Infertility is an all round sensitive topic. As if it’s not hard enough, it can put huge pressures on your relationship. If you’ve been trying to conceive unsuccessfully, chances are you can identify with some of these 5 issues:
- Financial pressure. Perhaps you are saving up for fertility treatment and not knowing how much it is going to set you back. Or perhaps you’ve already spent way more than you bargained for, possibly racked up some debt and still no baby. Fertility treatment is a costly business, and you and your partner may have different expectations as to how much is too much and where to draw the line.
- Sex has become stressful. This was supposed to be the fun and exciting part about having a baby, but the longer your fertility journey goes on, the more stressful sex can become. It can begin to feel regimented, unspontaneous, and anxiety ridden. This can lead to performance issues and a drop in libido.
- Differences in how you cope. You both know you’re trying for a baby but you’re both coming at it from different angles. One person might be more upset or worried about it than the other, one might be really keen to make lifestyle changes to support the journey and the other one might not. This can lead to harbouring resentment, outbursts, arguments etc.
- Talking about fertility too much, or not enough. Infertility can be all consuming. It can become everything you think about. It can skew your sense of identity. So you might find that this is all you talk about with your partner because it feels so important. Similarly, it might make you withdraw or revert inward, and never talk about it, when it would probably be helpful to open up. Once again, we all deal with things differently, but an imbalance of how much you talk about the issue can put additional strain on the relationship.
- Blame. This is a big one, and can come in many forms! When it comes to blame, the first person we tend to point the finger it is ourselves. We think there must be something wrong with us and we’re unable to fulfil our calling of becoming a parent. Similarly, you might be fostering blame towards your partner, particularly if they are the one for whom an issue has been identified. Other situations where blame might play a role is if one partner has had children in a previous relationship, or if you’ve been pregnant in the past but chosen not to keep the baby.
The above five problems are very common and very real side effects of infertility, and they come at a time when partnership and a positive, loving relationship is so critical.
There is some good news though, they are all completely rectifiable problems and identifying them is the first step towards repair.
Working with a specialist nutritional therapist like me can help with all of the above. No, sadly, I’m not a relationship counsellor. However, what I can do is provide these five benefits in relation to the points above which will have a positive knock-on effect:
- Investing in my services is far cheaper than fertility treatment. Whilst I can’t promise to eliminate the need for treatment, I can promise to work with you (prior to or alongside assisted reproductive technologies) to get all of the foundations for fertility operating smoothly, to help you uncover and address any underlying issues that might not have been revealed with the standard testing, and to give support and accountability to both you and your partner to optimise your reproductive health. This means that whether you are investing in conventional fertility treatment or not, you know that you have done everything you can to maximise your chances of success.
- I can help you to understand your cycles and ovulation better so that you are empowered to know when and how much sex to be having. It’s all very well and good someone saying ‘have sex for enjoyment’ but when you’re feeling stressed and the pressure is on, it can be helpful to have guidance around this sensitive topic so that you know when you are having sex, it’s really counting towards baby-making. This gives you the chance to enjoy sex and lessen the stress/tension around it. I can also give you advice around sexual health, lubricants and use of other sexual aids with regards to their possible impact on your fertility.
- In my fertility work, I always work with both partners. This gives you the opportunity to work together as a team, and for you to understand one another’s thoughts and needs with regards to trying for a baby. I have invariably found that partners who may have previously been distanced or aloof with regards to the fertility journey, have been drawn in and become more supportive as a result of working together. I also recommend other practitioners for holistic therapies which can also build on this sense of teamwork.
- My packages include weekly check-ins (usually with the female though the male is always welcome to attend or check-in when they want to). This means I work with you to foster a positive therapeutic relationship around your fertility, and it means you have someone sharing your journey with you who is outside of your normal circle and who you can confide in without judgement. This means that if fertility is all you are thinking about, you have a protected space every week to focus on just that, with someone who is vested in you.
- Helping you to get to the bottom of things. Through rigorous assessment of both partners, plus more in depth functional testing if there are unanswered questions to be dealt with, my fertility packages mean that we can put blame to one side and have a pragmatic, evidence based approach. I work with you to really identify where the issue might be and put a plan in place to help you solve it. This way, you and your partner know that you’ve done everything you can to address any underlying causes and give yourselves the best fighting chance of becoming parents.
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