment to reflect on the effort you are putting into healthy eating, staying active, avoiding caffeine, and alcohol.Are you giving this same amount of importance to relaxation? Often, we don’t dedicate that same amount of effort to our mental well-being. Focussing on rest and relaxation and prioritising kindness to yourself can make a big difference. Imagine you are your own best friend, organise a massage, a yoga class, some acupuncture – even just a regular 30 minutes of reading or listening to music – whatever helps you feel calm and helps you to sleep well. 

Control
When you walk into a fertility clinic, you hand over power to someone else – treatment, dates, outcomes – it is all suddenly out of your control. As human beings we hate uncertainty, and being in limbo is hard. Maybe you're not going on holiday this year, or maybe you are staying in a job you don’t like – all because you are going through treatment. Taking back control where you can, will help you to feel more normal – consider what really needs to be on hold and try to carry on as normal wherever you can. 

Be kind
It is very normal for anyone trying to get pregnant to be disappointed or angry when it doesn’t happen straightaway - and sometimes this anger can be directed at yourself. Anger at your body for not ‘working’, or anger because you did not start trying earlier. All these feelings are natural, but if you can build an awareness of your reactions and try to bring compassion instead. It’ll help to lighten the already heavy load.  

Seek support
Everyone needs a different level and a different type of support – but knowing, and asking for, what you need can make a huge difference. Your first reaction may be to tell everyone or no one – but consider the whole journey you are going to go through, and when and how you will want to talk things through and ask for support. Be clear about what you need – it is another place you can take control in amongst all the uncertainty. 

Balancing the present and the future
You may be someone who lives in the moment or likes to plan to ahead – and if you have a partner, they may think differently. Decide if it is helpful to know what your Plan B is at each stage, or whether you would rather put one foot in front of the other. Be honest with yourself and each other about what you need.  

Your relationship matters
There are usually (although not always) two of you on this journey, and the stresses and challenges can put huge pressure on your relationship. Perhaps your relationship is usually very balanced and equal, but going through treatment has made one of you feel powerless, and the other one unable to express your emotions as you care for your partner. Too quickly, partners can stop sharing how they really feel, and both can feel alone. Talking about your relationship dynamic and checking that you are the same page can make a world of difference. 

Address intimacy issues
If you have been trying to conceive naturally, sex can become a place of awkwardness and certainly not the fun it used to be. Often, couples avoid talking about it, and the pressures become worse, resulting in arguments, erectile dysfunction, and a lessening of intimacy in general. This is incredibly normal, and if you can, talk about it and decide how best to cope with it. You might plan a massage night, put dates in the diary, leave it to chance – do whatever is right for you both.       

Putting the care back into fertility

At Care Fertility we’re here to support your physical and emotional needs. Our dedicated counsellors listen with empathy and offer personalised support to empower you throughout your fertility journey. 

Ready to take the next step?
Whether you’re considering fertility treatment, currently undergoing it, or exploring options, our team is here to help. Reach out today to discover how counselling can positively impact your journey. 

Your fertility journey deserves understanding, support, and guidance. Discover how our counselling services at Care Fertility can empower you to navigate this path.