Dealing With Fertility Issues
Posted: Mar 14, 2015
For many couples, the joyous decision to start a family winds up anything but due to fertility issues. Millions of couples will face infertility, which is loosely defined as the inability to conceive naturally after 6 months to a year (depending on the age of the female). Infertility is painful, especially in a society where motherhood is glorified as the pinnacle of success for a female and women who make a conscious choice not to have children are often viewed as selfish or flawed. For those who want to conceive but cannot, it can be heartbreaking. There are treatments available but inexplicably most insurance companies refuse to cover them, and the cost is steep, adding to the stress infertile couples face. Adoption is another option but is also expensive and has its own risks. Couples who are finding it difficult to conceive should see their doctors, because the root cause could be something very easy to reverse. The male partner should get tested first-while it is common to assume fertility issues are due to disorders of the female reproductive system, it’s not uncommon for men to have low sperm counts or motility issues, and testing a man for fertility issues is a much simpler process than it is for a woman. Read on to learn more about causes and coping with infertility.
The causes of infertility are many and vary from simple hormonal imbalances to congenital disorders. It can also being idiopathic meaning no known cause can be found, and for women over 35, their fertility naturally begins to decline. Many causes can be treated with hormone therapy or surgery. If the cause is an irregular menstrual cycle, there are treatments for that too. For more complex cases, couples have the option of artificial insemination (a common method used by couples dealing with male infertility), in vitro fertilization, where egg and sperm are combined and fertilized outside the womb and the resulting embryos implanted into the uterus, and surrogacy, where the embryo is implanted into the uterus of a woman willing to carry the child for the infertile couple. It’s important for both members of a couple having difficulty conceiving to be tested-the sooner a cause is found, the better.
Infertility can put a severe toll on a couple. Sex becomes a chore, menstruation a cause for depression, and when you are struggling to conceive it can seem like everyone else in the world is getting pregnant. Ironically, stress and emotional turmoil can actually cause ovulation to be delayed or even stop, which only adds more stress. It is important to keep communication open and not to put any pressure on yourselves to conceive.
There are many support groups for those dealing with infertility, both online and locally. Your doctor can help you find one. These are safe places where you can express your frustration and fears to others who are going through the same thing. Counseling may be helpful as well, especially if depression and/or anxiety are becoming a serious issue. Hopefully you have family and friends to support you as well, but often times they can be well-meaning but cause only more upset, or just plain insensitive. Don’t be afraid to stand up for yourself and politely ask that stop saying or doing whatever you find upsetting, and should you have family or friends who are being disparaging or mean about your infertility, you have every right to avoid them as much as possible. Remember, infertility is not your fault, and doesn’t define your success or self-worth. There are treatments and support available, don’t be afraid to seek them out!
About the Author: Beth A. Stevens is a contributing author, nurse practitioner and instructor with a specialty in OB/GYN. She often recommends Florida Fertility to her patients who are looking for the best in vitro fertilization information. She’s come to rely on their tradition of outstanding service, quality and customer care.
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