IVF: Nurturing Your Relationship

Talk to any couple undergoing IVF treatment and they will be sure to tell you that the process combines stress and anxiety in equal measure.  Taking on such a psychological and physical challenge  can put even the most solid of relationships under strain with the goal of enjoying raising a child with the person you love gradually buried under a fear of the unknown. But with some useful tips, you can cherish this time and look forward to the future and all the blessings it has in store.

If you are the woman in the relationship, you may feel that you bear a huge responsibility to ensure you can conceive, your life-partner may also feel left out of the process uncertain as to the best way to help you through this major life transition. Below, we have outlined a few helpful tips to nurture your relationship throughout IVF procedures to guarantee that the end result is one where both you and your partner are supported and remain connected.

What a Woman Goes Through

The first step in nurturing each other is to understand what each of you is going through. If you are the woman, you undoubtedly feel a combination of excitement and emotional strain at the same time and have probably spent months researching everything from vitamins to alternative therapies. You want the procedure to lead to positive results, but you can’t help feel overwhelmed by the invasiveness of the tests, injections and examinations you are being subjected to.

The years of trying to conceive before starting  IVF could already have affected your self-esteem and manifested other emotional concerns, all of which are perfectly normal and understandable given the highly pressured situation. If so, remembering you’re not alone is so important as is expressing any anxiety to your partner. Communication is of the upmost importance during this trying time.

What a Man Goes Through

Because it is the woman who undergoes all of the physical procedures, men have a tendency to feel left out when it comes to the processes IVF entails. Men may feel that their needs are not the focus and although they love their partner, some can find it hard to support her as it is impossible to relate to the physical demands her body is going through. The important thing is to ensure that both partners have their emotional needs met and any questions that cause concern answered by the medical professionals at all of the appointments.

IVF is an incredibly isolating experience for men and women alike. Most commonly, women have a support network of family and friends to talk to when they need to, but typically men don’t share the same intimacy with those around them. Rather than bottling up the anxiety infertility often brings with it, talking to your partner or investing in counselling will keep the paths of communication open and prevent any anxiety harbouring between you.

Sexuality & Communication

Trying to conceive can put a serious strain on sexual activity. Making love can fast become more of a calculated process after several failed attempts at pregnancy when pressure and resentment can sometimes begin to build. This can lead to feelings of inadequacy for both parties, feelings of blame and anger can emerge.

Getting intimacy back on track is a very important factor in the success of IVF. It is so important that both people remember why you began trying for a baby in the first place to get back to a more positive and relaxed space so the excitement at becoming parents can return. Planning fun activities that you once enjoyed at the start of your relationship can really help. A guaranteed date night once a week where you both switch off your phones and give each other your undivided attention over a candlelit meal in a nice restaurant or at home in your pyjamas will give you something to focus on other than your fertility challenges. You might as well make the most of these precious times because there won’t be any romance when your baby/babies come along!

How to Maintain Love During IVF

The number one way to achieve a better relationship during IVF is to make your relationship your number one priority. Remembering the love that brought you together and why you have decided to bring a baby into the world is important in maintaining a positive relationship throughout the process.

The best way to keep communication open is talk about your emotions and feelings, no matter whether they are negative or positive. Avoiding communicating during particularly stressful times and instead setting aside time to talk in a relaxed atmosphere may lead to more effective communication.

Sadly sometimes IVF can bring out the worst in a couple, for others the challenge brings them closer together. Warmth, love and kindness will help you both feel connected and allow you to embark on the process to parenting in harmony. And what better environment to bring a child into than that?