Studies show that psychotherapy alleviates anxiety and depression for women going through infertility – probably something a lot of us could benefit from. But to be totally honest, this wasn’t reason enough for me to go out and join an infertility support group and become one of ‘those’ people.
Can Psychotherapy Increase Fertility?
That is until I did the in-depth research for the Stress Reduction Page and came across numerous studies that gave me the all powerful motivation: psychotherapy seems to improve fertility.
I’ve done crazier things to try and get pregnant – like sit in the mud, drink olive oil, become a human pin cushion – but somehow going to a support group wasn’t something I saw myself doing.
We go to the dentist when our teeth hurt, but going to get help when we need support emotionally is something that so many of us resist. The possibility that it may boost my fertility, though, was enough to tip the scale.
Finding an Infertility Support Group Near Me
I found a support group near me, and after filing the info away for several months, I finally did it: I called. I showed up and became one of ‘those’ people – whatever that means.
Telling my infertility story to a group of women that know exactly what it’s like was so, well, therapeutic. They knew. I didn’t have to explain why I had an overwhelming feeling of sadness at the announcement of a friend’s pregnancy. I didn’t need to justify myself – I could see it in their eyes – they knew. The knot in my stomach started to dissolve and quite honestly, I felt relieved.
The Support Felt Great!
When I left, I was surprised how much better I felt.
In hindsight, I have no idea why I was so surprised. It’s certainly not new that women need and rely on one another. We have issues that men just don’t have and sometimes there’s just no substitute for sharing an experience with women who know exactly what you’re going through. They also have good advice including how to deal with and help with your partner’s emotional needs – advice that your partner can’t give you.
The Benefits of an Infertility Support Group
RESOLVE, the not-for-profit national infertility association, lists on its website several benefits for participation in a support group like enhanced self-esteem and decreased sense of isolation.
I can say that I’ve experienced both of these. Now, if I could just experience the ultimate benefit that is showing up in the studies I’ve researched and is also mentioned on the RESOLVE website, “… a 2000 study found that attendees of RESOLVE support groups had higher pregnancy rates than women who didn’t attend a support group” (1).
Until then, I’m going to enjoy the fact that going to an infertility support group makes me feel better.
If you are seeking an Infertility Support Group near you, check out the groups listed on the RESOLVE website HERE.