Infertility is the inability to conceive or carry a pregnancy to full term, which can be due to medical issues with the woman or the man. According to Statistics Canada, 12% – 16% of Canadians experienced infertility within the 12 months period in (2009/2010). For many individuals, emotional feelings may be similar to grief as they experience the loss of a child they imagined they would have, as well as feelings of anger, guilt and shame, due to their inability to have a child. Depression, stress, lowered self-esteem, anxiety and relationship issues between partners can also develop. Some couples or individuals may look into potential fertility treatments, such as in vitro fertilization, surgery or fertility drugs.
How Counselling Can Help
Counselling can address some of the issues related to infertility, such as feelings of guilt or shame, or address feelings of loss, using therapeutic approaches such as couple counselling and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). Emerging research suggests that Interpersonal Therapy and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy may also be effective.
For couples who choose to explore fertility treatments, counselling can help prepare for the emotional impact of going through treatment, address feelings of being unsure of the outcomes, and guide the decision-making process related to treatment.
Additional Resources for Infertility:
Infertility Awareness Association of Canada:
Government of Canada: