• Counselling during Fertility Challenges

    Having a difficult fertility journey?

    At our counselling clinic, we see clients dealing with a variety of fertility-related issues, including struggling to conceive, pregnancy loss, and decision-making around IUI, IVF, egg & sperm donors, and surrogacy.  There are significant emotional impacts from navigating these options. To learn more about these A.R.T., we've created a handout that further explains what you can expect, as well as tips for reducing stress while trying to conceive.

    We know that infertility can have significant impacts on a person's life and relationship, and together with your therapist, you can make a plan for navigating these challenges.

    Maybe this sounds like you:

    “My body is failing me”

    “I’ve disappointed my partner”

    “Will I ever be a parent?”

    “I don’t know how much more suffering I can put myself through”

    “I’m doing all the things I’m supposed to, why isn’t this working?”

    Infertility is defined as a lack of conception after a year of unprotected sex for women under 35. This timeframe is shortened to 6 months for women over 35 (SOGC, 2020).  Infertility can also be defined as the inability to contribute biologically to a pregnancy, or the inability to carry a pregnancy to term & result in a live birth. Infertility impacts about 1 in 6 couples in Canada, a number that has doubled since the 1980s (PHAC, 2013).

    The trying to conceive journey can be an emotional rollercoaster. The highs of seeing that you’re ovulating combined with the low when you get your period. Or the excitement of learning you’re pregnant, followed by immediate dread “will this one make it?”. This can continue for months and sometimes years, and impacts most of our relationships: relationship with our body, relationship with our partner, relationship with friends/family, relationship with work, relationship with spirituality/God, etc.

    Therapy can help you to:

    • Normalize the emotions that arise from fertility challenges. Going through the ups and downs of trying to conceive is incredibly emotional. Often women are in survival mode and only months after do they appreciate all that they’ve been through emotionally, physically, and spiritually. Illuminate will provide a safe space and guidance to help your explore your fertility experience.
    • Acknowledge and process your grief. With infertility there are many layers of grief - grief after getting your period, grief with the thought of not having your own biological child, grief when you see others getting pregnant. Illuminate will help you navigate this grief as it shows up, as it can be very overwhelming and confusing.
    • Navigate challenging social situations. We live in a society where fertility is assumed and couples are expected to have children by a certain age. People’s comments/questions/assumptions can unintentionally hurt, and it’s a deeply personal journey that we selectively choose when and who to share it with. Illuminate will help you to navigate these challenging situations like family putting pressure on you to start having children, what to do about baby showers, how to respond when a friend shares they’re pregnant, etc.
    • Teach new ways of coping. We’ll examine what you’re already doing to support yourself (you may not be aware of it yet, but there’s always something helpful you’re already doing for yourself). We’ll also explore new “tools” to add to your “coping toolbox” - these will be customized because it’s not a one-size-fits-all type of deal.

    Book with one of our Infertility Counsellors

    Sara Longman, M.Ed., RCCAlexandra Stewart, M.A., RCC

    Looking for more info?

    Access our library of free downloadable resources for more guidance on navigating infertility yourself or supporting someone in your life.