Dealing with fertility issues and treatment can be a stressful time for both men and women. A relationship can suffer due to the stress of trying to get pregnant, and sexual dysfunction can be the result of trying to time intercourse with the most fertile time.
The stresses on a couple’s intimacy, along with feelings of sadness and failure, can lead to problems with the overall relationship.
Couples may experience disagreements due to differences over when to get help, as one partner may prefer to wait while the other would rather seek help immediately. A couple may disagree whether to share their fertility issues, as one partner feels ashamed and embarrassed and the other feels isolated and unsupported. Whether to attempt IVF or other fertility treatments can also lead to disagreements, because of finances or intrusive procedures. And whether to take a break or stop treatments completely can also be a source of relationship tension.
There may be a fear that one partner will leave the other because of fertility problems. And self-blame and self-criticism can lead to higher levels of infertility stress, even if this is intended to take away emotional pain from the other partner.
Communication, talking to each other and sharing feelings and fears, is important for reducing relationship stresses, and compromise, finding a balance, can help if one partner wants to talk about fertility and the other would rather not. Relationship stress might may reduced by having fertility free days and reconnecting with each other by sharing other activities. And rather than going through the stresses of infertility alone, social support may also be a positive benefit.
At Muma Nurture we’re here to offer support if you are affected by fertility issues, pregnancy or related loss. Contact us today to find out more about the help we can offer.