One in eight couples struggles to get pregnant. That desire to become parents feels natural so when couples have difficulty conceiving, frustration is a common emotion. Infertility can be draining in several ways, physically, emotionally and financially. There are a variety of reasons that could be hindering pregnancy, but the good news is virtually all of those causes can be overcome.
If you and your partner are finding it difficult to get pregnant, here are the top five dos and don’ts of fertility to keep in mind:
Do See a Fertility Specialist
If you have been trying for more than a year to get pregnant, it is a good idea to make an appointment with a specialist as soon as possible. For women over 35, it is recommended to see a specialist after 6 months of trying. Because there could be a variety of reasons hindering pregnancy, speaking with a specialist can help you narrow down the reasons for being unable to get pregnant. Those reasons vary from couple to couple, and could include things such as low sperm count, ovulation disorders, fallopian tube damage, or more. Additionally, specialists can help you determine the right course of action, including ovarian stimulation, inseminations, in vitro fertilization(IVF), or even surrogacy.
Don’t Blame Yourself or Your Partner
Many couples who are unable to conceive blame themselves for not trying earlier, or for a variety of other reasons. While it is always easy to think about the “what ifs,” it is important to remember that infertility is not your fault. Just as some people have diabetes and other disorders, some people have infertility. It affects more people than you might realize, as nearly one in eight couples will experience infertility. Sometimes infertility comes from the woman, sometimes from the man and sometimes a combination of both. In about 35% of couples there is a female factor contributing, 35% have male factor and in 20% there is both male and female factors. 10% of couples have unknown causes but are still successfully treated. When it comes to infertility, there is not much you can control without the help of an infertility specialist.
Do Find a Support System
The emotional and physical strain infertility can put onto your relationship can be traumatic. In fact, research has shown that the stress levels associated with infertility are closely related to the stress levels of those facing cancer and heart disease. Being stressed over the issue can make fertility matters worse. Stress itself is not the root cause of infertility but it certainly does not help.
Look for a support system. Whether it is a friend, family member, or an infertility support group or counselor your doctor has recommended, having the ability to listen and speak with others who have had similar trouble can help you heal.
Don’t Shut Everyone Out
After dealing with infertility, it can be difficult to be in social situations where other couples are pregnant or situations where kids are present. Additionally, do not isolate yourself from your partner; they are a built-in support system and shutting them out can significantly affect your relationship. While struggling with fertility can be hard to deal with, isolating yourself can lead to depression and deeper issues that can further hinder your ability to conceive.
Similar to the above points, it is so important to communicate with your partner, your doctor, and other people in a similar position. The strain of infertility can start to affect every area of your life, but it is important to remember to work together and communicate.
Although infertility can be an uphill battle, it is important to remember there is a light at the end of the tunnel.