What are Fertility Issues?
We spend so much of our lives trying not to get pregnant, that difficulty conceiving can come as a shock. Infertility is usually defined as lack of conception after trying to conceive for 1 year for women under 35, or after 6 months for women over age 35. Infertility may be more common than you think; roughly 1 in 6 Canadian couples experience infertility. Having trouble trying to conceive can become extremely stressful, whether doing so alone with medical assistance or as part of a couple.
What causes Infertility in Women?
Infertility can be traced to physical problems in the uterus (e.g., fibroids or polyps), fallopian tubes (e.g., missing or blocked), or eggs, as well as hormones, sexually transmitted infections, past illnesses or their treatments, use of alcohol or tobacco, being over or underweight, endometriosis, early menopause (before age 40), or age. Chances of fertility at 30 years old are 91%, compared to 77% at age 35, and 53% at age 40.
What causes Infertility in Men?
Similar to women, infertility in men can be caused by sexually transmitted infections, hormones, past illnesses or their treatments, use of alcohol or tobacco, and being over or underweight. Factors uniquely related to infertility in men pertain to the quality of sperm (shape and speed of movement), as well as the quantity of sperm.
When to seek emotional support for Fertility Issues
Trying to cope alone can add more stress, which can inadvertently make it even harder to conceive. Please consider seeking help if you need it.
- Feeling out of control, powerless, or discouraged about pregnancy?
- Heartbroken after miscarriage or failed attempts to get pregnant?
- Uncertain about how to fulfill your dream of having kids?
- Experiencing conflict, stress, or tension in your relationship due to fertility issues?
- Having difficult thoughts and feelings that you want to discuss in a safe and compassionate environment?
How Counselling for Fertility Issues can help
In addition to seeking medical advice, many individuals and couples also seek counselling to cope with the emotions and decisions related to fertility difficulties.
Counselling can provide you with a safe place to explore all possible options including medical procedures, adoption, surrogacy, fostering, and even living child-free. Your therapist will help you to explore your values, thoughts, and feelings so that you can gain understanding and make informed choices that work best for you and others who may be impacted such as partners or other family members.
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