Psychological Impact of Infertility

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Why do I feel inadequate because I have fertility problems?

Psychological Impact of Infertility

Infertility is more than just a physical condition. The inability to conceive children, or carry a child to term, has emotional impact, as well.

Common feelings associated with infertility can include:

  • Guilt
  • Depression
  • Frustration and anger
  • Feelings in inadequacy
Guilt can play a role in infertility, in that a man or woman is unable to fulfill the perceived expectations to provide their parents with grandchildren, or that they have done something, during their life, for which they are being "punished" by not being "allowed" to have children. Though these perceptions may not reflect acurately upon the infertility situation, guilt is a strong emotion, which can ovewhelm logic.

Depression is a result of grief. Each type of loss, whether emotional or physical, elicits feelings of grief. Even positive change can contribute to grief, since change represents loss. When you desire children, but are having difficulty conceiving or carrying them to term, you "lose" the opportunity to become a parent, which results in feelings of grief and depression.

Frustration and anger may also be present, with infertility. The monitoring, timing and effort that is expended in attempting to achieve conception and birth, can be stressful. Failure to conceive, when a child is so greatly desired, contributes to anger - at ones' self and perhaps at society - for not being "allowed" to have a child, when others conceive so easily.

Feelings of inadequacy are frequently present, when one is coping with infertility. During the initial stages of assessment and testing, each partner wonders whether they is something "wrong" with THEM, which is preventing conception. Men and women, alike, may feel less than whole or adequate, if they are the one with the fertility problem.

Infertility Counselors are a wonderful resource for helping to sort out feelings related to infertility and infertility treatment, and to assist in developing additional coping mechanisms to ease the feelings of guilt, depression, frustration, anger and self-inadequacy.



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