Lack of Control and Infertility: How Can You Cope with the Psychological Stress?

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The lack of control feels unbearable.

You’re so accustomed to being able to succeed at the things you put your mind to and you just want things in this family building area to work, but will they?

Even though you and your partner have done everything possible to conceive on your own, there is still the psychological stress associated with your lack of control and infertility.

This can range from having to undergo all of the tests and procedures to watching your partner have to endure the process and not being able to help.

Infertility tests the patience of many couples, but that doesn’t mean that it has to control either of you.

Consider some ideas for how both of you can cope with something that defies regulation.

Understanding What Is in Your Control

First, when considering the issue of lack of control and infertility, it helps to understand what is actually in your control. Why? Because this approach is more strength-based than simply throwing up your hands and saying that it’s all impossible.

So think: What is in your power and control right now?

Some things under your control can include:

  • Adhering to the directives from your physician

  • Eating a healthy diet

  • Exercising when appropriate (and approved by your physician)

  • Taking the medications prescribed by your doctor

  • Going to your appointments

  • Connecting with others about infertility and its impact

When you approach lack of control and infertility from the perspective of what you can do, it helps immensely with managing the psychological stress.

Acknowledging What’s Outside Your Control

Next, it’s time to acknowledge what’s outside your control. Let’s face it, you need help getting pregnant. Otherwise, you wouldn’t be going through this process in the first place.

Whatever the etiology of your struggles with infertility, the result is the same. The main problem is that feeling that the one thing so many other couples can do easily, you can’t do on your own. And that feeling can easily leave each of you discouraged and powerless.

While unpleasant, it’s important that you both allow yourselves to feel those emotions. Don’t be tempted to just sweep them under the rug. That only leaves an elephant in the room that continues to contribute to the psychological stress.

Talk with Each Other About the Lack of Control

Be open and honest with each other about your feelings surrounding your lack of control and infertility.

For example, one partner may feel anxious about waiting to get started with your procedure or seeing whether or not you’re pregnant. In fact, they (and/or you) may be filled with dread because they are apprehensive about whether or not fertility treatments will work. And what happens if the procedure fails?

On the other hand, one partner may feel powerless because there isn’t much they can do besides help their partner feel comfortable and listen. If they could just make it so that they become pregnant, they would.

As you can see, both partners might experience psychological stress from different angles. In fact, this may be the most powerless you have ever felt in your life.

Remember That You Both Are Capable People

Yes, it is true that you can’t control your fertility. Yet, that doesn’t mean you are not capable of making this journey to overcome infertility. In my practice, I work with many clients who are competent, accomplished, and intelligent individuals. This is true both in their careers and personal lives.

Unfortunately, infertility doesn’t care about your accomplishments, intellect, or social standing. Thus, despite being successful in other areas of your life, it can still hurt a lot when you experience such an enormous lack of control in an area that means so much to you—conceiving a child.


Even though there is often a profound negative feeling around lack of control and infertility, that doesn’t mean all hope is lost.

Yes, you are experiencing psychological stress, but there are ways to manage it for both you and your partner. And remember, just because you are struggling with infertility doesn’t mean you are any less capable of a person.

If you would like to know more about how I can help you with problems connected to family building, please contact me.