Overview

Therapist-approved resources 

Infertility is hard. The only way we make it though is by empowering ourselves through education and empathy. These resources can help you learn more about the science behind your physical and mental states and know that you’re never alone. 

If you have recommendations to add to this list, please let us know at concierge@rescripted.com.

PDFs

Links

PubMed: The psychological impact of infertility: a comparison with patients with other medical conditions

The results suggest that the psychological symptoms associated with infertility are similar to those associated with other serious medical conditions. Therefore, standard psychosocial interventions for serious medical illness should also be applied in infertility treatment.

PubMed: The psychological impact of infertility: a comparison with patients with other medical conditions
RBMO: Research-supported technologies to mediate the psychological effects of infertility: a review

New technology, such as mobile applications and internet-based programmes, may be a feasible option for reducing the emotional distress of infertility diagnoses and treatments. This review focuses on current and developing technologies designed to decrease emotional distress in individuals with infertility.

RBMO: Research-supported technologies to mediate the psychological effects of infertility: a review
FertilitySmarts: Let's Stop Arguing About Whether or Not Stress Causes Infertility

What we need to attend to is how profoundly infertility can impact the lives of individuals and couples struggling with infertility, and how to apply what we know to teach them how to get their lives back, how to feel physically and psychologically healthy, and how to steer them in the direction of conceiving a healthy baby.

FertilitySmarts: Let's Stop Arguing About Whether or Not Stress Causes Infertility
American Psychological Association: The power of the relaxation response

Today, scientists have shown that such practices lower heart rates, blood pressure and oxygen consumption, and they alleviate the symptoms associated with a vast array of conditions, including hypertension, arthritis, insomnia, depression, infertility, cancer, anxiety, even aging.

American Psychological Association: The power of the relaxation response
Harvard Health Publishing: Mini-relaxation exercises are a quick fix in stressful moments

Mini-relaxations are stress busters you can reach for any time. These techniques can ease your fear at the dentist's office, thwart stress before an important meeting, calm you when stuck in traffic, or help you keep your cool when faced with people or situations that irritate you. Whether you have one minute or three, these exercises work.

Harvard Health Publishing: Mini-relaxation exercises are a quick fix in stressful moments
Psychiatry (Edgmont): Gratitude, Well Being and the Benefits of Appreciation

The word “gratitude” has a number of different meanings, depending on the context. However, a practical clinical definition is as follows—gratitude is the appreciation of what is valuable and meaningful to oneself; it is a general state of thankfulness and/or appreciation. The majority of empirical studies indicate that there is an association between gratitude and a sense of overall well being.

Psychiatry (Edgmont): Gratitude, Well Being and the Benefits of Appreciation
PsychCentral: How to Deeply Nurture Yourself

Nurturing ourselves starts with identifying our needs. Take the time to reflect on your deepest yearnings and longings. Think about where you’re feeling empty. Where is there a gaping void or a small crack? Think about what you need emotionally, mentally, physically, and spiritually. Think about what a fulfilling, satisfying life looks like for you.

PsychCentral: How to Deeply Nurture Yourself
Nature Reviews Endocrinology: Dietary and lifestyle modification could prevent cases of ovulatory disorder infertility

Ovulatory problems are a major cause of infertility. Dietary and lifestyle behavior, such as low intake of animal protein and trans fats, and frequent exercise, can reduce the risk of ovulatory disorder infertility, but to what extent remains unclear. Chavarro et al. conducted a prospective study to evaluate the relationship between diet, weight, activity and ovulatory disorder infertility.

Nature Reviews Endocrinology: Dietary and lifestyle modification could prevent cases of ovulatory disorder infertility
Mindful.org: Getting Started with Mindfulness

Mindfulness is the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us. While mindfulness is something we all naturally possess, it’s more readily available to us when we practice on a daily basis.

Mindful.org: Getting Started with Mindfulness
Psychology Today: Six ways to do cognitive restructuring.

Cognitive restructuring is a core part of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). CBT is one of the most effective psychological treatments for common problems like depression, anxiety disorders, and binge eating. These are some CBT techniques you can try at home to reduce problems with your mood, anxiety, and stress.

Psychology Today: Six ways to do cognitive restructuring.
PositivePsychology.com: CBT’s Cognitive Restructuring (CR) For Tackling Cognitive Distortions

It’s in our nature to come up with schemas, or thought patterns and assumptions, about how things work. Without them, we would have to approach every problem as a brand new one, with no pre-existing experiences, problem-solving techniques, or lessons learned to draw from. The issue with these schemas is that they are not always accurate.

PositivePsychology.com: CBT’s Cognitive Restructuring (CR) For Tackling Cognitive Distortions
American Psychological Association: Open Up! Writing About Trauma Reduces Stress, Aids Immunity

Writing about difficult, even traumatic, experiences appears to be good for health on several levels - raising immunity and other health measures and improving life functioning.

