After receiving the news that one of the two partners in a relationship is infertile, a couple can often feel distressed, defeated. The two can be overwhelmed with feelings of pain, anger, helplessness, despair and so on. How can one get through this ordeal without exploding? We will address all of this in the following article.
After the devastating announcement of a couple's infertility, the couple faces three major challenges: emotional, sexual and communication.
After their discovery of infertility, the two partners are submerged with feelings of pain, anger, helplessness, anguish and many more. Infertility creates a crisis that can often be difficult to resolve. These feelings of powerlessness, despair and injustice are feelings that must be overcome. The pain that the couple is experiencing is rarely felt the same. In general, women tend to be more sensitive and open to discussing the issues at hand and their feelings towards them. On the other hand, men tend to be less likely to vocalize their feelings, which leads us to the third point, the importance of prioritizing communication within the couple.
Once the couple has been told they are infertile and they begin their treatments, it is very common for the couple’s sexuality to take a blow. First, at the start of the treatment, the pair may perceive intercourse as a means of conceiving and tend to forget the emotional intimacy and physical pleasure that it provides to them and their relationship. Other couples, during treatments, can experience the feeling that their sexual relations are useless since the conception will be done medically, through assisted procreation. Their sex life becomes controlled by doctors, injections and medicines, the intimacy no longer exists. When this occurs, both partners have to deal with a drop or loss of libido, be it theirs or their partner’s. To address these issues, it is important for the couple to make the time and effort for sexual activities and intimacies, but not on a timetable. They must remember that sexual relations between them involve tenderness and love. The couple has to set aside time to have a fulfilled sexual life despite infertility that will then strengthen their relationship and help them conquer this experience of infertility.
After the emotional and sexual challenges, there is the trial of communication, learning to properly listen, understand and speak to his/her spouse and more importantly to make the time to do so. As previously mentioned, women are often more communicative and expressive, while men are less likely to discuss their feelings. However, it has been confirmed that dialogue will allow the couple to remain connected and overcome the difficulty of infertility. One must speak, listen, understand and above all, be patient and respect the other. Communicating will remind both partners of their common desire to have a child and that they are both experiencing together the struggles of not being able to do so. After all, it can become crucial to remember that it is because the two people love each other, that they wanted to start a family in the first place. Even if one partner is seemingly less affected than the other, once they communicate how they are feeling, they are often internally struggling just as much. This is why it is important to have these discussions and properly communicate with your partner, remind each other that you are experiencing this together.
Remember to not be discouraged. In spite of these challenges, a great majority of couples emerge from this closer and stronger than ever. They support, listen and care for one another. Their connection develops through communication and they emerge united. Therefore it is very possible to overcome the crisis of fertility, as a strong, loving and supportive couple.