In April 1992, the Health Resource Network (HRN), a non-profit health education organization, launched an annual “Stress Awareness Month” to make the public aware of the dangers of stress as well as options to explore for successful coping strategies. Every April since, health care professionals across the country come together to increase public awareness about both the causes and cures for our modern stress epidemic.
Even though Stress Awareness Month is in April, we can all agree that stress occurs year round. Especially when you’re having fertility issues and are going through treatment, it can be an incredibly stressful and upsetting time.
Involuntary childlessness is often described as a life crisis and is even likened to Kubler-Ross’ stages of death and dying. It can impact relationships, finances and self-esteem. Add to that the stress of going through either insemination or an IVF cycle; taking hormones, an increase in doctor appointments, not being able to predict the outcome, etc. and it’s very easy to understand why fertility treatment can create anxiety.
While it’s not clear how stress can directly impact fertility, finding ways to minimize stress while pursuing treatment, if nothing else, can provide moments of calm and reminders to breathe. Below are some suggestions of well-known stress reliving techniques:
· Mind-Body Groups
· Listening to music
· Massage Therapy
· Psychotherapy and cognitive behavioral therapy
· Guided imagery
While stress reduction doesn’t completely eliminate stress, by finding a technique or approach that best serves your needs, you can at least help reduce it.