No one has to face infertility alone. Learning how to face this process of trying to conceive can be frustrating and seem incredibly demoralizing.
When trying to plan for a new baby, both men and women can feel like they are on a rollercoaster of emotions.
Dealing With Infertility
Infertility is a common issue that affects many couples who are planning to conceive. Part of the difficulty with infertility is the inconspicuousness of it all, as many people have to go through extensive testing to uncover the source of the infertility. In years past, many women have been blamed for infertility problems, and some women may self-blame for their infertility issues. More current research highlights that the assumption is false. Infertility issues can be caused by underlying complications with the male or female partner. Even when the cause of infertility has been made clear, many people feel demoralized at the prospect of their infertility. Many people question their gender with the thoughts of not being “man enough” or “woman enough” to be able to conceive, destroying their self-esteem. Individuals may also experience existential difficulties, depression, stress, and these difficulties can spill over into other areas of the relationship.
These factors can make it more difficult to engage in the sexual process of creating a child. As the pressure to procreate impedes on the process and the nature of sex becomes more mechanical and clinical, many couples may experience additional difficulties of achieving orgasm, having motivation for sex, or enjoying the experience of having sex. While hormone treatments, fertility drugs, and surgery may be part of the scope of treatment, couples can often lose hope or struggle with the frustration and sadness during these processes.
There is also an element of loss that can occur with infertility, as miscarriages become more often. This can be seen in couples who go through the process of in vitro fertilization, where the process of successfully conceiving a child is not guaranteed. This can be one of the hardest events a family can go through and may further damage an already stressed relationship. You and your partner may be grieving differently, or at different stages of the grieving process. Insight into these differences can be incredibly important in being able to communicate effectively to each other. Therapy for those experiencing infertility can be incredibly useful in facilitating this communication and healing process. It can be hard at times to remember that you and your partner are on the same team trying to solve a problem which may be out of your control. Therapy therefore can form a bridge to narrow the gap between the couple and also provide the essential emotional support that one or both partners may need.