Fertility / Infertility / Miscarriage
I have been practicing as a fertility counsellor/psychotherapist since 2003 in the Merrion Fertility Clinic and in private practice offering skilled and thoughtful expertise to individuals, couples, single women and same sex couples who are having difficulty planning and having their family. Through this I have gained a deep understanding of the complex emotions that come with trying to have the family you desire. For many conceiving is simple, but others may need medical assistance to achieve their goal. Trying for a baby can be daunting and it is perfectly normal to have some of the following feelings and experiences
- Overwhelming feeling of grief and loss
- Anxiety and jealousy when others announce their pregnancy
- Sense of guilt and failure
- Anger and resentment
- Feeling isolated from friends/groups
- Stress in the relationship
- Upset with family and friends who don’t seem to understand
- Sex has become part of the baby making process
- Past painful losses re-emerging
- Worried about the relationship if no children – what then?
How can fertility counselling help?
I would encourage anyone who is thinking of embarking on treatment to make use of Counselling. This view is supported by extensive international research. You can attend on your own or with a partner. You do not need to be feeling intense emotions to attend; you may want to discuss how to move forward with a professional who is not involved and who therefore can be objective.
There may be difficult decisions to be made and Fertility Counselling provides a confidential and supportive environment in which to explore options in order to make informed treatment decisions.
Implications Counselling for those considering donor treatment.
This area is a minefield of challenges for potential parents so it is important to address what it means to become a parent through donor conception. Potential parents must explore the following to be more prepared.
- Issues related to seeking treatment abroad.
- How you are feeling regarding the genetic loss.
- How you might feel towards a child you may conceive in this way.
- How others may respond to you trying to build your family in this way.
- Telling the child – when and how
- The issues that may arise if you are single when seeking treatment.
It is important that you feel comfortable with your decisions so that you can transfer this confidence to your child.
Managing fertility related stress
The shock and distress of not conceiving naturally can sometimes lead to disbelief and serious questioning. Often people who are dealing with difficulties turn to family and friends but this area of fertility is not easily understood by others.
Couples and individuals often have to isolate themselves because of their strong emotions and the lack of understanding of others. This emotional turbulence and isolation is well documented and some find the process takes over their lives and can make it difficult to lead a normal life.
For some there is no pain greater than the moral and ethical dilemmas of some of the decisions that have to be made and this is where a counsellor/psychotherapist who specializes in the area can help.