Reacting to Your Infertility Diagnosis

Even if you've long suspected that you have an infertility problem, the actual diagnosis of infertility can come as a shock. Like many people, your initial reaction to the news may be disbelief: 'There must be a mistake here! Maybe the test results are wrong, or they've been mixed up?' After it all sinks in you may feel angry: 'Why us? What have we done to deserve this? This is so unfair!' You may also feel guilty, blaming your infertility on something you did in the past: 'It's probably because I had that termination when I was 16', 'If only I'd been more careful when I went backpacking 20 years ago I wouldn't have been infected with Chlamydia!'' Over time, you may also experience all or some of the following:

^ A sense of being overwhelmed

^ Feelings of isolation, because infertility can be difficult to talk about ^ Sadness and grief about not being able to do what's 'only natural' ^ Worry about whether you'll ever have a baby

Rest assured that such reactions are normal: There's no right or wrong way to respond to such life-changing news.

Dealing with shame and guilt

You may also feel shame about not being able to accomplish something that you and everyone else expects of you, or about your sexual capacity being questioned. And you may feel guilty if, for a fleeting moment, you wish that your best friend would miscarry or you resent your sister's new baby.

Shame and guilt aren't useful emotions: They only make you feel worse. Try to keep these emotions out of your repertoire, but if they do creep up on you, confront them and do your best to shake them off. Remember:

^ Don't be too hard on yourself for not being able to feel ecstatic with joy when your best friend announces that she's pregnant.

^ You've done nothing to 'deserve' being infertile.

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