In order to conceive, a sperm must fertilize an egg. If this does not happen within a year of trying, a couple is usually diagnosed as having fertility problems.
Couples who want to have a baby often experience a wide range of emotions when they are unable to conceive. While it’s no one’s fault if health problems make it difficult to conceive, it can be a frustrating and difficult time. Couples seeking to have a baby can access numerous resources and overcome challenges with the proper support.
Couples who have difficulty conceiving often experience the same range of emotions as those who are grieving. The first stage is typically shock or denial. It can be difficult for one or both partners to accept the reality of the situation.
Doubting the doctor’s diagnosis, even after getting a second or third opinion, is common during this stage. The second stage is often characterized by anger. This may be a result of feeling like hopes or expectations have been dashed.
The anger might be for one another, for the diagnosis or for life in general. The third stage is bargaining or guilt. This is the internal dialogue that begins with thoughts like, “If only I’d done this or not done that.”
The fourth stage of emotion is depression. You feel all alone and believe no one can understand how you feel. It becomes hard to want to get out of bed, hard to take pleasure in the things you used to like doing. You may even start to think about death and what comes after it.
At the final stage of acceptance, most couples come to terms with their circumstances and decide to undergo treatment or take other routes to have a child. This can be a difficult process, but with the support of family and friends, many couples are able to find the strength they need to get through it.
How you and your partner deal with the condition is a personal decision. Addressing the matter can be beneficial instead of ignoring it and allowing it to become an unspoken issue causing discomfort. However, some couples find that they can’t move past the hurt, and eventually they might separate.
Communicate with your loved ones about your preferences for how you would like them to broach the subject with you. Getting insensitive comments from well-intentioned people can be painful, therefore establishing some guidelines in advance is advisable. Oftentimes, people closest to us don’t know what to say because they are unsure of how to approach the situation.
It can be incredibly difficult to open up about fertility struggles to your loved ones. You might worry about how they’ll react, or that they’ll withdraw their support. If you feel comfortable talking about it with them, let them know. And if you’d rather not discuss it, let them know that too. The most important thing is that you communicate your needs to them. They want to support you, so let them know the best way to do that.
Grief is a challenging process that may cause emotional withdrawal, even towards the grieving party. Remember to stay connected as a couple and work through the stages and the journey together.