Guilt is a complex emotion during infertility. Learn how you can reduce these negative feelings and move forward.
There are so many factors you could be feeling guilty about during infertility. It’s such a complex journey to navigate – guilt seems inevitable.
Read our top tips to understand where the feelings of guilt are coming from, if they are healthy or unhealthy and how you can move forward. You can also listen to Episode 39 of our popular podcast which talks through in more detail about guilt during infertility.
Factors creating guilt
Where do we start! There are literally so many different areas of your life or fertility journey that could be causing you to experience guilty feelings. As we are individuals, these will differ but here are some common themes:
- Initially feeling jealous of other people’s pregnancies/families and then secondly feeling guilty about it
- Feeling angry then feeling guilty
- Feeling anger or resentment towards your partner
- Guilt about conceiving a sibling for your child or children and worries about age gaps
- Age – ‘I wish I hadn’t waited so long’
- Previous terminations
- Money spent on fertility treatments
- Providing grandchildren for your parents
And many, many, many other things!
Healthy v unhealthy guilt
Guilt has a purpose – it helps us assess whether we have upset or hurt someone, if we’re making the right choices and if we need to redirect our moral compass.
That is healthy guilt that says:
- Should I have eaten 6 chocolate bars rather than 1?
- Should I have shouted at my mum today when she was really just trying to help
- Did I do the right thing cheating on the test?
However, a lot of what we feel is ‘unhealthy guilt’. It’s irrational and serves no purpose except to make us feel bad and we don’t need more of that when trying to conceive!
Tips to help cope with guilt during infertility
Firstly you need to decide if the guilt you’re feeling is healthy or unhealthy
If it’s healthy guilt – what changes do you need to make, what lesson did you learn or compensating behaviour do you need to do.
If it’s unhealthy guilt, you need to find ways to move forward. You can start by realising no one is perfect and being realistic about your choices and who you are. You can’t do everything right all the time. You can also use some tools to help you cope with and move on from guilt:
- Can you change your situations or habits? For example, if you often experience guilty feelings when you go to bed at night – why not listen to a bedtime meditation or chat to your partner about your feelings before bed. Guilt can become a habit and if it’s unhealthy guilt, that’s a really unhealthy habit
- Meditations – listen to specific guilt reduction meditations or purchase our fertility specific meditation album here
- Communicate with those involved about how you feel. Be assertive, state what you need and be brave and open up.
- Use guilt reduction affirmation statements read regularly to change your mindset. Join our FREE toolbox to access 5 free guilt affirmations specific to fertility (and access much much more too!). Stick these to your fridge, mirror or phone screensaver so you read them regularly. Within a few weeks, you will notice your thoughts have shifted to be more positive
Above all, stop being so hard on yourself. Infertility is hard enough!!
It’s not easy keeping motivated and strong during infertility, so make sure you are supporting yourself emotionally on your journey. Remember, this is what we specialise in at Your Fertility Hub so tune in to our podcast, join our Toolbox or join us on Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest for regular inspiration and support tips.