Partner Support during Fertility Treatment: a How-to Guide
An infertility diagnosis can be an emotionally draining experience for you as an individual, but also as part of a couple. Regardless of whether the diagnosis stems from male or female factor infertility, you and your partner share the experience as much as two people can. Partner support needs to be a two-way street, where both members feel supported and seek to provide the other person with ample opportunities to express how they feel.
For many couples who experience infertility, relying on their partner is a significant part of the process because their partner may be the only other person in their life who completely understands what it feels like to be unable to conceive, or what it means to undergo fertility treatment.
No one person is the “problem,” it’s fertility.
If your fertility diagnosis is the cause for an inability to conceive, it can be instinctive to feel guilty, or if it is due to your partner’s diagnosis, to feel concerned that they will carry the burden on their own in order to lessen your pain. It’s important to remember that no one person is to blame – it’s fertility.
If as a couple you focus on one partner’s diagnosis instead of teaming up to work on a resolution, this may cause one partner to feel like the diagnosis is theirs alone. Maintaining a strong team mentality against infertility can go a long way toward fostering a healthy, supportive relationship.
When disagreements arise…
After receiving a diagnosis of infertility, there are often decisions that need to be made.
Will we pursue treatment?
What course of treatment?
When will we end treatment?
For occasions when you and your partner disagree or reach an impasse, it can help to take a step back from the issue at hand and simply consider all of your options. Educate yourselves on each other’s point of view, and see if there is anything you haven’t considered during the decision-making process. You can even reach out to other couples who have experienced similar fertility decisions online or via an in-person support group. Having all of the information in front of you when making a decision that impacts your relationship can make a big difference.
Of course, experiencing infertility can be overwhelming at times, but when you and your partner are able to support one another and make important decisions as a team, the journey to parenthood can become a little easier.
Contact Washington Fertility Center to learn more about your fertility testing and treatment options.