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Infertility and emotional Stress & Support


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  1. #1
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    Infertility and emotional Stress & Support

    Infertility and emotional Stress & Support


    Ref Dr. Aniruddha Malpani, MD and Dr. Anjali Malpani, MD,Prof .Dr. marie goldstein , prof. Dr.Julie Andersohn

    Sir William Osler, a famous physician, once said that human beings have two basic desires - to get and to beget. To have your own family is a universal dream This dream can become a nightmare for the infertile couple and learning that you have an infertility problem can cause painful and difficult emotions. Infertility is like a chronic illness that uses up a large amount of a couples' resources - emotional and financial - and involves the expenditure of a considerable amount of time, money, physical and emotional energy.

    What are the emotional responses to infertility ?
    Everyone's response to infertility is different depending on individual situations, emotional strengths, coping methods and personality. You will be confronted with the emotional impact of infertility before, during, and after treatment. It is better to prepare yourself for these difficult periods, so that with emotional support and mental preparation, you can successfully reduce the potential pain of infertility.

    Discovering that you have an infertility problem
    Although you may have friends who have experienced infertility and you're aware that it is a common disorder, the news is almost always unexpected. As you examine the issues surrounding infertility, you may find yourself experiencing some uncomfortable emotions. Some of the most common ones are:

    Shock:
    In most cases, infertility is not diagnosed until after one year of unsuccessfully trying to conceive. Because of this, you may suspect that you have a problem before finding out for sure. For many couples, infertility is very difficult to accept. Most couples initially respond with feelings of shock and disbelief. After planning for years to have a child "one day", you may feel that your life's plan has been put on hold. These feelings generally only last a short while and are not emotionally harmful when you recognize and address them.

    Denial:
    Another part of the emotional process is often denial. You and your partner may find yourselves saying "it can't be happening to us," and rather than confronting infertility, you may choose to deny the problem. However, this phase serves an important purpose and allows you to adjust to an overwhelming situation at your own pace as you work at resolving your infertility. Denial is only unhealthy if it lasts for a prolonged period and prevents you from accepting the reality of infertility.

    Fantasizing:
    For some women, denial also leads to fantasizing - and they dream of what life would be like with a child. They feel that all their problems would be solved if they got pregnant . They lose touch with reality and everytime they start treatment, they think they are going to conceive . They find it difficult to cope when it fails
    .
    Guilt:
    Guilt is an unfortunate but common response to infertility. In an attempt to determine why you are infertile, you may wonder if past behavior caused the problem. Some individuals may feel that they are being punished for past sexual activities or an elective abortion. Often infertile partners may feel that they are depriving fertile partners of the opportunity to have children. The inability to produce a baby may also make you feel you have let your family down because you have not been able to fulfill what is expected of you - especially so if you (or your husband) are the only son or daughter of your parents. In large joint families, this stress can be stifling - and fertile daughters-in-law are given special privileges from which infertile women are excluded.

    Bargaining:
    This is a common response - especially if you believe in God. You promise to fast ; offer penance ; offer money; and to be good for the rest of your life if He gives you a pregnancy. Many infertile patients have visited an endless number of temples and "holy men" - and done "yagnas" and "tapasya" - in order to conceive, often at considerable expense.

    Blame:
    You may blame one another for your inability to conceive, especially when only one member is infertile. Also, you may respond differently to the emotional aspects of infertility. For example, one of you may find that the other is less concerned about having a child. As a result of these differences, one partner may grow resentful because the other is not experiencing the same emotions on an equal level.

    Sadness and Depression:
    The number of losses associated with infertility makes depression a very common response. In addition to the loss of a baby, infertility represents the loss of fulfilling a dream and the loss of a relationship that you might have had with a child. What you are mourning for is the absence of experience - and this type of sadness can be especially hard to deal with. You and your partner may have even more difficulty dealing with these losses because friends and family often underestimate the emotional impact of infertility - and you have no one to talk to . The nature of infertility is such that you may never know definitely whether you are able to conceive or what is causing the problem. Your grief therefore has nothing to focus on - and there is the continual hope that "this will be the time" which can leave your emotions painfully suspended, creating a continual "hoping against hope" attitude. When someone dies, the death brings family and friends together to grieve the loss - and this helps in healing . In contrast, infertility is a very private form of grief - you grieve alone without social support because the loss is hidden.

