It has been estimated that one in six women today have fertility troubles. With more women trying to have children in their mid-to-late thirties, age related decline in fertility is becoming the number one cause of infertility. What I’m trying to say is you are not alone.
My patients often ask me if stress has anything to do with their lack of success in becoming pregnant. My answer is an overwhelming YES. That said, I do not know if stress is causing infertility or vice versa. Do you know that infertility has been equated with a diagnosis of terminal cancer in terms of stress levels? The stress may be social, emotional, work-related and inter-personal. These high levels of stress may affect many aspects of your life, as well as your success with getting pregnant.
It is not uncommon for women to attend their fertility consultations without their partners. Somehow, the woman feels that this is her problem and that she must do this on her own. Do you know that male factor accounts for approximately one third of the causes of infertility?
Fertility counselling plays an important role in helping couples communicate more effectively with each other, their health care providers, and even family and friends. Fertility counselling is not a barrier between you and pregnancy. Using fertility counselling does not mean you have a mental illness or that you are a weak person. Fertility counselling helps with setting realistic expectations. While we all hope for 100 percent success in everything we do, the reality is just not so. The pregnancy rate with intra-uterine insemination (IUI) is about 15-20 percent. If 100 women use IUI to conceive, only approximately 15 will be successful while the other 85 will get the dreaded negative test. For In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF), the pregnancy rate is higher at 45-65 percent but may vary significantly due to patients’ individual circumstances.
As such, fertility counselling sets the stage for a supportive relationship that may be needed above and beyond that of the partner, nurse, or doctor. When fertility treatment did not work, a pregnancy ended in miscarriage, or another situation where the result was not as hoped, fertility counselors are there to help you. A fertility counselor is an integral part of your fertility care team that includes a fertility specialist, a family doctor, an obstetrician and gynecologist, your nurses and any complementary healthcare practitioners you choose to include. Each team member does something different but together we are that much more effective at optimizing your success throughout the reproductive journey.