top of page

Infertility, which is defined as a year of trying if you are under 35 and 6 months if you are over the age of 35, affects about 10% to 15% of couples in the U.S.

Infertility often makes women feel like they are broken and can be a deeply isolating and shaming experience. Stress, depression, and anxiety often accompany infertility and can worsen as time goes on. Infertility can also take a heavy toll on relationships with family and friends, create financial difficulties, and strain a relationship with a partner.

If you are struggling with infertility there are a few things you should consider:

1.     Seek medical guidance. It is an important first step to see a reproductive endocrinologist for an evaluation of both you and your partner to rule out medical issues that may be causing or contributing to infertility while knowing that the reasons for infertility are often unknown. Even in this case, your doctor can help you explore your options and identify an action plan. 

2.     Practice acceptance of what is outside of your control without giving up hope. While it may be incredible difficult, allowing yourself to accept what is happening may be an important part of maintaining your mental health. The more we resist our reality, the more we suffer. Try practicing radical acceptance.

3.     Identify, acknowledge, and allow for difficult emotions. Infertility is often associated with heavy feelings of loss and grief. Allow yourself to grieve what you had envisioned, which is a very real loss. 

4.     Don’t blame yourself. Infertility is also often associated with feelings of self-blame, but know that even if there are factors on your end causing or contributing to infertility it is not your fault. Infertility is a disease. 

5.     Focus on what is within your control, not the outcome. While the desire to become pregnant may be overwhelming, the truth is that it is not in your control. Focus on what is, such as the action plan you have worked on with your doctor and taking care of both your physical and mental health, which are equally important. In fact, treating depression and/or anxiety has been shown to increase the number of successful pregnancies.

6.     Practice self-care. Take care of your physical health through diet, sleep, and exercise, without becoming rigid, obsessive, or extreme. Take care of your mental health by seeking social support and engaging in practices like meditation,  journaling, etc. Maintaining your emotional health by establishing boundaries you may need like taking a break from trying may be a part of taking care of yourself as might skipping certain events such as baby showers or stepping away from social media. 

7.     Don’t allow infertility to define you or consume your life. Continue to engage in other areas of your life that are important to you.

8.     Seek support. Consider attending a support group through an organization like RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association or Postpartum Support International (PSI), which has Fertility Challenges groups. PSI also has a directory where you can find individual support. Couples counseling may also be important.

PSI has a helpline available at 1-800-944-4773 (4PPD).


The National Maternal Mental Health Hotline is available 24/7 at 1-833-852-6262.


If you are experiencing thoughts of suicide the Lifeline can be reached 24/7 via text or phone at 988. In the event of a mental health emergency call 911 or go to the nearest ER. Please note that this information is intended for informational purposes only. It should not be used as a substitute for psychological or medical care.


bottom of page