Dealing with infertility can be challenging. But by standing together as a team, you can give your relationship a strong base and cherish what you have, suggests Dr Anagha Karkhanis.
According to a recent report, approximately 27.5 million Indian couples face fertility issues.
While the causes are many, majority of them also deal with stress and depression of not being able to conceive.
Coping with infertility needs maturity, courage and a positive attitude.
Overcoming this setback is difficult but definitely possible.
You have to remember that dealing with the situation is important than running away from it.
Infertility is just a comma and not a full stop in the journey of life.
It is natural to experience emotions like sense of loss, sadness and stress and it is indeed possible to come out of it as a stronger person.
These are some tips that will help you:
1. Communicate with your partner
Communication is the key.
Talk it out to your partner. Let them know how you feel.
Try to understand the feelings of your partner and help each other.
Internalising things will only add to stress and would lead to other health conditions and depression.
Try to be on the same page as your partner as these testing times will affect your relationship.
At the same time, remember that everyone has a different way of facing problems.
So give them space and time to take stock of things if there is a difference of opinion.
Never indulge in the blame game as it can have very serious implications on your relationship with your partner and the rest of the family.
2. Don't miscalculate the aftermath of infertility
Don’t face it alone.
Don’t be under the misconception that it won’t affect you mentally.
If you feel overwhelmed, do access counseling.
Studies suggest that the diagnosis of infertility creates stress levels equal to those at diagnosis of serious disease e.g. cancer.
Don't marginalise stress due to infertility or ignore it.
Ask for help and counseling. Better to have support than to fail alone.
3. Comfort each other
Remember it is the two of you in this boat and you can become the perfect support system for each other.
Be there for each other, work as a team, have each other’s back, not only during the medical phase but also in difficult social situations and social conversations.
4. Talk or keep private
Being a very private matter you can choose on how much information you want to share with others or if you even want to talk about this topic.
You have full right to keep mum when asked about the condition or what you are doing about it.
Share only what you feel like, with whom you want to and when you feel like it.
Some couples join forums and groups related to fertility discussions.
This may help cope with the situation as you realise that you are not the only ones facing such issues.
5. Be genuinely happy for others
In the social circle that we live in today, you will come across many friends who are expecting children, who recently gave birth to a child, while you are fighting this condition.
Being happy for them goes a long way in your process of healing.
Jealous thoughts will only breed negativity and depression and make it that much more to maintain your focus on your goal.
Remember no two people are alike.
Some get there earlier, some later.
6. Don't forget to live a good life
Negative emotions should be like temporary guests and should never stay with you permanently.
Indulge in activities like going on a date, a movie or a holiday with your partner and enjoy life as you would be doing otherwise.
This will help you deal with the stress much better and in turn will positively impact your partner too.
7. Ignite the romance once again
While trying for a baby, the physical intimacy between two people can become mechanical and the lovely connection you two had may be lost.
Invest in making your relationship stronger by keeping the romance alive between the both of you.
Choose your partner yet again; don't focus on the negative emotions of infertility.
8. Another step forward
For most couples treatments will work, for some they may not.
Remember it is not the end, newer advances in medical science means that there may be higher treatments to pursue.
If you are not inclined for treatments consider adoption or surrogacy. Ample help and counseling are available for people who wish to explore these options.
Dealing with the stress of infertility is not easy as it is something that is unplanned and randomly knocks at your door.
By standing together as a team, give your relationship a strong base, nurture that special bond you share and cherish what you have.
Dr Anagha Karkhanis is senior gynaecologist, infertility specialist and director of Cocoon Fertility, Thane, Mumbai.