What is Infertility?
Infertility is when a couple cannot get pregnant (conceive), despite having regular unprotected sex.
Around one in six couples in the UK will experience difficulties conceiving, this equates to approximately 3.5 million people across the country. There are many potential causes of infertility, with fertility problems affecting males and females, however, sometimes it can be difficult to find the cause. You can find out more about some of the conditions that can affect your fertility here: Causes | Fertility Network (fertilitynetworkuk.org)
Fertility Network UK can help anyone who is trying to conceive, going through treatment or living without children. They know there’s no ‘one size fits all’ approach when it comes to fertility, so that’s why they offer a wide range of resources and support, to include peer support groups, an online community, webinars, support line and a wealth of online information and fertility factsheets.
At Melo, we know the emotional impact of infertility is huge and can have a significant impact on your mental health and wellbeing. Feelings of sadness, frustration, isolation, tearfulness, inadequacy, guilt and anger are all common.
If you are struggling with your mental health and wellbeing as a result of fertility issues, you might find the self-help advice and resources below helpful.
Looking after your mental and physical health is important. Getting enough sleep at night, eating well and being physically active are all steps you can take that can have big improvements in your mental and physical health. See our looking after my mental wellbeing page for more information.
Fertility treatment is a long process with highs and lows along the way you might find Mindfulness or meditation helpful.
If you are feeling stressed, have a look on our stress page for additional resources.
Remember that if you have a partner, they may also have higher than normal stress levels whilst going through the rollercoaster ride of investigations and treatments. Learn to talk to each other and to share your feelings.
There can be a lot that demands your attention during fertility investigations and treatment, and it’s important to spend time doing something just for yourself. That might mean getting acupuncture or a massage, taking a relaxing bath, lighting some candles.
You may want to join a support group giving you an opportunity to get information and support, discuss services, listen to expert talks, and speak to others who really understand what you are going through.
Talking to friends and family may be helpful, there are a lot of emotions that come up during IVF and it can help finding some support
There is lots of helpful advice on the Fertility Network UK website.
If you need further help
If the information, advice, resources and courses on this page have not been helpful and/or you think you need more help, there are many free services available, including Fertility Network UK’s Support Line.
If you haven’t been successful after 12 months of trying to get pregnant, you should consult your GP and if you are aged over 35 or know that you have a fertility problem, you should seek help earlier.
If you are having fertility treatment at a licensed centre then you should have access to counselling services there. Do use them, they are there to help you.
If you feel things are impacting your mental health you could make an appointment with your Psychological Health Practitioner (PHP) or GP. PHPs are NHS mental health practitioners who provide a free service for people experiencing mild to moderate mental health problems.
Or contact another approved service/helpline. Some services are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
Last updated: 27.01.2023