The Importance of Peer Support during Fertility Treatment
Infertility can be a devastating personal experience. It has been shown to be related to impaired quality of life and psychological distress in both men and women equally. Individuals diagnosed with and treated for infertility experience a sense of loneliness, isolation, lack of control, social stigma and shame. Many find that they become frustrated with friends or family members who do not respond in the way they may hope or are unable to give the support they need during this difficult time adding to the feelings of isolation and despair.
The stress associated with infertility has been shown to be the same that one would experience after receiving an AIDS or cancer diagnosis. Taking proactive steps to care for yourself during this time and seek proper support to help guide you and lift you up throughout this process is imperative and easier than you may think.
A recent study found that connecting with others who are going through a similarly stressful situation is an incredibly powerful experience. In fact, it can make a positive impact on how one tolerates or navigates the fertility journey.
RMA of New York offers its patients offers two kinds of support — private, therapist-led sessions and an online peer support group. The online support group can be found on Facebook and is designed to provide a safe place to connect with individuals at all stages of this journey.
Facilitators from RMA of New York are active participants and can provide an additional level of support or knowledge that can be trusted. Members can also use each other as resources, asking about their experiences while undergoing treatment. Those who have actively used the online support group say that it has helped them feel a regained sense of control which is something that is often lost while undergoing treatment.
Infertility does not have to be a path you navigate alone. Join the online peer support group and connect with others on the journey and find a new sense of support and strength!