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House Call: Dealing with Impaired Fertility

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Many individuals spend a good portion of their early lives dreaming of starting a family one day.

When couples are faced with infertility issues, many different emotions and coping mechanisms come into play. They often experience feelings of loss, pain, hopelessness, anger and loneliness.

However, men and women tend to cope differently. While women commonly find confidants with whom to discuss the issue, men often shy away from expressing how they truly feel about the situation and try to act as the ‘strong’ spouse.

Because of the myriad of emotions and coping mechanisms that are paired with infertility, communication and support among couples is absolutely essential. Infertility is one of the toughest hardships of a relationship, and couples must learn to discuss their feelings with one another in way that allows them to survive the situation.

One of the best ways to learn to communicate with each other, and to find guidance from other couples who are going through the same issue, is to join a support group. In collaboration with the Guilford County Department of Public Health, Cone Health Women’s Hospital hosts a series of ‘Coping with Infertility’ support groups for couples throughout the community. This five-session series provides couples with guidance on handling their grief, how men and women cope differently, maintaining intimacy, as well as spirituality, and deciding when to explore alternate options. The main goal of the group is to arm couples with the support and tools they need to move forward productively, and with contentment.

The next series starts Wednesday, July 17.  The session will be from 6:30 to 8 p.m.  To register, call 832-8000 or visit Coping with Infertility.

Spokesperson Background:

Charmaine Purdum is the group facilitator for Cone Health Women’s Hospital’s ‘Coping with Infertility’ program and the community health consultant for the Guilford County Department of Public Health.  Purdum has a Bachelor of Science from the University of Nebraska, and attended graduate school at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. She has led the ‘Coping with Infertility’ support groups at Cone Health Women’s Hospital for the past 15 years.