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Talking helps

Infertility may feel isolating, but you aren’t alone

fertility support groupThere isn’t a guidebook that can walk you through the process of coping with infertility.  It is stressful, and often women can add to that stress with blame, self-doubt, and guilt.

As the social worker for the University of Michigan Center for Reproductive Medicine, I provide support to women and couples going through fertility challenges.

It is okay to feel what you’re feeling. You might feel anger, sadness, disappointment, frustration or guilt.

Take care of yourself. If your best friend or sister was going through what you are experiencing, how would you treat her? Would you remind her not to be so hard on herself and to put herself first? Are you doing that for yourself?

Partners need support too.  Women tend to be more socially connected than men and may have an easier time talking about their feelings. It is important to recognize that men need support through the infertility process also.

Talk to people who can relate/understand. Dealing with infertility can be isolating. There are topics that are hard to share with friends, family, and co-workers who may not understand or who might not have sensitive answers.

Talking to other women and couples experiencing the same issues can be very beneficial. Maybe your best friend just told you she is pregnant or women in your office space are continually talking about parenting. It might help to hear how someone else dealing with infertility handled a similar situation.

You’re Invited

U-M’s Center for Reproductive Medicine is hosting a monthly Infertility Support Group for the community to support and empower you during your fertility journey.  Support groups provide opportunities for people to realize that they aren’t alone in this process. It is very validating to hear other people share their stories and realize that you aren’t alone.

Some of the topics that might be discussed in the monthly support group include:

  • Helpful ways of coping
  • Making time for self care
  • Who to tell about your infertility
  • Handling friends/family who are well intended but sometimes hurtful
  • Coping with friends who are pregnant
  • Stress and tension in a partnered relationship
  • Work and infertility
  • Surviving the two week wait
  • Medication and mood changes
  • Reproductive loss

The Infertility Support Group meets monthly starting on Monday, March 11, 2013 at 6 p.m. at U-M’s Center for Reproductive Medicine.

The support group is open to the community and is free.  Please RSVP to lbrenna@umich.edu or 734-763-4323.

What would you want to talk about during a fertility support group meeting?  Use the comments tool below to let us know!

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Lindsay Brennan, LMSW, is a Clinical Social Worker at the U-M Center for Reproductive Medicine. Lindsay is available to provide counseling to individuals and couples for a variety of fertility and reproductive issues. Lindsay often works with patients to discuss relaxation techniques, sexual health concerns and emotions such as anger, sadness, isolation or fear and grief/ loss issues.

University of Michigan Center for Reproductive Medicine brings the expertise of infertility specialists and research scientists together to help each of our clients have access to the latest fertility therapies and technologies available through one convenient center.  We offer a full spectrum of assisted reproductive technology options, including IVF, fertility preservation, intrauterine insemination, donor insemination, and pre-implantation genetics diagnosis.