Infertility is a medical condition that touches all aspects of your life. It may affect your relationships with others, your perspective on life, and how you feel about yourself. How you deal with these feelings will depend on your personality and life experiences. Most people can benefit from the support of family, friends, medical caregivers, and mental health professionals. When considering infertility treatment options such as sperm, egg, or embryo donation or gestational carriers, it may be especially helpful to gain the assistance of a fertility counselor.
When Do I Need To See An Infertility Counselor?
Consider counseling if you are feeling depressed, anxious, or so preoccupied with your infertility that you feel it is hard to live your life productively. You also may want to seek the assistance of a counselor if you are feeling “stuck” and need to explore your options. Signs that you might benefit from counseling include:
- Persistent feelings of sadness, guilt, or worthlessness
- Social isolation
- Loss of interest in usual activities and relationships
- Agitation and/or anxiety
- Mood swings
- Constant preoccupation with infertility
- Marital problems
- Difficulty with “scheduled” intercourse
- Difficulty concentrating and/or remembering
- Increased use of alcohol or drugs
- A change in appetite, weight, or sleep patterns
- Thoughts about suicide or death
What Are the Treatments for Infertility?
In men, fertility is treated with:
- Surgery: If the cause is a varicocele (widening of the veins in the scrotum) or a blockage in the vas deferens, tubes that carry sperm.
- Antibiotics: To treat infections in the reproductive organs.
- Medications and Counseling: To treat problems with erections or ejaculation.
- Hormone Treatments: If the problem is a low or high level of certain hormones.
- Fertility Drugs and Hormones: To help the woman ovulate or restore levels of hormones
- Surgery: To remove tissue that is blocking fertility (such as endometriosis) or to open blocked fallopian tubes