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International Women's Day 2024: Coping strategies for women dealing with infertility

Discover coping strategies and support for women navigating the emotional challenges of infertility. Learn about communication, medical interventions, and support groups to empower and guide individuals on this journey.

Rahul Pratyush Written By: Rahul Pratyush New Delhi Updated on: March 04, 2024 12:34 IST
International Women's Day 2024
Image Source : GOOGLE Coping strategies for women dealing with infertility

Around 53.08% to 64% of women experiencing infertility globally are affected by the social stigma surrounding childlessness. This negatively affects their mental well-being and influences their overall quality of life. Experts have pointed out that women facing fertility challenges or suffering from infertility tend to exhibit similar mental trauma and stress as people suffering from hypertension and cancer. Infertility can be an emotionally draining and isolating experience, especially for women, as it is a heartless journey for them. Often, they do not get the emotional and empathetic support necessary during the journey. This guide by Dr Muskaan Chhabra, Consultant, Birla Fertility & IVF, Lajpat Nagar, aims to provide coping strategies and support to women looking to overcome this difficult journey and empower themselves.

Acknowledging the conditions:

The first and most important step is to acknowledge your feelings or the conditions. It is important to understand that feeling anxious or stressed is a valid emotion that women around the globe go through. Infertility as a condition not only affects the reproductive health of a woman but also has a significant impact on her mental health too. Additionally, it is also important to note that the onus of not conceiving naturally should not be on the woman alone. This is because male infertility is a major factor affecting couples worldwide. Therefore, instead of women having to bear the brunt of the situation, it is important to understand the underlying causes of this condition and look for solutions accordingly.

It is natural to feel isolated and stressed in such conditions. To eliminate such feelings, partners can together ensure that emotional well-being is maintained and subsequently strengthened. Couples can together seek professional help and undergo therapies to deal with the situation.

Communication:

Discussion and communication around this discussion can help the woman suffering from infertility talk about both the physical and mental stress caused by the condition. Such discussions can facilitate strategies and solutions to better cope with the condition and help the woman overcome the stress and mental distress caused by the condition.

Seeking advanced medical assistance:

Today, technological advancements have made it possible for couples to explore fertility preservation or infertility treatments. A range of medical interventions assist individuals or couples in achieving pregnancy when natural conception is difficult. These include:

Fertility medications: Fertility drugs such as clomiphene citrate (Clomid) or gonadotropins are often the first line of treatment. They stimulate ovulation in women or improve sperm production in men.

Intrauterine insemination (IUI): This procedure involves placing sperm directly into the uterus around the time of ovulation to facilitate fertilisation.

In vitro fertilisation (IVF): IVF is a process where eggs are retrieved from a woman's ovaries and fertilised with sperm in a laboratory. The resulting embryos are then transferred to the woman's uterus. IVF is often used when other treatments have failed or when there are severe male infertility issues, tubal problems, or endometriosis.

Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI): This treatment is a variation of IVF, where a single sperm is injected directly into an egg to assist fertilisation. It's commonly used in cases of male infertility or if previous IVF attempts have failed.

Donor eggs or sperm: If a woman is unable to produce viable eggs or a man has severe sperm issues, donor eggs or sperm can be used in conjunction with IVF to achieve pregnancy.

Lifestyle modification: Lifestyle changes such as weight loss, dietary adjustments, or reducing stress can prove to be beneficial.

Support groups:

Discussion with other women facing fertility issues can help reduce the feeling of isolation or loneliness. Furthermore, this can result in gaining insights and information to facilitate better planning and coping strategies. It is important to understand that for women suffering from infertility, the journey can be stressful and emotionally stressful. Therefore, it is important not just for women but also for their partners and families to try and understand the intricacies of the condition and look for subsequent solutions.

ALSO READ: When is International Women's Day 2024? Know theme, history, significance and more

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