Preconception & Fertility

When you make the decision that you want to become a parent you may discover that getting pregnant is not as simple as you thought it would be. You may already be acutely aware of this as you have been "Trying to Conceive" for what seems like an age, with no success.

You may have started fertility treatment and are currently floundering with all the medical information and box loads of medication that you have been given to take. It may seem like your life has changed overnight. 

This may not be your first pregnancy, nor your first IVF, IUI or TSI cycle, you may have learned to dread the anticipation of the "pee stick" revealing this cycles outcome. 

You may have reached the point where Donor Conception or Surrogacy is the next step. This can understandably be an incredibly stressful time and Psychotherapy may be able to support you on your journey. 

The Four "F's' of Fertility: 

When we are under stress our internal biological survival system known as the Autonomic Nervous System (ANS), is activated. There are two states one is the
Sympathetic response: Fight, Flight, Hyper - Aroused response. The other is the Parasympathetic response: Withdrawal, Numbing, Hypo - Arousal.

Fight:  This is where our muscles tense and there is a surge of Cortisol and Adrenaline in our body. We go into "fight mode". This could look like conflict with a partner, family member or friend. It could instead be internalised and become negative self - talk or self - harm. 
Flight: The same bodily and hormonal response as "fight mode", however your instinct is to run and get out of the situation that you are in. This could look like literally jumping out of your chair and leaving the room, or it could become internalised like daydreaming where you might say things like "I need to get out of this relationship, I can't do this, I have to quit my job, etc."
Freeze: Your body feels like it goes into "shut down mode", it becomes much harder to think, you may experience intense brain fog, fatigue, numbing of emotion and the feeling of not being present in your body.
Fawn: This is where we go into "people pleasing mode". There is an intense need for external approval and reassurance. This is where we "become small", like the Fawn, in response to whom we deem more powerful, as a way to feel safe.

How might Psychotherapy help?

  • Bring an awareness to how our body responds to stress, therefore enabling you to begin to cultivate solutions that can alleviate and shorten the duration of time spent in that state. 
  • Help you to become aware of your Adaptive Survival States: Fight, Flight, Freeze or Fawn and learn how to befriend them.
  • Support your capacity in re - finding your resilience, bringing yourself back into balance through self - regulation. 
  • Assist you in re - opening a window or door of connection to partners, family members, and/ or friends when you most need it.
If you are struggling to conceive, seek the medical attention of a Fertility Specialist sooner rather than later. Tracking your symptoms with an evidence - based app can also support you in making informed decisions.