When you’re going through the fertility process and it’s not happening as quickly as you expected, you may not realize how much it effects the relationship between you or your spouse, much less, any of your other personal relationships, such as extended family and friends
You and Your Partner
Going through an infertility work-up can desensitize even the most sexually active couple. All of a sudden you are thrown into a situation where any sense of privacy is thrown out the window.
One of my patients recently told me a story of her hysterosalpingogram: the radiologist had trouble inserting the catheter and asked the x-ray tech to get some help. Before it was all over, five people were in the room, with her legs apart with all of her personal concerns on display. “Anyone here concerned about my modesty!”
It is understandably difficult to go from that circumstance, to making love with your partner. Naturally, infertility creates stress within a relationship and makes sex a chore and not something enjoyable. Men and women alike suffer the consequences of infertility treatment. When love-making becomes scheduled, making love becomes a process. What was once intimacy and feeling, can become very clinical, like an obligation.
What to do?
Have days with your best friend and partner, where you don’t talk about infertility. Take a “Fertility” break. Take time to remember what makes you happy about being with each other. Listen. Also, take time for yourself. It’s not all on you. You can always reach out to us if you need an ear to listen. You’re not alone in this. It’s also OK to schedule fun stuff.
Friends and Family
Just as you may not know what to say, facing something that you’ve never dealt with, friends and family are not often experts in dealing with infertility. Sometimes we have friends who want to be helpful, but they oftentimes fail to hit the mark. When that happens, you’d like to just be left alone.
When it comes to your closest friends, let them know how infertility effects you, what your comfortable doing and not doing. Be up front with them. If it’s a baby shower and you’re not up for it, let them know. If it’s a get together and all the babies/kids are included, take a pass and schedule some “girl time” for another date. Be your own advocate during this difficult time.