Loneliness, isolation and the fertility journey

With 1 in 8 couples struggling to conceive, there is no shortage of people out there who are on the lonely fertility journey. But the problem is that many people don’t talk, don’t share, instead choosing to lock themselves away from friends and family, putting their lives on pause and going through it alone.

It’s easy to see why. Conception comes so easily to some people and you may be at an age where it seems like everyone you know is getting pregnant and having kids, even if they hadn’t planned to. This makes it all the more difficult if you are struggling to conceive.

When you’re on your fertility journey, you are bombarded with difficult situations that compound your loneliness. You can’t walk through a park without seeing mums playing with toddlers.  Buying Christmas presents or baby shower presents becomes a painful experience.

To make matters worse, your pregnant friends and those already with kids talk in their coded language about their journeys and experiences that you can’t join in with. Because you have your own language that no-one knows, one of blood test after blood test, early morning injections and fertility drugs. You see everyone’s life moving forwards, whereas you are some kind of fertility limbo, too old for parties and cocktails but not yet in the realm of motherhood.

So it is natural to withdraw from all of that and hide under the duvet. You don’t want to offend your friends, and you don’t want to share the difficulties that you face on a daily basis, so you cut them out. This can make your loneliness and isolation even worse and put your relationship under a huge amount of stress.

However, it is important that you try and break this cycle to help you through the difficult process of trying to conceive. Regardless of how awkward you feel, you need to reach out to friends and family, sharing and discussing your thoughts and feelings. This may be even more difficult if your friends are new mums, but be honest with them. Tell them that you are really happy for them, and you want to be there for them as a friend, but you are on a different and altogether more difficult journey that involves a variety of different emotions. They will understand, and you will feel so much better just sharing your experiences with someone.

Another outlet for your emotions would be a support group – they do exist. Connect with women on the same journey, there may be fewer of them, but you will have similar experiences and speaking to them about your journey will help you make sense of the emotions you are feeling.

If you are really struggling and feel completely isolated by your fertility issues, reaching out to a professional is also a great idea to give you that outlet, so you can make sense of your emotions and feel better prepared for the road ahead, whatever that may look like.

If you, a friend, or family member are struggling to conceive or you are already engaged in fertility treatment and feel lonely and isolated, I am here to provide confidential, non-judgemental fertility counselling in Beaconsfield and online. Get in touch to arrange an initial consultation at a time that suits you. 

©2022 Sara Torrome

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