Skip to content

Infertility & Reproduction Health Center

Font Size

Infertility: Emotional and Social Concerns - Topic Overview

Infertility is a major life crisis for many couples. It may affect self-esteem, body image, sexual identity, life goals, and sexual relations. When faced with the possibility or diagnosis of infertility, you may experience a broad range of emotions, including:

  • Initial disbelief and denial followed by anger and grief.
  • Loss of control.
  • Guilt and blame. Finding out that one partner is infertile can place strain on a relationship.
  • Increased stress, particularly if treatment requires frequent testing and intercourse on a schedule.
  • Monthly cycles of hopeful anticipation followed by depression when menstruation begins.
  • Feelings of isolation. A desire for secrecy often can isolate a couple from support systems such as friends and family during a time of great stress. Counseling and infertility support groups provide vital assistance for many couples.

Social exchanges and situations may be painful when you see others with babies or are asked about your plans for having children. Having family members who are expecting children may contribute to your feelings of stress, as may parents wanting grandchildren to continue the family lineage.

Recommended Related to Infertility & Reproduction

Tubal Cannulation

Tubal cannulation is a procedure to help clear a blockage in the fallopian tubes, a common cause of female infertility. As many as 1 in 4 women who have difficulty getting pregnant have a blockage in the fallopian tubes. Tubal cannulation is less invasive than fallopian tube surgery and it may help your doctor better understand why the blockage occurred. The doctor inserts a tube called a catheter that is guided over a wire. Ultrasound or real-time moving X-rays of the fallopian tubes may...

Read the Tubal Cannulation article > >

Getting support

When you have a long-term health problem, you may feel alone, confused, or scared. But you are not alone. Other people are going through the same thing you are and know how you feel.

Talking with others about your feelings can help you feel better.

  • Family and friends: Family and friends can help you cope by giving you comfort and encouragement.
  • Counseling: Professional counseling can help you cope with situations that interfere with your life and cause stress. Counseling can help you understand and deal with your illness.
  • Your doctor: Find a doctor you trust and feel comfortable with. Be open and honest about your fears and concerns. Your doctor can help you get the right medical treatments, including counseling.
  • Spiritual or religious groups: Spiritual or religious groups can provide comfort and may be able to help you find counseling or other social support services.
  • Social groups: Social groups can help you meet new people and get involved in activities you enjoy.
  • Community support groups: In a support group, you can talk to others who have dealt with the same problems or illness as you. You can encourage one another and learn ways of coping with tough emotions.
    1|2
    Next Article:

    Infertility: Emotional and Social Concerns Topics

    Today on WebMD

    Four pregnant women standing in a row
    How much do you know about conception?
    Couple with surrogate mother
    Which one is right for you?
     
    couple lying in grass holding hands
    Why Dad's health matters.
    couple viewing positive pregnancy test
    6 ways to improve your chances.
     
    Which Treatment Is Right For You
    Slideshow
    Conception Myths
    Article
     
    eddleman prepare your body pregnancy
    Video
    Conception
    Slideshow
     
    Charting Your Fertility Cycle
    Article
    Fertility Specialist
    Article
     
    Understanding Fertility Symptoms
    Article
    invitro fertilization
    Article
     

    WebMD Special Sections