Infertility is a condition of the reproductive system that impairs the conception of children. The diagnosis of infertility is usually given to individuals or couples that have been attempting to conceive for at least 1 year without success.
Conception and pregnancy are complicated processes that depend upon many factors, such as:
Finally, for the pregnancy to continue to full term, the embryo must be healthy and the woman's hormonal environment adequate for its development. When just one of these factors is impaired, infertility can result.
In Australia, there are many reasons people seek the assistance of an Infertility specialist. Medical as well as personal reasons such as not having a male partner. Donated Gametes, i.e. sperm, eggs or embryos may be required. Surrogacy is also an altruistic legal avenue that involves seeking specialist treatment, when a women can’t safely carry a pregnancy.
Infertility is very frustrating as it is the one thing in life someone desperately wants but feels they have no control over. Infertility and reproductive loss can be emotionally debilitating and can have an enormous impact on your life at many levels. At least 15% of people are affected by issues related to their fertility. However, many people in the general population do not understand the emotional, financial and relationship issues you are experiencing, and have a very limited understanding of the medical aspects of fertility care. People frequently make comments and give advice (although intended to be supportive) that can be inappropriate , upsetting and unhelpful.
Other people's expectations, comments; baby showers; pregnant ladies in shopping centres; frustrated potential grandparents; pregnant sisters or work colleagues; and, miscarriages and other losses can all take their emotional toll. Partners often cope differently with stress tending to either want to find a solution or just talk and share feelings. People experiencing infertility and/or undergoing treatment can experience a wide range of feelings and difficulties including;
Pre-treatment counselling is an opportunity to prepare emotionally and psychologically for the challenges of treatment and to discuss coping mechanisms that can help minimise the emotional and relationship impact of fertility care. It gives people the opportunity to discuss their stress management plan and to work out how to best utilise the resources offered by their counsellor, IVF Clinic and support people in their lives.
A knowledge and understanding of these sensitive issues is extremely important in helping people cope well with their fertility care journey. A Fertility counsellor can help with these situations by listening, helping you to develop strategies for dealing with grief, loss and trauma, dealing with sexual concerns; improving communication, dealing with disagreements, helping you to maintain a happy and satisfying relationship.
The counsellor has specific skills and can help you to deal with any emotional issues that in turn will allow you to see your situation and options with more clarity and be in a place that will allow you to more easily focus on the care you can control.
It is a regulatory requirement that all people requiring treatment with a donor egg, sperm or embryo or who are considering surrogacy must undergo counselling prior to commencing treatment.
A counsellor needs to be accredited with ANZICA (Australia and NZ Infertility Counsellors Association) to provide donor and surrogacy counselling. An experienced member since 2007, I can assist in helping individuals and couples cope with infertility issues, relationships that are affected by infertility, other peoples expectations & comments. Wanting something so desperately regardless of how hard you work, and the many areas in life it affects. I have a good knowledge and understanding to discuss these sensitive issues in order to move forward.
There are some other practical suggestions that you can adopt to start having control over your treatment