10 Things I Wish I’d Known About Infertility

If only I’d known then what I know now about infertility


 

When pregnancy doesn’t come easy, it can be a difficult journey. Here are ten things to keep in mind when you are having difficulty conceiving.

There isn’t always a quick solution

There are dozens of reasons for infertility, and finding out why you are having difficulty conceiving is half the battle. It can take time (think months not weeks) before you and your doctor discover the root of your problem. Research has shown that the stress levels of a couple facing infertility can match those found in people fighting life-threatening illnesses. Try to approach the “discovery phase” with as much calmness as possible and take heart knowing that there are many solutions to this common problem.

Avoid placing blame

There may come a time when you and your partner know who is “responsible” for your infertility. The guilt that comes with being “the problem” is tremendous and completely unnecessary. Approximately 40% of couples suffer from female-related issues, 40% from male-related issues and 20% from a mix of both. Remember that it is no one’s fault, and that you and your partner are in this together.

Avoid the self-blame

As hard as it may be, try not to back-track through your entire life in search of that one moment (that may not even exist) that caused your infertility. This will do nothing but drain you emotionally and take away energy that you should be directing towards overcoming the obstacles infertility has put in your way.

Your doctor is your new best friend

It is important to find a doctor who you are comfortable with. You will be sharing a very personal experience with this doctor, so don’t settle for the first reproductive endocrinologist you see. Interview a few doctors and choose one who makes you feel respected and like you are receiving the care you need.

What works for someone else may not work for you

Try not to get discouraged with the barrage of opinions and “this worked for me” stories. Every woman’s body is different and every couple needs to choose which path will work best for them. Always do what is best for your personal situation.

Baby news will hit a nerve

Of course you are happy for Cousin Lisa and her growing bundle of joy. But at the same time it hurts you to see others get what you so desperately want. These feelings do not mean you are a bad person. The best thing to do is to acknowledge your feelings and do your best to move past them.

You’re not the only one

Approximately 12% of people of child bearing age experience infertility, so you are not alone. Find a support group or speak to friends (or friends of friends) who are experiencing infertility. They will be able to help you through the hard times and commiserate with you in a way that your fertile friends may not be able to.

Infertility can cost a pretty penny

In Canada, an average IVF cycle can cost up to $15,000 and most women at least two cycles for the procedure to take. Add to that the testing (which is, thankfully, covered in Canada) and other fertility drugs, and infertility becomes a major financial investment.

It will take over your day-to-day life

Daily injections, cycle timing and doctors’ appointments will begin to fill your calendar. If you are putting your fertility treatments before all else you may begin to find it difficult to plan trips and commit to social engagements.

Sex may seem like a chore

At this point, it is almost a cliché: infertility means having more sex and that’s great… right? The reality is a bit different. No one wants to have sex because they have to and nothing kills the mood more than a sex life dictated by ovulation. Just remember that while sex may begin to seem tedious, it is not because the sex is bad. Once your circumstances change, your sex life will return to post-crisis status.

Infertile is not a word that any couple trying to conceive wants to hear. But it is a manageable condition that does not spell the end of your dreams of a happy family. So try your best to stay positive while you navigate your way through the doctors’ appointments, ovulation charts and (ouch) self-injections!

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