How To Manage “Fertility Brain” When You’re Struggling To Think About Anything Else
One of the more difficult aspects of undergoing fertility care is that, in many cases, your treatment plan can take time. Sometimes this means weeks and sometimes it means months. Your fertility specialist will be working closely with you to ensure the best possible results per your needs, but on a day-to-day basis, it can be challenging to live your life when your future family is not yet guaranteed. This can come from waiting for test results, news from your doctor or case manager if you're using third-party reproduction like egg donation, or finding out if you/your partner is finally pregnant.
These are important moments to be sure, which is why it can be tough to focus on other responsibilities. “Fertility brain,” as it’s been called, is when you experience issues focusing on other aspects of your life because your thoughts are deeply immersed in the fertility treatment journey. It is a common experience for fertility patients across all stages of treatment. However, even though it may seem like something you just have to deal with, there are ways that you can manage this struggle.
Try putting your energy into something else
For some people, being productive is an enjoyable way to refocus and recenter. This can include taking care of chores, completing projects, starting new hobbies, or taking a class. Committing a little time and energy toward something enjoyable or exciting can lessen the stress and pressure that fertility care often requires. This allows you to pull focus away from obsessing over fertility and put it toward something where the stakes are low.
Alternatively, focus on relaxation
The idea of adding more things to your to-do list may not be your cup of tea. That’s perfectly OK! Instead of packing your calendar, you can put your energy towards self-care and relaxation. This could mean going for long walks, taking a spa-like bath, reading more books, or binge-watching your favorite movies. Whatever helps you relax, now is a great time to give yourself some time and breathing room.
Get your thoughts out in writing
Even if you’re not someone who journals, writing out what’s on your mind during times of stress can be very helpful. Once those concerns are on a page, there is a sense that you can at least let them go a little bit at that time. Whether you prefer to write by hand or by typing, writing is a long-favored form of self-therapy that many fertility patients can benefit from.
Ultimately, experiencing fertility brain eventually will pass. The important thing to remember is that times of stress do eventually come to an end. With support and self-care, you’ll be able to get through even the toughest periods of fertility brain.