With the soaring statistics surrounding fertility struggles among individuals and couples, it isn’t surprising that fertility treatments are becoming more and more mainstream. Despite becoming a run-of-the-mill, discussions and acceptance surrounding assisted reproductive technology (ART) are still subjected to social humiliation and stigma.
While it is true that women are often put at the blunt end of the knife concerning infertility, even men undergo a lot of societal scrutiny. Despite these shortcomings, people are still prioritizing their health and opting for fertility treatments, which is commendable.
However, undergoing fertility treatment among couples needs to be teamwork. Given how financially, physically, and emotionally taxing the entire procedure is, having a shoulder to fall back on is a necessity during these trying and testing times.
This article will highlight the importance of couples being on the same page when it comes to undergoing fertility treatments.
In this Article
- 1 How does Infertility Affect Relationships?
- 2 Why Fertility Treatments Shouldn’t be a One-Sided Process?
- 3 FAQs
- 4 Conclusion
How does Infertility Affect Relationships?
Would you be surprised if we said that research says infertility is an extremely lonesome experience? Even with cohesive partnership and support, infertility can introduce drastic shifts in a relationship – some good and some bad.
Contradictory coping mechanisms are the key contributor to ongoing rifts among couples struggling with infertility. Not just love relationships, someone struggling with infertility might also negatively impact their relationships with friends and family.
Our emphasis in this article is to discuss how infertility diagnosis can introduce rifts in romantic relationships.
So, here are a few possible scenarios.
1. Impacts of Sexual Stress
Did you know anything about “timed intercourse?” It’s when couples engage in sexual intercourse when there is a peak chance of a successful pregnancy – basically when the woman is ovulating.
When it’s new, and you are just starting your journey to conceive a baby, things might not feel as strained even when you are timing the optimal time for having sex.
However, with a diagnosis of infertility, things might shift. What felt like an act of love between partners might feel forced and like a chore. This is sexual stress, otherwise termed “trying to conceive stress.” It can take a toll on relationships quite drastically.
2. Disagreements on Getting Help
Getting a diagnosis for infertility isn’t the end of the road. It is likely just the beginning. You move forward from it and get the help that you need to overcome the hurdle and try ARTs to conceive a biological child.
However, several couples often find themselves not being on the same page regarding seeking and getting help.
This can include a partner not wanting to see a doctor, not participating in the infertility treatment, or often being egoistic throughout the procedure.
3. Ingrained Fear of Abandonment
“What if they leave because of my infertility diagnosis?”
This is a very common fear that people with fertility struggles face after a diagnosis. It is a universal feeling that rises from a lack of self-confidence, feelings of incompetency, and negative self-talk.
Studies have found that these kinds of bottled emotions eventually hurt relationships negatively. So, if you feel something similar, put it on the table and resolve the issues with your partner. Communication is key.
4. Feelings of Resentment
This is another emotion that can be evoked in either or both the partners’ processing and struggling through their infertility struggles.
During their treatment, most couples might think, “Who has it worse?” These kinds of negative emotions later reflect poorly on the relationship.
5. Financial Strain
Although this might not have anything to do with emotional or physical constraints, finances are a big part of a relationship and even throughout the pregnancy treatment.
None of these assisted treatments are inexpensive, so feeling the wrath of the financial burden is quite common. Couples undergoing IVF treatments might feel overwhelmed with the finances that come with it.
Lack of communication often takes a toll on the people, leading to unrest, misunderstandings, and a constant state of resentment.
Hence, being on the same page and equally supportive of each other through the fertility treatment steps is crucial. We will talk more about that in the next part.
Why Fertility Treatments Shouldn’t be a One-Sided Process?
Fertility treatments require three things – financial stability and emotional and mental stability. Undergoing fertility treatments isn’t as simple as it looks. It’s not just about booking an appointment and listening to what the doctor says.
Infertility in itself is a very hard thing to process. Pair that with the burden of further treatments, and everything might seem like a burden. Having the support and understanding of a partner through this roller coaster is thus a necessity and not a choice.
Both partners must be on the same page before starting the fertility treatments. Understanding the process, the consequences, and the outcome is crucial for each partner.
Sometimes, even with these treatments, there are chances that the outcomes might not be favorable. Most couples go into the treatment with a positive outlook, only to be disappointed when things don’t turn out the way they expected.
Situations like these test the true testament of partnership. The reason why such treatments can’t and should never be a one-sided affair is due to the barrage of negative emotions it brings forth.
Most people with a diagnosis of infertility battle personal struggles related to self-esteem, depression, mental exhaustion, and feelings of being a failure. Having a strong support system through this entire ride is thus crucial.
Having an emotionally, physically, and mentally supportive partner throughout the treatment allows the one undergoing the treatment to take it with a positive stride.
How to be a supportive partner through infertility treatments?
Irrespective of the infertility type and the kind of treatments your partner is going through, it is important to stay by their side, reaffirm your support and provide them with the security net they need to process the diagnosis and get the treatment to overcome the challenge.
Is it ideal to see a therapist while undergoing infertility treatments?
Infertility can negatively impact an individual’s mental health and even affect the relationship. Talking to a professional therapist is always a better option if you feel unloved, like a failure, or not supported enough.
When is the right time to see a doctor after being diagnosed with infertility?
If you and your partner have been diagnosed with infertility, the next step is to discuss further options with a fertility specialist. There is no “right” or “standard” timeframe for seeing a specialist. It solely depends on what you and your partner deem the best for yourself and the relationship.
Fertility treatments are normal and should be discussed openly. If you struggle with conceiving, supporting your partner is crucial through such testing times. Even when you are opting for treatment for the management of infertility, having open discussions and an open line of communication is essential. We hope this article gives you all the basic ideas and tips you need to follow.