The dictionary definition of infertility is listed as; the inability to conceive.
About 1 in 7 couples can experience problems and many may need help when trying to start a family. Less talked about but equally as distressing is secondary infertility which leaves couples unable to conceive further children after the first conception.
Within the medical profession doctors usually state a couple as infertile if they have not conceived after 2 years of trying. Statistically the level of infertility has increased by 4% since 1980. There can be many reasons why conceiving can become a problem. For women these include hormone or ovulation problems, having Endometriosis, suffering an early menopause or having polycystic ovaries. In men difficulties can be caused by hormone problems, tumours of the testes, or problems with the pituitary gland. Sometimes despite all medical tests or interventions a reason simply cannot be found leaving couples frustrated and confused.
Statistics are all very informative but do not say anything of the very real emotional impact the experience of infertility can have on relationships and families. Often reported are feelings of isolation and loneliness. Feelings of guilt and anger are also common in partners who are identified as having medical problems that could prevent a pregnancy from occurring.
Partners sometimes find it difficult to talk to each other and can also struggle with the difficult choices that may need to be made. With this in mind two of our therapists are in the process of setting up a support group and would like to hear from you if this is something you’d be interested in. Jill and Greta have experience working with infertility issues and are also available to see people on an individual basis.
I am an experienced UKCP registered psychotherapist. I have 15 years experience in training, education and management. I have worked at Bath Spa University, Wiltshire County Council, Wiltshire College and in the inner city areas of London, Bristol and Birmingham.
In addition I have particular experience working with loss of confidence and self esteem difficulties, the impact of bullying at home, school and the workplace and chronic, cumulative and subtle childhood trauma.