American Psychological Association: Open Up! Writing About Trauma Reduces Stress, Aids Immunity
Cambridge University Press: Emotional and physical health benefits of expressive writing

Here we present an overview of the expressive writing paradigm, outline populations for which it has been found to be beneficial and discuss possible mechanisms underlying the observed health benefits. In addition, we suggest how expressive writing can be used as a therapeutic tool for survivors of trauma and in psychiatric settings.

Cambridge University Press: Emotional and physical health benefits of expressive writing
Dr. Lora Shahine: To Exercise or Not to Exercise While Trying to Conceive

One of the most common questions I answer as a fertility doctor is, ‘Should I exercise or not while trying to conceive?’ Women are left confused and often terrified of doing the wrong thing, and they may stop exercising completely losing a healthy way of maintaining fitness and decreasing anxiety – and a source of joy.

Dr. Lora Shahine: To Exercise or Not to Exercise While Trying to Conceive
ResearchGate: Effect of Yoga on Psychological Distress among Women Receiving Treatment for Infertility

Background: Infertility among women has been associated with significant psychological distress, anxiety, and depression. Yoga therapy has been found to be useful in the management of anxiety, depression and psychological distress.

ResearchGate: Effect of Yoga on Psychological Distress among Women Receiving Treatment for Infertility
Psychology Today: What Infertility Feels Like for Men

Sadness. Frustration. Anger. Shame. Steven experienced all these emotions when he and his wife were having trouble conceiving a child. Weeks went by, then months and years. With every negative pregnancy test and every early miscarriage, both Steven and his wife grew more despondent.

Psychology Today: What Infertility Feels Like for Men

Books

Conquering Infertility
Conquering Infertility
Dr. Alice Domar

Infertility is a heartbreaking condition that affects nine million American couples each year. It causes tremendous stress, can trigger debilitating sadness and depression, and can tear a marriage to shreds. In Conquering Infertility, Harvard psychologist Alice Domar—whom Vogue calls the “Fertility Goddess”—provides infertile couples with what they need most: stress relief, support, and hope. Using the innovative mind/body techniques she has perfected at her clinic, Domar helps infertile women not only regain control over their lives but also boost their chances of becoming pregnant. With Conquering Infertility, women learn how to cope with infertility in a much more positive way and to carve a path toward a rich, full, happy life.

Self-Nurture: Learning to Care for Yourself As Effectively As You Care for Everyone Else
Self-Nurture: Learning to Care for Yourself As Effectively As You Care for Everyone Else
Dr. Alice Domar

"This is a wonderful book about living with integrity not just toward others but toward ourselves as well. Highly recommended." --Larry Dossey, M.D. "Reading Self-Nurture is like a gift to yourself or any woman you know and care about." --Joan Borysenko

The PCOS Diet Plan: A Natural Approach to Health for Women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
The PCOS Diet Plan: A Natural Approach to Health for Women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
Hillary Wright M.Ed. RDN

In this prescriptive plan, dietitian Hillary Wright demystifies the condition by explaining its underlying cause--insulin resistance--and helps readers understand how diet and lifestyle can influence reproductive hormones and decrease risk for diabetes, heart disease, and infertility.

Fertility Walk: A Fertility Nurse's Guide Along Your Journey
Fertility Walk: A Fertility Nurse's Guide Along Your Journey
Tamara Tobias

The fertility journey is not easy, especially when the path isn't clearly marked. Tamara took many long hikes along her own fertility journey which is why she wrote this book as an analogy of a walk. Fertility walk serves as a walking tool and it guides patients and couples through the fertility process.

Unsung Lullabies: Understanding and Coping with Infertility
Unsung Lullabies: Understanding and Coping with Infertility
Janet Jaffe, David Diamond and Martha Diamond

For people experiencing infertility, wanting a baby is a craving unlike any other. The intensity of their longing is matched only by the complexity of the emotional maze they must navigate. Ground-breaking, wise, and compassionate, Unsung Lullabies is a necessary companion for anyone coping with infertility.

Videos

Managing Fertility Triggers featuring Dr. Alice Domar, PhD
Tips to Overcome the Stressors of Infertility Treatment
Fertility Wellness Series: How to Cope With Waiting
Communication ideas for couples going through infertility treatments.
How to Cope With an Unsuccessful IVF Cycle
Tips for Infertility Patients on Mother's Day
Stress & Infertility During the Holidays
FERTILITY FACEBOOK LIVE: Alice Domar, PhD
STRESS, FERTILITY & COVID-19 WEBINAR #1
STRESS, FERTILITY & COVID-19 WEBINAR #2