Diagnosing The Cause Of Infertility
Evaluation & Diagnosis-Testing The Stress Levels
Once a couple has come to terms with the reality that conception has truly eluded them and they have decided that they will do whatever they need to do in order to have a child, the process of evaluating and diagnosing the problem begins. During this stage of the quest, answers as to why they are infertile are generally uppermost in their minds. This period can be stressful and expensive. However, the possibility of finding a diagnosis and ultimately a solution can fire hope into the situation. It is important to be in the care of a good practitioner who can answer questions and who is reassuring during the process.
Is Nothing Private Anymore?
Emotionally couples must face the fact that they are not in control. Doctors, lab technicians, and timetables for testing start to take over as daily routines are scheduled around ovulation and doctors' appointments. A sense of betrayal by your own body gives rise to questions like, "Why me?" As the questions and tests become more intimate and the costs begin to escalate, the temptation to be angry with people who do not have to go through the trials of infertility can surface. Sometimes this manifests as pulling away from family and friends. The feeling of being misunderstood, especially when well-meaning people want to give advice, further fuels the desire to withdraw.
The spontaneity wanes from intimacy and along with it may go the sense of sexuality. Sex is now functional rather than fun and even the doctor is involved. Feelings of shame and embarrassment may enter into the picture at the thought of needing outside help to conceive a baby. Others may not understand why you are going through infertility testing and this, too, can cause embarrassment and create the need to be secretive. Privacy is a past pleasure because of the invasive nature of the tests, and the feeling that "everybody knows your business." Doctors and staff at the clinic share your personal issues.
How To Make It Through This Stage
Through this period, it is important to read and educate yourself about infertility. Communicating your fears and emotions with your partner helps both of you to support one another. It is common for one or both of you to feel depressed or anxious so give yourself permission to work through the feelings when they arise. It helps to develop a network of friends, groups, or professionals who have been through this before and are able to assist. As much as possible, go to doctors' appointments together so you are both on the same page when it comes to information and what is required of each of you. In addition, write questions down before going to the clinic so you don't forget to ask for important information.
The evaluation and testing phase of the infertility process can take a couple to the edge very quickly. It is critical that both partners provide emotional support for one another and share a willingness to work together. There will be enough outside stress to deal with, so recognizing that infertility is a "couples" problem and approaching it as a team makes a very difficult situation less stressful.