Most couples discuss when to start having their children. They plan conception around careers or financial readiness. They feel that they have control over timing and then infertility strikes and that control is gone. Usually it is the female that is first to question why it is taking so long to conceive. She is more in tuned to her cycles and to their passing. Males usually do not want to admit that there may be a problem. The female is usually the one to bring up the need for medical intervention.
Fear is a normal emotion at this stage as they question what the possibilities will be. Are one or both of them sterile? Will they ever be able to have a baby? Who is to blame for their infertility or is it both of them? Besides fear a couple may also experience anger, denial, frustration, guilt, jealousy and self-pity. They may feel anger at each other, anger at their bodies, or anger towards the unfairness of it all. Especially men wrestle with denial. It is difficult for men to admit that they cannot succeed at what should be a natural act. Each negative test, each failed cycle adds to the building frustration felt by the couple. They may try many fertility aids that are available including ovulation kits and charting software only to be further frustrated at yet more failure. Guilt sets in as they realize that their baby dreams are not going to happen quite as easily as they imagined they would and they look to assign guilt. Usually they assume that they have done something wrong, which feeds guilt. Jealousy is bound to happen as they encounter other pregnant couples around them. They will pass pregnant women on the street, in malls, and at work and be slammed by the green-eyed monster as they realize that they themselves have been denied that desired pregnancy. As the couple grapples with all of these emotions conflict is likely to erupt causing friction in the relationship.
Infertility Discovery Stage Coping Tips
Join support groups in your community or online
Seek medical diagnosis and treatment if you are one or both are aged 35 or older and you have been trying for 6 months or longer. If both are under age 35 and have been trying for a year or more than you should seek help.
Understand that your partner’s feelings may differ from yours on different aspects of the infertility process.
It is normal to experience a range of emotions.
Communicate with your spouse during this process not only about what is happening but how you feel about things and what each other’s needs are.
Infertility Evaluation and Diagnosis
This can be a very anxious time. You want answers and must endure examinations and tests before you can get them. You may find out at the end of the evaluation what your fertility diagnosis is, and there are a few couples that are told that there is no explanation for their infertility. This stage besides being emotional can also be stressful, painful physically, and expensive. Not all infertility tests are covered by insurance, so the couple must weigh the cost of finding out why they are infertile, against other financial needs. This stage can be a real test of the couple’s determination to conceive and just how willing they are to invest time and money into having a baby.
Infertility Evaluation and Diagnosis Stage Coping Tips
1. Educate yourself about infertility.
2. Communicate with your doctor and your partner
3. Support each other emotionally during this stressful time
Infertility Treatment And Resolution
This is the stage at which the couple must decide how far they are willing to go to have a baby. Which treatments they are willing to undergo? How much is covered by their insurance and how much they are willing to cover on their own? Are they willing to drain bank accounts, take out 2nd or 3rd mortgages, take out loans? Decisions must be made and the couple needs to work together as a team to make them. The emotions intensify as the journey ends in success with a baby or failure with the acceptance that they will remain childless. Adoption may be discussed at this stage, as the couple grapples their options.
Infertility Treatment And Resolution Stage Coping Tips
It is important to keep good records of all treatments as well as financial records (medical records, insurance papers etc. )
Support each other, and listen to the needs of each other
Seek support from those who have gone thru treatments before you and can advice you
Communicate with your medical staff concerning how you are handling the treatments and how you feel about how you feel concerning decisions to be made.
Enjoy “couple time" that is separate from “baby-making time".
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