One of the biggest mistakes that couples make is waiting too long before they discuss having children. It may not be the right time at the very beginning of a relationship, but once you know that you want to take things to the next level it is time to get down to the nitty gritty. Before talking about how many children you both want, what you want to name them, and where you want to send them to college, there are some conversations you need to have with your partner about fertility.
According to US News & World Report, a Danish study of 47,500 women found that infertile couples were three times more likely to divorce or end cohabitation after unsuccessful attempts at fertility treatments than those couples who became pregnant. Being on the same page as your partner in regards to handling potential fertility problems may help you prevent relationship problems in the future. Having these discussions early on is also essential in order to avoid becoming more deeply involved with a person who may not be willing to go to the same lengths as you are to have a child, or has particular expectations of how far you are willing to go. So before you take the next steps, be sure to have these fertility-related convos with your partner.
1. Are We Ready To Be Parents Right Now?
You have heard so many stories from your friends about how long it can take to get pregnant that you have prepared yourself for it to take some time. But, it can just as easily happen on your first try. Are you and your partner ready to be pregnant right now? Do you have a vacation planned in eight months when you may be too far along to fly? Did you just start a new job? Are you financially ready? Within this talk, it's important to discuss about how you would handle an immediate pregnancy because, hey, those things happen.
2. How Long Will We Try Unsuccessfully Before We Talk To A Professional?
You and your partner should talk about the amount of time you are willing to try to conceive before seeking medical intervention. Discuss any factors that may affect this timeline such as your age, your partner's age, how many children you wish to have, and medical history. Baby Center recommends that women under 35 consult a fertility doctor if they haven't become pregnant after one year of unprotected sex. Women over the age of 35 should see a specialist after six months of trying to conceive.
3. Which Routes Are We Willing To Take In Order To Have A Biological Child?
There are countless ways to increase your chances of pregnancy depending on your diagnosis. Some women are prescribed medicines to induce ovulation, some try artificial insemination, others attempt in vitro fertilization (IVF). There are egg donors, sperm donors, and surrogates. All of these options come with physical, emotional and financial risks. There are religions that forbid reproductive intervention, and this may be a deciding factor for some couples. Discussing what you are and are not willing to attempt is important before you find yourself in this situation.
4. Would We Consider Adoption?
Adoption can be a long and difficult process. You and your partner should discuss whether you prefer to adopt domestically or internationally. Would you be willing to have an open adoption? Would you consider adopting a child from the foster care system? How do you feel about adopting a child who is of a different race, has special needs, is older, or has biological siblings also in need of adoption?
5. Can We See Ourselves Without Children?
Some couples accept their infertility as a sign that they weren't meant to have children and continue on to have a happy marriage and fulfilling lives. For other couples, not having children is a deal breaker. Having this discussion early on can prevent future heartache.