How to Cope with Infertility: 10 Helpful Tips from a Therapist

Published on: 25 Apr 2016
Clinically Reviewed by Jill E. Daino, LCSW-R
How to Cope with Infertility

Updated June 22, 2023

Infertility is a complex, emotionally daunting, and often lonely experience. Unfortunately, it’s also common. According to Centers for Disease Control (CDC) research, an estimated 19% of married women in the United States have difficulty conceiving within 1 year of trying. 

It’s normal to feel like nobody understands what you’re going through as you navigate this time, but part of learning how to deal with infertility includes recognizing that others in your situation can relate to and help you. With proper emotional support, it is possible to manage the sorrows of infertility. 

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Strengthen your relationship through couples therapy you can participate in together or apart, at your convenience.

Given the emotional strain infertility can cause, seeking help from an online therapist can be hugely beneficial as you search for coping strategies and emotional support. No matter what stage you’re at, if you’re struggling with infertility, talking about your feelings might help you process them more effectively and offer comfort during this difficult time. 

Finding ways to manage your emotions and move towards acceptance is possible — here are 10 tips for coping with infertility:

  1. Check in with Yourself Often
  2. Practice Self Care
  3. Stay Present
  4. Talk to People
  5. Practice the Pep Talk
  6. Stay Focused on Work
  7. Be Aware of Infertility Depression
  8. Use Cognitive Restructuring
  9. Don’t Blame Yourself
  10. Join an Infertility Support Group

1. Check in with Yourself Often

First, know that infertility grief is real. Reflecting on how you feel emotionally and physically during this process is essential. Regularly assess your emotional and physical well-being by asking yourself questions like: 

  • How am I handling this situation?
  • What do I need right now? 
  • Am I being honest with myself and others about my feelings?
  • Do I ask for support from the right people? 

Can a relationship survive infertility?

Yes, relationships can survive infertility but suffer greatly along the way. You’ll both need to process the feelings of losing a child you had wanted as you come to terms with being unable to start a family how you envisioned. When you check in with yourself, be sure that your partner is part of the process. Don’t forget that they’re experiencing this too. 

2. Practice Self Care

Actively practicing self care can help if you’re struggling with infertility. Doing anything that helps restore equilibrium in your life will be beneficial during this trying period. You can practice self care by doing the following regularly:

  • Get enough sleep
  • Eat nutritious meals
  • Workout regularly
  • Connect with nature
  • Use relaxation techniques like yoga or meditation
  • Reach out to your supportive circle of friends and family when needed 

“Make time for yourself. This means you should be kind to yourself, your friends, and your family. Take care of yourself by getting enough sleep, working out, and spending time with loved ones.”

Talkspace therapist Bisma Anwar, LPC, LMHC

3. Stay Present

It can be easy to get caught up worrying about the future when dealing with infertility issues, but it’s crucial to stay in the moment as much as possible so you don’t become overwhelmed by anxiety or fear of what may happen next. 

“We can’t change the past, and we don’t have control over the future. It is best to keep your attention in the present. That way, you can truly choose to act in a way that will help you cope with stress and anxiety.”

Talkspace therapist Bisma Anwar, LPC, LMHC

Being in the present helps us concentrate on those elements we can influence rather than fretting about things beyond our reach. Try practicing mindfulness meditation to help you avoid living in the past or worrying about the future. 

4. Talk to People

If you’re struggling with how to deal with infertility, connecting with not only a close friend but others who’ve gone through similar experiences can offer insight into how best to manage the ups and downs of your infertility journey. Talking openly about your feelings could be helpful. You can connect to others by:

  • Joining an online forum
  • Attending local meetups
  • Finding a therapist that specializes in reproductive health

5. Practice the Pep Talk

It’s essential to remember that life will continue despite any challenges encountered during a fertility journey. Reframing your mindset and giving yourself a pep talk regularly can help you stay focused on what you can control.

How do you deal with infertility when everyone is pregnant?

When you can’t get pregnant, but it seems everyone around you is making a pregnancy announcement, it can devastate your psyche. Use your pep talks to remind yourself that you can survive this. If you know you’ll be seeing someone pregnant, practice how to deal with the situation so you’re not caught off-guard when it happens. 

6. Stay Focused on Work

Try not to let your struggles with fertility dominate every aspect of life, including work. This will be key to maintaining a sense of normalcy. A routine structure for daily activities — for example, working — provides stability and can improve productivity and overall well-being.

7. Be Aware of Infertility-Caused Depression

The relationship between mental health and fertility needs to be more widely discussed. An infertility diagnosis can affect mental health in many ways, often resulting in depression that can further complicate matters if left unchecked. Knowing the signs and symptoms of depression and when to seek help is imperative so you don’t spiral out of control or fall into a deeper state of despair and hopelessness.

“Infertility has been linked to an increase in stress, depression, and anxiety in both men and women, according to numerous studies.”

Talkspace therapist Bisma Anwar, LPC, LMHC

8. Use Cognitive Restructuring

When negative thought patterns emerge, addressing them quickly can keep unhealthy thoughts and behaviors from snowballing into a more severe issue. Recognizing and replacing unhelpful views with more reasonable, positive ones is known as cognitive restructuring.

For example, if you’re having difficulty conceiving, instead of telling yourself, “I’m never going to be able to have a baby,” try saying something like, “I know this process can take time — maybe it won’t work the first try, but that doesn’t mean we won’t have a child one day.” Doing this can nurture optimism instead of focusing on failure or sorrow.

How do I stop being angry about infertility?

Cognitive behavioral therapy can be effective in helping you let go of your anger about not being able to have a baby. Addressing your feelings with someone trained in processing this type of grief can be beneficial in learning to let go of your anger. Exploring therapist-recommended books about grief may also help you better understand and manage those difficult feelings.

9. Don’t Blame Yourself

One common mistake many people make when dealing with an infertility diagnosis is blaming themself. However, no one is responsible for your infertility. Both partners must recognize the importance of focusing on solutions rather than pointing fingers. In time, and with the right emotional support, you can learn to grow in the relationship together and move forward positively.

10. Join an Infertility Support Group

Joining a group where others share similar struggles can bring a sense of belonging and comfort, knowing you’re not alone on this journey. Support groups can be found online, via social media apps, and in specialized clinics and centers that support any couple facing fertility problems. 

How do I accept my infertility?

An infertility support group can help you get to a place of acceptance. It won’t always be easy, but the solidarity you find in a group can help. You can also speak with licensed professionals trained to handle infertility issues. They can offer personalized counseling sessions — whatever your circumstances are. 

Cope with Infertility Grief with Talkspace

Fertility struggles can be complicated and emotionally draining. If you’re dealing with infertility, taking care of yourself and finding a coping strategy is important. Fortunately, Talkspace is an excellent resource for those seeking help dealing with infertility. With the guidance of professional therapists, you can gain control over your feelings and get helpful knowledge on how to move forward with your life. 

Coping with infertility is possible when you reach out for help. With expert guidance, you can find ways to manage the grief and emotional stress of infertility and find hope for the future. Know that there is no timeline for how long grief lasts, but you can work towards healing from infertility grief with Talkspace.  

Learn how to deal with grief from infertility today.


  1. Infertility. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Published March 10, 2023. Accessed March 25, 2023.

Talkspace articles are written by experienced mental health-wellness contributors; they are grounded in scientific research and evidence-based practices. Articles are extensively reviewed by our team of clinical experts (therapists and psychiatrists of various specialties) to ensure content is accurate and on par with current industry standards.

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