A disorder of the male or female reproductive system known as infertility is characterized by the inability to conceive after 12 months or more of frequent, unprotected sexual activity. The complicated issue of infertility affects both people and groups and has negative effects on the individuals’ mental and social health. Women in infertile relationships, in particular, commonly face violence, divorce, social stigma, emotional stress, sadness, anxiety, and poor self-esteem due to infertility, which has substantial negative social impacts on their life.
How can infertility affect a marriage?
Emotional strain and psychological stress
Grief, despair, anger, and frustration are just a few of the powerful feelings that infertility frequently brings on. As both couples may struggle to deal with their sentiments while supporting one another, these emotions may cause stress and strain within the marriage. Studies have revealed that infertile couples go through a lot of stress and emotional pain.
Both spouses may experience psychological pain, emotional stress, and financial difficulties as a result of infertility. Shock, despair, sorrow, anger, frustration, loss of self-esteem and self-confidence, as well as a general lack of control, are common responses to infertility.
Couples dealing with infertility may become angry and resentful with one another and occasionally wish that the conception process was different. Some couples may experience guilt and shame as a result of their infertility. Couples may struggle to communicate their needs, anxieties, and hopes clearly, which can result in misunderstandings and greater conflict. Couples who are experiencing communication issues will argue and avoid one other as a result. Although open and honest communication is essential, the anxiety of infertility can make it more difficult.
Challenges of sexual intimacy
A couple’s sexual connection could be harmed as a result of the pressure to get pregnant and the emphasis on timing sexual activity. Instead of being a personal expression of love, sex could start to function as a tool. The persistent concern with reproduction may cause a reduction in sex desire, performance anxiety, and feelings of inadequacy, which may weaken the bond between partners.
As couples may feel different from their friends or family members who are easily starting or growing their families, infertility frequently leads to a sense of isolation. It may be hard for them to be reminded of their own challenges when they attend social gatherings. The couple might stay away from interactions with others to shield themselves from more emotional suffering, which can strain the marriage even more.
Treatments for infertility can be costly, especially if insurance does not pay for them. A couple’s finances may be severely stressed and strained as a result of the cost of fertility tests, drugs, operations, and assisted reproductive technologies, which may cause the pair to grow apart.
How to minimize the impact of infertility on marital life?
Talk to each other
Couples may avoid talking about infertility because it is the “elephant in the room,” but keeping it quiet doesn’t make things better. You and your spouse should set aside some time to have an honest discussion about the matter, even though you may approach it differently.
To express your emotions and frustrations, set aside time each day. A good way to feel better is to express yourself. Pay attention to what your spouse has to say as well. Most essentially, decide how you’ll manage infertility and how much you’ll spend on therapy before talking about it.
Focus on yourselves
Although discussing infertility is important, avoid making it the exclusive topic of conversation. Couples frequently neglect their relationship because of the stress of trying to conceive a child.
Set a limit on how much you’ll talk about the topic, and then schedule non-fertility days so you can leave the house and have fun without thinking about having a child. For a time, make your sex life spontaneous as well. Ignore ovulation cycles and simply enjoy being intimate without worrying about attempting to have children.
Stop the blame game
Realize that you and your partner may have different perspectives on infertility. The partner who has been diagnosed with infertility could feel guilty and humiliated, while the other partner might feel enraged or resentful of them. Since infertility is frequently beyond a person’s control, it is advisable to refrain from assigning blame and instead show them compassion, support, and encouraging words.
Make space for love and enjoyment
You can still be intimate without the pressure of sex, despite the sensations of expectation, anxiety, and disappointment that it might elicit. Try setting aside a regular dating night or simply snuggle up sometimes. You two could learn a new sport, see a comedy show, or make a pie.
Taking action is important if you and your spouse are struggling with infertility before it causes issues in your marriage. One of the first steps you should do is to contact a fertility professional who can guide you through your options for therapy. The second is to seek out a therapist who specializes in counselling couples who have reproductive problems so they can manage the complicated emotions that can emerge.
What treatments might be useful?
Counselling for infertility
A certified medical health practitioner (MHP) provides fertility counselling to people considering or undergoing reproductive therapy to help them cope with the psychological implications of infertility. A couple, a person, or a group can get counselling.
Techniques for Relaxation
In addition to psychological treatments, relaxation methods have been repeatedly demonstrated to lessen negative emotions in a variety of medical patients; more specifically, they have been demonstrated to considerably lower anxiety levels in women receiving infertility therapy.
Although infertility may alter significant connections in your life, you may be able to make these changes work in your favor. For people who are dealing with infertility and mental health issues, there are several methods to get help. Recall that infertility is not permanent. It won’t always be difficult for you to get pregnant. Our fertility doctors, nurses, therapists, and support staff at 9M Fertility work together to provide individualized treatment that meets the highest standards.