When you’re trying to build a family and it’s not happening as quickly as you expected, you may not realize that impact that infertility will have on your personal relationships. This not only includes your partner, but your extended family and friends.
You and Your Partner
Let’s Talk about Sex…Wait, what sex? 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.
Someone was recently recounting her hysterosalpingogram: the physician had trouble injecting the dye into her so at one point six people were in the room trying to figure out what to do. “Hello, anyone else want to join us in here, my uterus is on display.”
It is understandably difficult to go from that to making love with your partner. Naturally, infertility not only increases normal levels of stress, but it can put a damper on our sexuality. Men and women alike suffer the consequences of infertility treatment. When it becomes imperative to have intercourse at specific times, making love becomes baby making. What was once an intimate moment can become very clinical.
Here are some ways to make sure you’re not neglecting each other
- Have “Fertility Free” days. Don’t talk about it, remember what makes you happy about your love.
- Listen. Remember, you’re both going through this together. While it may feel like you’re taking on the majority of the tests and stress, you’re not alone in this.
- Fun. Don’t forget fun. Schedule some fun just like you’re scheduling all the appointments.
Your friends who have not experienced infertility may not know what to say. And that’s ok. Just as you may not know what to say facing something that you’ve never dealt with either. But we all know with infertility, for some reason, people think they know what to say when in fact, they do not. Luckily we’ve put together somethings that you can pass along, to help guide them through a conversation.
When it comes to your closest friends, let them know how you’re feeling and be up front with what you’ve comfortable doing and not doing. 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.