Support

Stress & Infertility: Reflections from Stress Awareness Month

Last month was Stress Awareness Month, and we’ve been reflecting on the relationship between stress and fertility. We know that unfortunately, stress is something that the TTC (Trying to Conceive) community knows quite a lot about. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

Whether fertility is directly impacted by stress is a topic of debate, but what we know for sure is the mental effect that stress can have on the livelihood of people experiencing infertility. In 2019, Human Reproduction (published by Oxford Academic) found that infertility stress almost doubles the risk of depression in women. A study by the Fertility Network and Leeds Beckett University showed that 93% of male participants stated that their wellbeing had been impacted by infertility. 

It seems that in TTC  journeys, stress is more common than it's not. In 2019, we conducted a survey of over 400 people who had either undergone fertility treatment or considered it, and found that:

  • 88% of people felt stressed before starting fertility treatment (89% felt apprehensive) 
  • Levels of stress are high: ¾ said that infertility was more stressful than losing a job, while ⅔ ranked it more stressful than divorce
  • Current fertility treatment is so stressful that even if highly motivated, 65% of women considering stopping their fertility treatment, and 78% of men⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

How we deal with stress is deeply personal, and there is no right way for everyone. Some find that acupuncture helps to alleviate stress, while for others, exercise, practiced breathing or meditation is more beneficial. Fertility counselling can be incredibly helpful. And fertility support groups, forums, or friends can be a wonderful way to connect and feel less isolated.⠀⠀⠀

How Apricity try to reduce stress in fertility treatment

We know that we can't ever eliminate all stress from fertility journeys, but reducing it is one of our missions at Apricity. Some of the ways we do that include:

  • Ensuring that you have a dedicated fertility advisor seven days a week for support, care, chats and administrative help
  • Providing unlimited fertility counselling with all of our fertility treatments
  • Loading our app with meditation tracks, medication reminders and appointment details, so you don’t need to worry about setting alarms or using project management tools
  • Doing everything we can home or close to home (blood tests, semen analysis and video consultations from home, scans nearby, etc.), to help cut down on time travelling 
  • Displaying our pricing upfront and all together to avoid unnecessary surprises. Our all-inclusive price factors in medication and all of the benefits listed above

Fertility and Work

We also asked you what you found stressful about treatment and how clinics can help to reduce stress. The most common stress trigger revolved around work - needing to take days off, lying to employers, trying to juggle work and treatment. We’ve heard so many stories around fertility and work, from unsympathetic managers to rigid policies that made treatment difficult. It is not uncommon for people to quit their jobs as a result. 

We’re happy to say that when it comes to work, we’re collaborating with an increasing number of businesses in drafting fertility policies and education, to help employers as well as employees feel supported when trying to conceive. We feel really positive about this, and are finding more and more companies receptive and enthusiastic about improving the fertility journeys for their staff. 

For information or support around fertility in the workplace, Working Families have some great guidance for women undergoing fertility treatment, and may be able to offer additional advice. Our friends Becky Kearns, Natalie Silverman and Claire Ingle have also started a great initiative called Fertility Matters at Work, designed to raise awareness of fertility issues in the workplace. 

Online TTC Support

We’ll end with a few of the places we love online, that help foster connection. Feeling part of a community during fertility struggles can make a world of difference when it comes to stress. Regardless of the path you’re on or how long you’ve been on it, we hope they will help you remember that you’re never alone.

  • Alice Rose is a shining ray of positivity and offers fertility mindset mentoring (Instagram: @thisisalicerose)
  • Fertilit_arty, who we interviewed last year, captures the highs and lows of fertility through beautiful illustrations
  • UK charity the Fertility Network offer free helplines and support groups to help you connect
  • HIMfertility provide a huge host of information and support for men struggling with fertility
  • Notes from artist and poet Morgan Harper Nichos can provide endless comfort on a rainy day 
  • Milestone cards by Sue of @conceivabledesigns are a great reminder that you are not alone on this journey

These are just a few that regularly talk about stress, but there are so many incredible places online dedicated to supporting people on their fertility journeys. ⠀

We hope that you if you are undergoing fertility treatment with us or have done so in the past, that you felt our efforts to reduce stress. And if there are any ways you think we could further reduce stress, know we are all ears. Simply email contact@apricity.life with your ideas and we will try our very best to implement them.




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If you're interested in getting started with Apricity, get in touch here or book a free callback with one of our fertility advisors.

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