Ask a Therapist: Infertility During Covid-19 Edition

In this time of global crisis, preserving our mental health is of the utmost importance. Watch this video recording of Elyse Ash asking fertility mental health experts, Debbie Fischer and Dr. Deborah Simmons, how the TTC community can best try to manage their stress, anxiety, anger and fear in this post-Coronavirus world.

There’s no point in sugar-coating it; our world is in crisis.

We are dealing with a global pandemic that no one could have anticipated and are doing our best to cope with our “new reality” while scientists, physicians, drug manufacturers, policy makers and other essential workers do their best to get us back on-track.

Meanwhile, the fertility community has been left to keep on doing what we do best: wait. 

After seeing so many posts on social media from the fertility community in the wake of ASRM’s decision to temporarily stop all IVF and IUI cycles, I decided to reach out to my two favorite mental health experts (Debbie Fischer and Dr. Deborah Fischer of Partners (in)Fertility) who specialize in all things fertility, grief and loss. I asked if they’d be open to recording a video call where I could ask some of the most common questions from the TTC community.

Here are some of the questions I asked the Debs in the video above:

  • Going through infertility treatments is already high-stress and a lot of people have had their plans and timelines put on hold indefinitely. What can people do to deal with the stress of managing the uncertainty of knowing when they can start IUI or IVF cycles again?
  • The TTC community already faces a lot of judgement around not appearing “grateful” and for also appearing “selfish” in the desire to have children who are genetically related to us. Now with millions of people in the world deeply impacted by the Coronavirus (people dealing with job loss, food insecurity, sickness, death, devastating financial loss), how might people trying to conceive allow themselves to still feel sad, even if infertility feels small compared to a lot of these other issues?
  • For those who are worried that their window for getting pregnant is running out or feel especially nervous about “the clock,” how can they better cope?
  • Lots of partners out there aren’t great at supporting their partners through infertility and treatments. Now with so much ‘together’ time how can partners better support one another and also…not get on each other’s nerves…
  • What can people do to get themselves ready mentally to jump back into treatments when that time comes?

Oh, and here are links to some of the resources we discussed in our conversation:

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