Indian tradition has taught us that one of the biggest blessings that a woman gets is that of becoming a mother. And it does hold true according to me. Having a child and bringing him/her up is one of the most beautiful experiences of all. However, many women are not so lucky to enjoy the blessing for many reasons. Let’s talk about the emotional impact that lack of fertility has on a woman.
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Infertility may be one of the most difficult things you’ll ever face. It’s very easy to underestimate how stressful it could be until you experience it for yourself. It can make you question everything about your life – from your confidence, your body, and your relationship.
Most women are raised to think that they’ll become mothers someday. From their first doll to their baby shower, women are surrounded by images and expectations from parents, peers, religion, advertisements, and the media. Hence, motherhood becomes a large part of their self-image as a female.
For them to realize that they may be facing a fertility issue is metaphorical of the world coming to an end. At such times, women tend to feel sad, angry, desperate and overwhelmed, which is completely normal. A friend of mine, nearing 35, who was dejected at being unable to make babies once told me, “I keep thinking I should have tried for a baby earlier. I feel like it’s my fault.” You must realize that no one is to blame for your infertility! Infertility is not your fault, and there’s no sense in giving yourself a hard time, however frustrated you may feel. I understand that women who face fertility issues tend to go through a phase of feeling guilty. At such a juncture in their lives, the most important thing they need is the love and support of their partners and families.
The key to coping is to acknowledge that you’re going through a tough time. Do not slip into denial; instead, allow yourself to experience all the powerful emotions as it can help you to move beyond them. Of course, there are fertility treatments for those who are patient and brave enough to fight all odds. So be informed, read and ask as many questions as you may to your doctor. However, if you do not wish to go through the emotional roller coaster that a fertility treatment can sometimes be, there are other options that you can consider along with your family members. If IVF (in vitro fertilization) is not for you, don’t be disheartened. There are other ways of finding motherhood; for instance, surrogacy and adoption. The only crucial thing is that you must be completely prepared for these.
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It’s easily concluded that women seem to suffer more due to the stress of infertility than what their male partners do. However, that is not true. Men are not pressurised in the same way to become fathers. And many men are brought up to repress their feelings or at least keep them to themselves. A man may be feeling similar frustration and disappointment as he and his partner go through yet another treatment and yet another month without a pregnancy. But many see their role as being strong for their partner. My views on this matter are different though. I feel both parties have their own emotional wavelength and go through their own frustrations. But it would really help if they acknowledge the facts and choose to help each other out in dealing with the situation.
Finally, don’t lose hope. Remember, there is light at the end of every dark tunnel.