How to Deal With the Different Emotions that Come With Infertility

Couples going through infertility issues deal with a mix of emotions, and it often feels like there’s no one to talk to about it. Aside from the different emotions popping up all at the same time, these couples also face another equally difficult dilemma—should you open up and share your feelings with others, or are you better off keeping them to yourself?

Let’s take a look at three of the most common emotions felt by couples who have been trying hard to conceive and how to address them.

Photo courtesy of http://www.healthline.com/health/pregnancy/body-changes-infographic

Depression

Feeling depressed after multiple unsuccessful attempts at pregnancy is just normal. Depression affects both the mind and body, so it’s important that you detect the early signs. Physical signs include loss of appetite, sleep problems, body pain, and exhaustion. Meanwhile, emotional symptoms of depression include self-hatred, constant sadness, social withdrawal, and pessimism.

If you think you have symptoms of depression, it’s best to talk about your feelings to your partner and health care provider to prevent it from causing more problems to your life and relationships. Look for support groups who will listen and understand what you’re going through.

Lower self-esteem

It’s also normal to be disappointed in yourself and your body after being diagnosed with infertility. Inability to conceive and have children the natural way doesn’t mean you’ll never have a family of your own. Together with your partner, discuss with your doctor the possible medical solutions and alternatives. Today’s medical technological advances help couples start the family of their dreams.

Stress

The societal pressure of building a family can cause a great deal of stress for couples who have been trying to conceive for a long time. Did you know that couples who are relaxed and happy have better chances of a successful pregnancy than stressed couples? Studies support that fact. So start a healthy lifestyle to combat stress—eat healthy, go walking or jogging, and practice meditation.

The importance of getting adequate support to your emotional struggles can never be stressed enough. So share your feelings with your partner, friends, and support group to make life more bearable for you.

Antioxidants for Male Fertility: Do They Work?

As opposed to popular belief, infertility is not just a woman’s issue. In fact, infertility in three out of every 10 couples is caused solely by male factors such as sperm quality. Two out of every 10 couples have infertility problems caused by both male and female conditions. This explains the trend of men taking antioxidant supplements to enhance their fertility.

Are antioxidants scientifically proven to be effective?

A 2011 study conducted using crickets by The University of Western Australia found that dietary antioxidants can help improve male fertility. According to Professor Leigh Simmons, antioxidants neutralize free radicals (the waste by-products of the processes in the cells) that attack sperms.

The study also discovered the two antioxidants that can protect sperms against damage: beta carotene and Vitamin E.

Antioxidants indeed work, but that doesn’t mean it’s effective for everyone. Only up to less than 20% of couples that tried antioxidants successfully had a baby. However, one thing’s for sure: antioxidants can boost sperm quality, which in turn leads to conceiving a baby when used with other fertility treatments.

What are the best antioxidants for fertility?

Aside from beta-carotene and Vitamin E, these are the other antioxidants that have been proven to boost sperm quality: Coenzyme Q10, Selenium, Vitamin C, and Zinc.

How to know if antioxidants will work for you

Interested in trying out antioxidants to see if they will help you and your partner conceive? Before you rush to the nearest pharmacy, it’s important to get your sperm tested first. It’s the single best way to determine if antioxidants will be worth it in your baby-making efforts. You also need to have your sperm tested again at least after three months of treatment.

If you can see some improvements over time, then you can be sure that antioxidants are the solution to your infertility problems.

4 Fertility Myths: What’s True and What’s Not?

Any couple who have difficulty having a baby have experienced at some point being overwhelmed with information, opinions, and tips they get from the internet, relatives, and friends about getting pregnant. If you face the same situation, how will you distinguish the truth from misconceptions?

Here are some of the common myths about fertility that you should be aware of.

1. More frequent sex means a better chance of pregnancy.

Getting pregnant has to do more with a female’s ovulation rather than the frequency (or even the quality) of sex. Even if you do it more than 10 times daily, you’re not guaranteed of conceiving a baby. Let’s set your expectations right—there’s no difference in pregnancy rates between couples who had sex every day and those who do so less frequently. This fact is backed up by a major study published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

2. Taking guaifenesin before ovulation will improve fertility.

Guaifenesin, better known by the brand Robitussin, is an expectorant that theoretically thins out the cervical mucus, much in the same way as it does to the mucus in the lungs. Some people believe that the thinner the cervical mucus is, the easier for the sperm to swim through the cervix and reach the egg. Although guaifenesin can really help in thinning the mucus, it’s not yet proven if thin mucus is enough to get you pregnant.

3. Cycling lowers sperm count.

Not necessarily. While in theory, the force on the testicular area caused by biking can affect fertility, there’s no clinical study yet that proves the correlation between cycling and decreased sperm count.

4. Having sex with the lights on or during the day can help you conceive faster.

Again, no clinical study has been done yet to prove this claim, though some studies found that sperm count is quite higher in the morning.

Have you heard one or two of these myths before? Do your research and help dispel the misconceptions by telling off people who love sharing those absurd “facts.”