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The Emotional Rollercoaster: Coping with the Impact of Subfertility

The Emotional Rollercoaster: Coping with the Impact of Subfertility

Infertility and subfertility are the terms used interchangeably. They are used to denote a condition when a couple is taking longer than usual time to conceive. Infertility is the inability to conceive, but the chance of naturally becoming pregnant does not disappear if you have subfertility.

Based on studies, most couples who engage in frequent sexual activity can conceive naturally within a year. Unwanted delays in conception due to subfertility affect one out of every six couples. About 50% of these couples will become pregnant either on their own or with the help of very straightforward guidance or care. However, the other half will require more sophisticated therapy, such as in vitro fertilization and other assisted conception methods.

What Is Subfertility?

Subfertility is the inability to conceive naturally. A woman must generate a healthy egg, a man must create healthy sperm, and the sperm must fertilize the egg and develop into a baby in order for a pregnancy to be successful. Subfertility definition states that subfertile couples are those that engage in regular sexual activity without the use of birth control but do not become pregnant. 

Eighty-four percent of couples who have intercourse every two or three days will conceive within a year. While some women can conceive, they may be unable to bring their babies to term when dealing with this condition. 

Since many couples have a limited time before the age-related consequences of subfertility diminish the chance of success, prompt access to appropriate therapy for subfertility is crucial. Low sperm counts and tubal illness can be addressed via assisted reproduction, but little progress has been achieved in lessening the impact of aging on ovarian function. 

While going through treatment, it is necessary to deal with the issue healthily and with a positive mindset. Yes, the condition can be hard to cope with, but if you get depressed or stressed, the chance of pregnancy further decreases. 

How to Cope with the Impact of Subfertility?  

The experience of subfertility can be harsh and you might experience both hope and loss, each loss compounding your anguish. While some people need time to adjust to the situation, some like to learn all about the condition and prefer to immerse themselves in in-depth study as a coping mechanism. 

To overcome the obstacles caused by subfertility, you must be honest with yourself and be realistic about the situation. Stress management is particularly necessary since many couples get unreasonably stressed even though they have a chance of becoming pregnant. Dealing with the issue also entails seeking assistance when required and gaining as much knowledge as you can about available resources, and possible treatments. Taking care of your mental health is just as vital as treating the physical causes of subfertility.

  • Be honest with Yourself 

Your emotional reaction to subfertility is not the product of a single stressful event, and it is most probable that you are feeling depressed, anxious, alone, and out of control when diagnosed with this condition. In addition, you could have poor self-esteem, and your quality of life may be impacted by these kinds of unfavorable emotions related to falling short of your own expectations. 

These emotions are quite natural and ought to be recognized and acknowledged instead of being disregarded. Spend some time reflecting on your emotions and worries as well as dissecting why you feel the way that you do. You may learn more about your own emotions and fears by making an effort to comprehend them better.  

Being completely honest with your partner is also crucial, and you must be able to communicate your entire range of emotions. Speak with a trusted friend or counselor if you're having trouble defining your emotions so they can help you in this difficult time. Communication with your partner is essential to assisting you in managing emotional issues. In order to work through your feelings as a couple, you must first be honest with your spouse as misunderstandings can result from not understanding how the other person feels.  

  • Know the Treatment Options 

It's common to feel powerless and unsure of which specialist you should be seeing or what to do while dealing with subfertility. It's critical to gather information and know the subfertility definition to comprehend all of your possibilities. A fertility specialist is your best bet in this situation and you should make an appointment with a reproductive endocrinologist so that you and your spouse may get a thorough assessment of your fertility. 

Given that you both contribute equally to the conception process, it is crucial that both partners be assessed. Following your examination, your healthcare professional will possess the required knowledge to provide reproductive therapy alternatives that align with your objectives. Making a plan may help you and your spouse feel more positive about where you are and where you're going on this journey. Possessing all the information might make you feel more in control and reduce future worry.

  • Self-care is a Must

Self-care is about being self-aware enough to include taking care of your physical and mental health in your everyday routine. Additionally, self-care is a means of formalizing such care because time passes quickly, and you may simply forget to take care of yourself. Self-care is also essential since it puts your health first when attempting to conceive. A balanced diet, enough sleep, exercise, and setting limits at work are all part of this process.

  • Find a Hobby to Manage Stress

It's crucial to recognize and understand your emotions when dealing with subfertility, but it's not a good idea to let them consume your thoughts all the time. Make time for other wholesome activities and interests that help with stress management. Join your friends for brunch, play sports, or take art classes to calm your mind. At a time when you might not be feeling joyful about most elements of your life, doing something good and interesting might help you direct some of your energy into making yourself happy.

  • Be Optimistic

While facing month after month of disappointment due to primary subfertility, it can be difficult to stay cheerful and optimistic. However, subfertile couples must remember to look at the bright side, which is that there is a possibility of getting pregnant with treatment. It might not be reasonable to believe that you will spontaneously become pregnant despite having a sperm and ovulation problem if you are not actively trying to boost your fertility. Talking about all of the things you can do to increase your fertility, as well as what reasonable objectives and a reasonable timescale are, with your fertility specialist is beneficial. 

Final Remarks

For subfertile couples, getting pregnant takes longer than other couples. However, just because you have primary subfertility, it doesn’t mean that the chance of becoming pregnant is too low. According to studies, a typical couple can become pregnant after 12 months of sexual activity, but for subfertile couples, this time scale is not practical. The chances of getting pregnant can be slim in the absence of medical help, so you must not waste time and immediately seek a doctor for treatment. 

Dr. Pooja Mittal
Obstetrics & Gynaecology
Meet The Doctor
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