You and your partner are having fertility issues, and you are distressed.
You don’t know where to go from here. You have so many worries and fears battling it out in your mind. But you and your partner will get through this together!
Whether you or your partner have been confirmed infertile, or you just suspect it, that reality can be painful. Maybe you’ve been trying for about a year, and you’re beginning to realize that something is wrong. You’re scared, you’re stressed, and you worry if your relationship can survive this or not. You want to know all your options going forward, and make a plan.
But it seems like such a long journey ahead of you. Infertility can take a great toll on your mental health. Your anxiety levels are high, you may be feeling depressed, and you know your partner is going through the same things.
You want to be a support system for each other, but the stress caused by infertility is wearing both of you down. How do you cope, and start to deal with this together?
Fertility issues often become clear after about a year of trying, with no success becoming pregnant. There are some cases where getting help earlier is advised. For example: if the woman is over 35, if there is a history of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), history of anorexia, history of PCOS, or if the woman’s menstrual cycle is longer than 35 days. But generally, the 12 month mark is when most couples consult a doctor.
At this point, various tests can be performed to confirm and identify the cause of infertility. Transvaginal ultrasound, blood tests, and semen analysis are all possible tests your doctor might order. After which, they might discover the cause to be one of the following: advancing maternal age, ovulation disorders, tubal occlusion (blockage), uterine fibroids, endometrial polyps, male sperm function, or endometriosis (see here for a full description of these possibilities).
So your doctor has identified where the fertility issues lie. You may be feeling eager to make a plan, discouraged, or a bit of both. But having an answer to your infertility may not improve the mental health struggles that it can cause. You may be feeling shame, or even fear that your partner will leave you if you are not able to get pregnant.
On top of that, any plans made to solve infertility can be costly (some solutions more so than others). And financial struggles are one of the most common sources of tension in relationships.
You and your partner may not totally agree on what your next steps should be. Maybe one of you feels the cost is worth it, and the other is wary of debt. And there is always the chance that treatments will not solve the problem.
These tensions can be stressful, and make you feel vulnerable and isolated from your partner. And you may also be suffering from depression as a result of these factors. You might be feeling like you have lost something, or blaming yourself. All of these thought processes can be troubling, and make you feel disconnected from your partner.
But this is the time when you and your partner need each other most. As in all things, communication is so important in maintaining your relationship. And we are here to guide those discussions that are so needed.
We will help you find ways to connect over your struggles as a couple. We will guide you through the process of making a plan for your infertility, navigating all the compromises that may be part of that.
We will also give you the space needed to work through the mental health issues that can come from infertility. This is a difficult time both individually and in your relationship. We will help you and your partner get on the same page as a couple.