5 ways to deal with infertility during the holidays

HOUSTON – One in eight women struggle with infertility and studies indicate their stress level is on par with cancer patients, according to experts at Houston IVF.

Holly Stevens has a bundle of joy to celebrate this season because of Houston IVF. She's speaking out about how to address infertility during the holiday cheer.

1. Plan ahead for what you can anticipate

“Deciding how I wanted to respond so that I wasn't caught off guard or had unwanted emotions rise to the surface," Stevens said. "So, I had responses prepared for questions."

2. Let the mood be merry and conversation be light

“If it's someone you don't know, maybe tread a little more generic and say what keeps you busy?” she said. “Not immediately, ‘Do you have kids?’”

3. Find a support network 

Dr. James Nodler, of Houston IVF, said he recommends his patients cope with infertility by finding support through organized groups, church, sports teams -- anywhere they’re comfortable talking about their struggle.

“However, you want to make that support network," Nodler said. "It works. Personally, the patients that I see that do the best are the ones who are open and honest.”

4. Don't be afraid to take a break from treatment

“It also avoids receiving potentially negative news,” Stevens said. “Avoiding any kind of news because, sometimes, if it's good news you may not be prepared to share with everyone and it can be difficult as well, so taking a break really worked for me.”

Nodler said that women who are not going to take a break from treatment should avoid alcohol over the holidays, but you do not have to avoid traveling. He said even injectable medicines are safe to travel with.

5. Talk to your partner about what you want to reveal

Before heading to family events or parties, make sure both partners know how they want to address family-planning questions. This will help avoid tension between couples if one is comfortable with revealing more information than the other.