Caring for your relationship during fertility treatment
What can we do to care for our relationship?
Communication means talking to your partner. It is very important to talk openly about any fears or worries you might have.
Discuss your fears
If you are having difficulties becoming pregnant you may have many fears such as not becoming pregnant, financial worries or fears that your relationship will break down. This is especially important for the partner who has the infertility diagnosis. Open and honest conversations can help clear the air and provide reassurance for you both.
Listen as well as talk
You and your partner may have differing ideas on the best options for treatment. If treatment is unsuccessful, making the decision to stop treatment can cause lots of tension. Sometimes, one partner would like to explore all avenues of treatment, whilst their partner might wish to stop treatment altogether.
Although you need to talk to your partner about your feelings, it is just as important to listen to what they have to say. Try not to become defensive if they say something you would rather not hear. Their opinion is as important as yours.
Do not let fertility take over
Although it is important to talk about your feelings, try not to have every conversation revolve around becoming pregnant. Make a conscious decision to talk about other things happening in your lives. If it helps, set aside a specific period of time each day to talk about fertility issues and for the rest of the day talk about other things which are important to you both.
Remember: Responsibility for open communication in a relationship is shared by both partners.
Keep sex fun
Many couples feel pressure to have regular sex when trying to become pregnant. Timing sex around ovulation can take away spontaneity that many people find enjoyable. There is a danger that sex can become a job to be done rather than an enjoyable experience between two people. Many couples feel they are expected to ‘perform on demand’. This can lead to tension within relationships. This sexual pressure can cause sexual problems. You and your partner may have difficulty becoming aroused. The male partner may have difficulties getting an erection and may be unable to achieve orgasm. Many couples report dissatisfaction with their sexual lives.
It is important to keep the romance alive by going on regular ‘dates’ and spending time together that does not revolve around trying for a baby. Try to have sex for fun rather than sex to become pregnant. This is particularly true for the time after ovulation where chances of becoming pregnant decrease considerably.
Don’t be afraid to seek help
Sometimes it is necessary to seek professional help. Speaking to a counsellor can help you and your partner cope with relationship concerns. Here at the Waterstone Clinic it is a requirement for all couples to undergo one counselling session before beginning fertility treatment. However our counsellor is available to you at any stage during the process. This service is provided free of charge. Discussing your concerns in an open, supportive environment can help overcome worries you might have. Bringing issues into the open can clear the air and help find solutions. Please contact (021) 4865764 to make an appointment.
There is no doubt that infertility challenges the strongest of relationships. Giving extra care and attention to your relationship at this time is essential.