Australian Psychology Society This browser is not supported. Please upgrade your browser.

'Sarah was still not pregnant'

Mark and Sarah were both 30 and well established in their professional careers when they decided the time was right to start their family. Mark was working in PR and Sarah was a Media Consultant, working in a job that meant she often got to travel.  Unfortunately, after trying to conceive for a few months, and Sarah was still not pregnant, they decided to see their GP and have a few tests. That's when they received the bad news - Sarah had endometriosis and Mark had a low sperm count. Both were horrified with their diagnoses.

Sarah reflected on all the years she had been afraid of falling pregnant accidentally, and now she couldn't make it happen when they both wanted a baby so badly.  Before they had time to adjust to the news, they were sitting in the office of an IVF specialist - feeling overwhelmed and uncertain of why this was happening to them.

A few weeks later, and as they prepared for their first IVF cycle, they were referred to the clinic's health psychologist. She helped them make more sense of the emotional experience of infertility and they had a chance to ask extra questions of what they should expect in the upcoming treatment. They found that talking to the psychologist helped them to adjust to their new diagnosis and feel less afraid of what was happening.

The health psychologist even helped them find ways to explain their treatment to family and friends, so they didn't have to endure any more unwanted and unintentionally hurtful questions about when it would be their turn to have a baby.  Maybe most importantly, Mark and Sarah learnt to talk to each other better about their experience of infertility, and they found out how to move forward as a team, instead of keeping their infertility experiences hidden from each other.

Both talked about how relieved they felt to be able to discuss their experience, and how much easier it was to move into their first IVF treatment with the help of the entire fertility team, including their health psychologist.  They were thrilled a few months later to tell their psychologist that they were pregnant after the second IVF transfer and were feeling good again.

Are you an APS Psychologist? Email your stories to