Plenty is written about the financial toll of fertility treatment, and far too little on the psychological costs of treatment. Our data shows that nearly half of patients consider this the single most important event in their lives and, when setbacks occur, they can be devastating.
When we surveyed 750 patients about the emotions they experienced during treatment, many felt isolated, depressed and confused.
Fertility challenges can impose an emotional suffering that pervades every corner of our existence. It's common for the emotional crisis of infertility to alter our relationships with our spouse, our friends, our parents, and our sense of self-worth.
The shame associated with infertility makes it difficult to find and relate to others in a similar position. When we surveyed the same group of women, the vast majority knew one or fewer people similar to them who had been through treatment.
Dealing with the anguish of fertility challenges can feel particularly daunting in the age of social media. As patients move into age ranges where friends have children, and then make those children the focal point of most social posts, moving down the newsfeed can feel like an endless scroll of agony.
Patients suffering with fertility challenges should know that in most cities, groups like RESOLVE offer free support groups that are run by professionals trained in the practice of helping patients with all fertility needs.