You are not alone
Incidentally, I refer to “(in)fertility” to signify the in-between ‘way of being’ while in medical treatments; neither pregnant nor non-pregnant, infertile nor fertile, in between both identities; a reminder of the unpredictable experience of (in)fertility and why this label of ‘infertility’ might be scary for a person due to it affecting their identity. Thus, “infertility” is a term I do not use as I believe it is inaccurate and unnecessarily stigmatised. I prefer 'fertility' or 'fertility impairment', since I believe this situation is temporary and fluid, and has a space to move on from to find an outcome.
Nevertheless, in medical terms (in)fertility is becoming one of the most critical endemic conditions, now affecting fifteen to twenty per cent of couples across the globe. Yet, the ‘emotional rollercoaster’ of (in)fertility and lack of psychological support remains under-researched. Thus, the reason why I am committed to working exclusively with clients struggling with fertility issues.
Wherever you might be in this difficult process of living with fertility impairment or a diagnosis of (in)fertility in this sometimes, isolated environment, my message to you is: ‘You are not alone’! It is an honour for me to work through this alongside you.
A space to honour grief
My passion for working with and honouring my clients' disenfranchised grief and emotions relating to (in)fertility originated from my own lived experiences of being diagnosed with 'unexplained infertility' (UI) that lead to twelve years in and out of medical intervention. Hence, the reason I believe so strongly in walking through and exploring ‘each and every’ one of my client’s unique experiences of living with (in)fertility. Since I work exclusively within this topic, I feel well-situated to delve into any aspect and stage of your journey with you.
Working with and researching the topic of (in)fertility psychologically from both the perspectives of a qualified counsellor and as a PhD researcher allows me the privilege of exploring your ‘untold’ stories with confidence, and in a trusted environment, while working towards your goals.
In a post-modern age
A space to find hope in an isolated world
In a post-modern age where we tend to deconstruct social taboos, still couples rarely discuss their fertility issues face to face with family and friends because of the stigma attached to it. Instead, women (in particular) anonymously join online forums to find information and sometimes secretly seek help to mask their misplaced shame. You would think that with 12% of women aged between 25 and 44 world-wide, a percentage equalling over 7 million women having been diagnosed with (in)fertility, that there might be more open discussion on this topic. Yet, most only share their (in)fertility diagnoses and related on-going experiences with their partners and/or ‘safe’ people in their social community. I understand first hand that the words of well-intentioned others or simply by being in the presence of babies, toddlers and families can trigger emotions in a person suffering with the effects of fertility impairment/medical treatments, rendering it sometimes less painful to take the ‘risk’ of discussing it with others at all. And there can lie the beginnings of an isolated world. I offer you a space to express your unique place in this overwhelm or how you feel it best to proceed from here.
Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ARTs)
Medical intervention and the aftermath
Fertility impairment whether it leads to a diagnosis of (in)fertility followed by medical intervention or not, is a complex and emotional process, that can be physically and mentally overwhelming; difficult to manage, to say the least. Also, what about diagnosed patients left to deal with the aftermath of failed Assisted Reproductive Technologies such as IVF and other related issues, such as disenfranchised grief, stress, depression, identity, relationship difficulties, and more? I have not only lived these experiences, but I have also discovered in my client work and research into (in)fertility that the need for support is expected to increase as the number of people delaying parenthood increases or issues in conceiving persist and therefore so does the number for whom assisted reproduction might not offer a solution. Also, 15% to 30% depending on the age ratio in studies of (in)fertile couples are diagnosed with ‘unexplained infertility’ due to ‘no’ abnormalities whatsoever being identified from all clinical examinations carried out on the couple. Whichever situation you unexpectedly find yourself in, we will work together in navigating this distressing turn of events.
37 Mayfield Gardens Edinburgh EH9 2BX, United Kingdom
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