How to Start the Conversation with Your Partner about Fertility
Doctors do not clinically diagnose infertility until a woman or man has tried for one year to conceive and failed. Infertility is diagnosed in people over 35 who have tried six months to conceive and failed. Many couples visit their physicians within six months of trying to conceive to find out why they are having fertility issues. Following a series of blood tests, ultrasounds and other diagnostic services available to investigate why an individual or couple cannot conceive, a doctor may recommend one of several assisted reproductive technologies (such as IVF, IUI or fertility drug therapy to increase the chance of conception.
What to Think About before Discussing Fertility with a Partner
When both partners are concerned about having trouble conceiving, it is naturally easier to start talking about what they want to do next. But when one partner isn’t as worried as the other about starting a family or dismisses infertility after a year of trying as “something that will happen when it happens”, it could lead to difficulties in communicating.
One way NOT to start the conversation is to say something passive-aggressive, such as “How come you aren’t as worried about this as I am”? Instead of beginning a discussion about problems conceiving with a confrontational statement, make sure your opening does not blame or put pressure on your partner. For example, you could say something like “I’m feeling a little anxious because this isn’t working out as I expected so I’m wondering if it’s time to talk about what’s happening”. Personal statements are less contentious than statements that convey what you are feeling in contrast to demanding to know what they are feeling or thinking. Of course, you should never attempt to “blame” someone for infertility issues either directly or by accusing them of not caring enough.
It is never easy to talk about fertility but keeping the conversation as encouraging as possible is essential to keeping the conversation moving towards a positive resolution. Always appreciate and acknowledge your partner’s input regardless of whether it is what you want to hear. Remember, the goal of starting the conversation about fertility is to eventually start a family because you love each other.
What Happens After the Conversation Begins?
Seeing a fertility doctor is the first thing to do after you and your partner have agreed it is time to take action. Men should have low sperm count tests initially before women begin undergoing a series of blood and ultrasound tests. In some cases, a low sperm count may be due to nutritional deficiencies, stress, smoking and even wearing extremely tight underwear! Making lifestyle modifications have helped many men increase their sperm count so that conception is likely.
When low sperm count is inherent, couples often turn to intrauterine insemination or IUI. An assisted reproductive technology used to increase the chance of pregnancy for men with low sperm counts and women with conditions impeding fertility, IUI is a common and popular option for couples who want to start a family.
Fertility drug therapy is another option for couples when men have normal semen counts but women are experiencing ovulation issues. Fertility drugs stimulate a release of hormones triggering ovulation and the release of eggs from the ovaries. This therapy is also used in conjunction with other fertility treatments such as in vitro fertilization (IVF).
Other minimally invasive procedures available to improve fertility include donor egg in-vitro fertilization and embryo transfer, intracytoplasmic sperm injection and embryo assisted hatching. When something is structurally abnormal about a women’s reproductive system, your fertility doctor may recommend a surgical therapy to help you and your partner conceive. Determining what is interfering with fertility in women when something other than a hormone imbalance is suspected involves a diagnostic hysteroscopy or a diagnostic pelviscopy. Samples of a woman’s uterine or cervical fluids may be taken during these procedures. In addition, polyps and fibroids can be detected with a hysteroscopy or pelviscopy, which may need to be removed to help improve fertility.
Viera Fertility Center in Melbourne, FL offers fertility testing for men and women and a variety of assisted reproductive technologies that can help you achieve your desire to start a family. Please call our center today at 321-751-HOPE to schedule a consultation appointment.