The uncertainties surrounding infertility and treatment outcomes can be very distressing and have a significant impact on a woman’s emotional wellbeing. Not everyone will appreciate that a miscarriage is bereavement or that undergoing fertility treatment can be stressful, offering hope and anxiety in equal measure.
It can also put a strain on relationships, not only with a partner but also with others who may not fully understand what it is like to have fertility issues and leave women feeling isolated and alone. For women of colour from black, Asian and other minoritised backgrounds, this can be even more difficult due to the silence in some communities about miscarriage, infertility and cultural beliefs surrounding children and family.
You may have discovered that you need to think of alternative ways to create your family – through the donation of sperm, eggs or embryos. Surrogacy or adoption may also have been suggested. The loss of having a child that is genetically related to you or your partner or not being able to give birth to your child can be an enormous loss.
As a specialist fertility counsellor
I offer women a safe and confidential space to explore all the difficulties that they are experiencing whilst going through this emotional and uncertain time in their lives.
I have listed below a range of situations that you may be finding yourself in and for which you may be considering getting emotional support:
- Suffering a miscarriage and or recurrent miscarriages/pregnancy loss
- Undergoing fertility tests, investigations and IVF treatment
- Trying for a baby as a solo mum
- Grieving and relinquishing a genetic baby of your own
- Undergoing assisted conception or donor conception treatment outside the UK
- Ending or not starting fertility treatment
- Facing childlessness and experiencing the grief of having no children
I also have a special interest, and expertise, in supporting women who are trying to come to terms with not being able to have children.
Having to face involuntary childlessness can elicit a range of emotions that can feel both distressing and overwhelming. This may include experiencing a profound sense of loss as you grieve for the child and life that you had envisioned.
For many women, this is often made worse because they find it difficult to share their feelings with friends, family and loved ones. Those around them may also find it difficult to understand or acknowledge the pain that they are going through. As a consequence, countless women suffer in silence.
I have my own story of childlessness and from personal experience, know-how valuable it was to have someone to talk to and share my story with. It may be hard to imagine now, but a life without children can be rewarding and meaningful, different, but no less important or valuable. We can work together to help you find your way towards that. You don’t have to go through it all alone.
Media Contributions and Events
How to manage the emotional stress of IVF
Fertility Fest 2019
Expert panel member ‘Race, Reproduction and Religion’
(Fertility Fest is the world’s first arts festival dedicated to fertility, infertility, the science of making babies and modern families)