Infertility is not an easy situation to deal with. It is one of the most challenging struggles a couple can face in their relationship. Infertility brings a huge strain between couples caused by stress, anxiety, sense of loss, inadequacy, emptiness, or failure. Due to these emotions, the quality of life and the quality of the relationship can be affected.
Research has shown that couples battling infertility face enormous challenges such as psychological stress like those with cancer, HIV, and other chronic illnesses. There are ways to help couples cope with infertility, especially nowadays, where many people are open to discussing it, and many procedures/practices are available to enable couples to conceive. Listed here are some of the most common problems that arise when a couple faces infertility and ways to help them cope with it.
Social Stigma and Pressure – In many countries, having kids is strictly observed at a very young age. Some people will remind you that you are “running out of time” when you reach the age of ’30s and you are still childless. In one study conducted by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, about 12% of women in the United States of America between ages 18 to 44 struggle with pregnancy or carrying pregnancy when they conceive. People often ask questions regarding pregnancy which can be uncomfortable, especially if they can’t understand what you’re going through. Even though intentions on asking these questions are no ill-intended, they may still be hurtful or bothersome. You may choose to set a boundary and only share with those that you think might understand or that would be open to hear your requests, such as, not wanting to talk about it during an outing.
Marital Distress – Having sex becomes chore-like. Studies have shown that since timing of sexual encounters are important to increase the chances of conceiving, many begin to experience sexual performance issues and a decrease in sexual satisfaction. Tip: Keep in mind the ovulation times, however, continue to have sexual encounters spontaneously and without bringing up pregnancy before, during, or right after the encounter. Remember the things that elevate the sexual mood in the relationship, and focus on that.
Financial Problem – Thinking about the expenses during treatment causes additional stress between couples. The treatment cost is thousands of dollars, which puts couples into financial strains. Tip: Discuss as a couple the budgeting of the process and get on the same page on how you will address it.
Being informed about these typical issues that couples face during fertility treatments and addressing them head on can help reduce conflict and disconnection. So, if you’re going through or plan to go through a fertility treatment, check out these tips:
Talk with your partner about it: Whatever you may be feeling about your current situation, it’s important to have time to talk together regularly. Infertility issues have a different effect on an individual, and there will come a time when you feel and think the same, and sometimes you will feel different and distant from one another. Having the same goals and discussing ways to achieve them will play a significant role in maintaining a harmonious relationship.
Keep the romance alive: Remember and nurture the different parts of your relationship. Having fun and memorable times together will keep the intimacy within the relationship. Avoid thinking that having sex is compulsory in getting pregnant. Enjoy the moment and continue to develop love with your partner.
Seek professional help: Seeking professional help is a good way for you and your partner to build solid plans to cope with all the stress of infertility and be more open about your opinions. You can consult with a counselor or therapist individually or as a couple. They can provide a safe haven for you to talk about your feelings and mental health issues.
Infertility is a challenging phase for couples. It may not be the path that you choose to take, and the result is always unknown. But, choosing to stand together against the odds will strengthen the foundation of your relationship and bring you closer together. Be compassionate and acknowledge each other’s efforts to understand your individual and relationship challenges.