Your Mental Health and Making a Baby
I want you to imagine for a moment that there is something you really want.
You can’t make it happen through effort alone, let’s assume though that it is likely that you can have it at some point, although you have no way of truly knowing that. There’s also more bad news in that your mental health is going to be compromised in your attempts to achieve it.
You will have a massively increased chance of becoming depressed and developing an anxiety disorder, and you will without a doubt no longer be able to live your life in the way you once could.
Your daily life will now be filled with seeing other people having what you want, compounded with the worry that you may never be that lucky. Because it is hard to believe you can get something you strongly desire, when you can’t actually make it happen by taking practical action alone, isn't it?
And here’s the real kicker…
Even when you get what you want, you may well be haunted forever by the journey it took you to get it.
Do you still want it? Now you might say it depends what it is, and of course my job is supporting people with fertility struggles, so you know I am talking about having a baby, right?
So, is a baby worth all of the above? You may think yes, but I am here to say HELL NO! Your mental health is not worth that.
Should you stop trying then?
Because here’s the really important thing. You don’t have to compromise your mental health, your relationships and the opportunity to live a life worth living whilst waiting for what you want.
Now, you may not know me yet to trust what I have to say, or you might be the kind of person who likes things that are backed up by research, so here’s some facts…
A study carried out in Hungary to research anxiety and depression among infertile women, found that compared to fertile females, women struggling with fertility issues show a significantly worse psychological status in terms of anxiety and depressive symptoms. Among infertile women, age, social and sexual concern, maternal relationship stress and financial stress were significantly related to distress.
This study concluded that it is imperative to provide individuals struggling with fertility issues, with psychological interventions to help them manage potential mental health problems and meet their reproductive goals.
Here’s another really important thing that I know you are going to want to learn.
The state of your mental health also has the ability to harm your chances of having a baby.
We know, of course, that women can get pregnant even when extremely stressed, for example in war time and rape situations. Why that is, no-one truly knows. However, for those of you who need it, here’s some evidence to show how stress impacts on fertility.
Research has identified that stress can interfere with fertility by preventing a reproductive hormone called Gonadotropin Releasing Hormone (GnRH) from functioning properly. On top of that, research from the University of California Berkely, shows that stress can also result in the increase of another type of hormone, the Gonadotropin-Inhibitory Hormone (GnIH), which further impedes the actions of GnRH. In other words, not only is the useful fertility hormone not able to work properly, another hormone is turning up to really make sure that it can’t.
As one of the leading experts in emotional health and well-being in relation to fertility, I can tell you that there is a very ‘useful’ reason for this happening, which I will share with you in my next post.
For now though I want you to fully understand what is going on.
Your fertility journey is adversely affecting your mental and emotional health, which in turn is adversely affecting your chances of having a baby.
Sucks doesn’t it!
Is it making sense now though? Can you see the importance of taking care of your mental health? Clearly it is important for you, however I know how much you want a baby, which is why I want you to see how the stress from your infertility journey is affecting your ability to have a baby too.
I want you to be able to reclaim the joy in life again and feel able to take back emotional control of your fertility journey. I also want you to have your longed for baby. I can’t promise you the latter, although statistically you will have a better chance of achieving that if you pay more attention to your mental health.
I can promise you that you will be able to live your life in a more positive way though, if you look in the first instance at taking care of your emotional health and well-being.
More on what you can do in relation to that in my next post.