Infertility can impact your relationship: How to deal with it

Infertility is a common problem in couples these days. The inability to conceive after a year of unprotected intercourse is defined as infertility in medical terminology. According to the latest World Health Organization report of 2023, it is estimated that one in six couples worldwide suffer from infertility. It can be quite a trying time for couples.

The diagnosis itself can cause upheaval in a couple’s married life. This can cause extreme psychological and emotional stress. At first, couples go through a range of emotions such as confusion, feelings of denial, hurt, disbelief, anger, sadness, and a victim mentality of “why us”. All of this ends up being responsible for the loss of self-confidence and low self-esteem in many couples facing fertility issues. Later, in cases of long-term infertility, it can lead to a feeling of loss of control over fate, sexual dysfunction, social isolation and depression.

Often the partner who is diagnosed with a fertility problem may suffer discrimination and blame from the other partner. This can cause a lot of guilt, shame and mental anguish in the infertile partner. These intimate tensions can slowly seep into the circumstances of everyday life and lead to a strained relationship. So, how to maintain a healthy relationship while battling infertility issues.

Tips for maintaining a healthy relationship despite infertility issues. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

How to manage infertility as a couple?

Here are some ways to maintain a healthy relationship to effectively navigate infertility treatment:

1. Don’t shame your partner

Both partners need to understand that the diagnosis of infertility is equally stressful for each other. In addition, the partner with a fertility problem suffers from unwanted guilt and shame. This is the time when you need the support of your partner the most. Speak clearly about your issues. If you are not the victim of the problem, you should not feel ashamed or look down on your partner. Avoid bringing up the topic of fertility and its issues while discussing another unrelated subject.

2. Respond to everyone’s fears

One of the most common fears that couples avoid addressing is the fear that their partner will leave them if they are the ones with the infertility problem. Many women have a deep fear of being abandoned by their partner for someone much younger. It’s always better to address your fear early on in your fertility journey rather than later. If not addressed, the partner suffers from guilt, low self-esteem, and infertility-related stress, which can hamper the relationship.

3. Avoid resentment and misunderstandings

It’s human to feel sad and depressed when we don’t get what we want. At the same time, each individual has their own way of dealing with stress. Some like to talk about how they feel, others like to keep it low. Often times women don’t feel loved and feel strong resentment against their partner because he doesn’t care enough!! You have to understand that everyone has their own way of dealing with stress. Avoid misunderstandings and accept differences in your opinions and how both partners react to the same emotional stress. This helps nurture her relationship on her fertility journey.

Read also: 7 ways to cope with the stress of infertility

4. Communicate and ask for help when needed

Communication is the key to a healthy relationship. Talk to yourself and express your feelings. At the same time, you should know that talking about the same fertility problem every day can be depressing. It is therefore important to keep a balance. Share your emotions and convey your fears, but not all the time. Reassure each other. Keep the conversation short and light. Seek help from your healthcare professionals who can help clear your doubts. Sometimes talking to your close friends and family members can also help. Don’t carry the burden and stress alone.

infertility challenges
Failure to communicate will destroy a relationship. Image provided by: Shutterstock

5. Try laughing more

As stressful as it may seem, it’s always nice to add some fun and humor to your relationship. It eases the burden. Laughing together releases “happiness hormones” that not only make you feel better, but also help relieve stress. Never forget that this is only a phase, it will end soon. Remember what doesn’t break you, makes you. Keep hope and be kind to each other. Support each other and see your relationship flourish even in the most difficult phases of your life.

Remember that you will be able to go through your fertility journey with ease and without stress if your relationship is not affected too much! With these tips in mind, you should do your best to maintain a healthy relationship.

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