By Guest-Writer Katie Regnier, MS, LCPC
I was grateful for the invitation to contribute to this blog, especially at this time of year. It is the holiday season, a time for family gathering, parties and often child-centered celebration. It is a time where we mark another year passing and take stock in our lives. This is a very hard time for people experiencing loss, including infertility.
Chances are you know someone struggling with infertility. One in eight couples has trouble getting pregnant or sustaining a pregnancy. Infertility can be overwhelming for individuals and couples. The effects of infertility may permeate all areas of life, affecting emotional health, relationships, career and finances. For many couples, this is this first major crisis for their marriage. Individually, infertility may cause symptoms of anxiety and depression as well as sleep problems, feelings of loneliness, anger and grief. Counseling may provide extra support needed to cope with the complex issues of infertility.
How can counseling help? Through counseling, individuals and couples can:
- Learn specific methods for coping with stress, anxiety and daily challenges of infertility
- Receive support in making difficult decisions about fertility
- Learn methods for resolving conflict and maintaining a strong relationship with your partner
- Explore other family-building options and third party reproduction
Everyone has a unique path through infertility and resolution, yet many of the themes and feelings experienced are universal. Seeking extra support, either through individual counseling or group counseling, can normalize the feelings that are common yet unspoken among many people in this journey.
Katie Regnier is a mental health counselor in Bozeman, Montana. She can be contacted at (406) 580-6877 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Reproductive Health, https://www.cdc.gov/reproductivehealth/infertility/ (accessed Nov. 17, 2017).