Trying to conceive is an emotional time for any couple, and finding out that you're infertile can be a devastating blow to your relationship. It's not uncommon to feel a mixture of emotions, including sadness, guilt, and even failure. But when this happens, it's more important than ever for you and your partner to lean on one another and openly discuss your feelings. And there are conversations to have with your partner if you are infertile to determine how you plan to move forward.
Although the two of you may be dealing with different emotions, it's important for you and your partner to acknowledge each other's feelings and be on the same page. You will need to agree on everything from whether you are willing to consider adoption or IVF treatments to whether or not you want to discuss the details of your journey with friends and family.
Additionaly, if you are feeling isolated from those around you who are celebrating their pregnancies, it is important not to blame yourself and to know that you are not alone. A study of married women conducted by the CDC found that 1.5 million women are infertile. There are support groups and trained professional counselors who can help you and your partner deal with your feelings. Use this list as a way to start a healthy dialogue with your partner and determine the best alternative options to grow your family.
1. How Are You Feeling?
One of the most important conversations you can have with your partner is an open discussion about your feelings. Infertility can be a very personal issue, and there's no better person to talk to than the person who is going through the process with you. Baby Center advises couples dealing with infertility to help each other manage their feelings.
2. Would You Consider Adoption?
Adoption can be a great option for couples who are struggling with infertility. The National Infertility Association advises couples to discuss their willingness to commit to the adoption process, and to consider whether domestic or international adoption is the best option.
3. How Long Are You Willing To Try?
Both adoption and IVF treatments can be lengthy processes that can be mentally, emotionally, and financially draining. It is important for you and your partner to decide how long you are willing to pursue the option you choose before you reevaluate the situation.
4. What Is Our Budget?
If you decide to try IVF, you and your partner should decide on a budget for your family. According to Baby Center, IVF treatments can average $12,400 a cycle. It's important to know if your insurance will cover any of the cost, or if you will be responsible to bear the cost on your own.
5. Do You Want To Seek Outside Support?
Even if you maintain open dialogue with your partner, you may need a little help from an expert. As mentioned in Parents, a therapist or infertility support group can help you sort through your feelings and voice your concerns.
6. Do You Want To Share Your News With Others?
As mentioned in Self, feelings of shame are common for couples who are dealing with infertility. It can be uncomfortable to talk about such a difficult and personal situation with others, especially friends and family members who have children of their own. It's important for you to decide with your partner whether or not you want to talk about the situation with other people.
7. What Else Do You Have To Be Thankful For?
Infertility can be a devastating blow to couples who are trying to conceive. As mentioned in Psychology Today, if you are dealing with infertility, it is important for you and your partner to remember all of the blessings you do have in your life.
8. How Do We Nurture Our Relationship?
Whether you decide to go forward with IVF or to live child free, your relationship with your partner needs to be nurtured. As Iris Waichler, MSW, LCSW wrote, a big part of your future quality of life depends on the quality of the relationship with your partner. Remember to take time to take care of each other.
9. Are You OK With Not Having Children Of Our Own?
Once you've considered your options, you and your partner may decide that it is best to live without children. As the National Infertility Association notes, a decision not to have children does not mean that you are selfish or that your life will be empty. There are lots of ways to include children in your lives including volunteering and babysitting for friends.