Testing - One, Two, Three

Initial Shock

The experience of infertility is a very personal one and can often cause couples to withdraw into themselves.  It is difficult to talk about the matter and certainly the range of emotions is extensive.  Realizing the situation and acknowledging it can leave them in shock and dismay.  Feeling frustrated and angry, stress accelerates and both members of the couple have many things to deal with as they try to find a clear path. 

What Do We Do Next?

After several trips to medical professionals for evaluations a new set of stress causers sets in.  This difficult time requires the couple to become educated about infertility and the overriding fear that they may never have a family is constantly on their minds.  It's a time for them to be supportive of one another, communicative with one another and hopefully seeking connection with others who either are or have been in their position.  Questions must be answered, information gathered and a plan determined as to treatment possibilities.

The Treatment Trauma

As the couple has acknowledged that their infertility is something they are going to deal with together, they will begin the treatment process.  By the time they reach this point, their infertility has taken over their lives and feelings of anger and resentment may begin to creep in.  It's all they talk and think about and their emotions rise from pinnacle to pinnacle, with deep valleys in-between.  The once free and spontaneous relationship they shared feels regimented and stiff.  The treatments are mentally exhausting and physically demanding and the couple can feel anger over the idea that they're spending so much time, energy and money on something with no guarantee.  Many women in this kind of situation feel the burden of injustice that infertility has been their lot while other women can have babies without a problem.  Infertility drugs have a profound effect on the hormonal balances in a woman and emotions can swing out of control.  Intimacy may be resented as it potentially can be seen as a failure - which generates feelings of inadequacy within the man. 

Coping With The Process

In order to help maintain a sense of control, couples can keep good records of their treatments and paperwork so that insurance coverage can be handled properly.  In spite of the incredible stress, it is important to remember that each person handles the stress differently.  Communicate, but don't push one another.  If possible, focus on things outside of the treatments and consider some helpful changes to your lifestyle if the treatments become overwhelming.  When the emotional limit is reached, unload or debrief.  Bottled emotion is unhealthy both physically and mentally.  Baby-sex is part of the package, so acceptance of that fact leaves the door open for "dates" and fun-sex at other times of the month.  By maintaining intimacy in the relationship it helps to secure the bond of togetherness.

Effective treatment includes hope and remembering that neither person is to blame for any failure to respond to therapy.  Staying positive helps to make the situation manageable and even if it takes a while, success is possible.