For many couples, the struggle to conceive is one of the most devastating and strenuous challenges they’ll face. It seems natural, in theory; when you want to have a family, you’ll simply try a few times and take a pregnancy test before you receive the joyous news that you are, indeed, expecting. For those who are struggling, however, this can be a devastating setback. The good news is there are many fertility therapies and ways to cope with the heartache.
Infertility: A Big Challenge
Infertility is sometimes linked to a health condition, but many couples go through dozens of tests only to come up empty-handed. While a woman’s body produces 30 to 40 eggs at the start of every menstrual cycle, only one or two will fertilize and mature during conception.
But before couples begin to explore the underlying causes of their struggle to conceive a child, it’s important to acknowledge the impact infertility has on a relationship and make a resolution to work through it.
Coping With the Struggle to Conceive
The first thing every couple should remember during this period is that both partners are affected. Although women are likely to blame themselves or their bodies for being unable to carry a child, men can feel equally responsible as its their sperm that fertilizes an egg to begin with.
Men and women are both impacted by conception challenges, so you must be kind to one another and yourselves. Avoid placing blame and instead look for solutions together. Stress, diet and other external factors may contribute to infertility, but they are not things to criticize each other about. The more you focus on negative aspects, the more negative you become.
You undoubtedly want your child to be conceived from a place of love. In order to make that happen, you have to remain positive, talk through negative emotions and always remember to support and encourage one another. If you would like to offer a criticism, make sure that you give it constructively. Focus on delivering feedback for the improvement of your relationship and family, not to cast blame or make someone take responsibility for your struggles.
What to Do When You Can’t Conceive
There are, thankfully, a multitude of fertility therapies available today that can help couples start or extend their family. In vitro fertilization (IVF) and intrauterine insemination (IUI) are two of the most common forms of fertility treatment, but you may be able to undergo some other form of therapy that allows you to conceive a child on your own.
A couple should first meet with a gynecologist and speak with a reproductive physician. Genetic testing may provide greater insight into the underlying cause of infertility, including chromosomal issues and hereditary diseases. Bloodwork and hormonal tests are also common, and in some cases, hormonal supplements may be prescribed.
Andrologists are urologists who specialize in male infertility; they can conduct a sperm analysis and determine whether or not IVF would be an effective form of therapy. They can also offer advice to couples that struggle with physical intimacy and conception due to medical conditions such as erectile dysfunction or premature ejaculation.
You must prioritize your health and wellness in order to bring the best version of yourself to your relationship. Fertility struggles can destroy your self-esteem and make you feel as if your entire life plan is impossible; it’s vital that you talk to a therapist and practice good self-care. You and your partner are both struggling in your own ways; talk to one another about alternative family planning, such as adoption or surrogacy, and continue to nurture your relationship.
Even though you may not be able to have a child right now, you are still a family. Healthy families are rooted in love, respect and support during difficult times. If you continue to exercise these principles toward one another, you will be able to find happiness and comfort in each other’s company as you chart out your next steps in your fertility journey.