    Hopelessness:
    Hopelessness is related to depression and usually results from the up and down cycle of emotions produced by infertility and its treatment. Most likely, you'll feel hopeful during mid-cycle when you've been treated and are looking to success. But if the cycle is unsuccessful, hopelessness can occur, and you may feel that you'll never become pregnant. Starting over again each month can make dealing with infertility especially tough. After the disappointment of several unsuccessful cycles, you may find it difficult to maintain a positive attitude. You may think that it gets easier with time - but it never does - and every time it fails, old wounds ( which you hoped had healed ) open again. After all, every time you start a treatment ( especially when it is a new type of therapy you have never tried before; or treatment with a new doctor), you always do it with the hope that "this" time it's going to work for you. If you didn't have this hope, no matter how small, no one would ever start treatment at all!

    Loss of Control:
    You and your partner have probably planned your lives so that you'll begin a family at the most favorable time. Many of us think everything is possible if we work hard enough - and not being able to have a baby is often the first time you experience failure against forces at work which are beyond your control, no matter how hard you try. You may have practiced birth control for years and waited until your careers were established before trying to have a baby. Discovering that you are infertile removes these feelings of control over your own life. During treatment, you may find yourself putting other parts of your lives on hold. This might include postponing moving to a new home, continuing your education, changing jobs, or establishing new relationships. The more you give up, the less in control you're likely to feel. Each treatment cycle can become a roller coaster of emotions with its ups and downs - the hopes of success and the frustration of failure.

    Anger:
    Anger arises from having to confront a great deal of stress and many losses, including the loss of control. It is not unusual to resent pregnant women, and friends and family who do not seem to understand the emotional tension associated with infertility. Often the anger is directed towards doctors - and this is one of the reasons why so many infertile patients change doctors so frequently.

    Isolation:

    Feeling alone is a common experience among infertile couples and coping even more difficult. Most people cannot comprehend and complex feelings associated with infertility. Insensitive remarks, such as "relax and you'll get pregnant," or "after you adopt you'll have a child of your own," are not based on fact and can cause a great deal of pain. It is not unusual for relationships to change if friends and family are unable to understand and empathize with your feelings. Let your friends know that what you need is not their advice, but their support.

    Infertility is an experience that continually fluctuates in intensity and direction, so that at different times you may have different needs and experience different emotions. There are no set "stages" in this experience, and, while, at one time, your emotions can be mystifying and frighteningly intense, at another time, you may simply feel numb. There may be moments when the fact of being infertile dictates every facet of your life. The way you learn to deal with the experience of infertility will also be different at different times. One day a particular strategy may help you a lot, but later on you may find it useless. At times you may find that the pain you experience is very destructive, but at others you may find it a useful motivating force in your life. It is important to acknowledge that emotional responses to infertility vary greatly, as do different people's methods of coping with them. Each person has to find his or her own way of coping with the infertility situation, and sometimes might need help to accomplish this.

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  2. #2
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    Re: Infertility and emotional Stress & Support

    How does infertility affect your sexuality ?
    Infertility brings about many changes in a couple's relationship. It may bond you closer together in unspoken sadness and hope - and allow mutual support and understanding which leads to a sharing never before experienced. Or it may bring out feelings of resentment, of guilt, and of despair. As the initial months of investigations turn into frustrating years it is not surprising that sex quickly loses many of its associations with pleasure and becomes instead an activity with a purpose.
    Failure to conceive certainly destroys self esteem, self worth and sexuality. All these negative feelings are reflected in the bedroom, which is, after all, where all the 'problems' started.

    The psychological effect of a diagnosis of infertility on sexuality has largely to do with the self image. Fertility is one very basic expression of sexuality. The man with six sons in many cultures has more status than a man who has borne none - he is considered to be more potent, more virile.

    The emotional response to a diagnosis of infertility is a grief reaction. It involves many losses: those of potential children and the family planned and dreamed about, genetic continuity, the experience of conception, pregnancy and birth, the gift of grandchildren to one's own parents, the central meaning of one's life plan and marriage, and the procreative potential in sexual relations. It is common for a woman to feel "less of a woman" and a man "less of a man", at least for a time, when faced with infertility. Many men describe feeling a "dud", "sexual failure" and many other expressions relating to feeling emasculated.

    Women, too, often feel their sexuality threatened when faced with the possibility of not becoming pregnant. Women are probably more powerfully socialised into the expectation that they will reproduce than are men. When this is thwarted, there is often the feeling of having failed as a "proper woman", as shown in this statement:
    "I saw the blood (of the menstrual period) today. I feel weak and tearful. All the strength I'd thought I'd acquired just seems to have drained away. The discomfort serves as a reminder of my failure. For many women menstruation is a sign of femininity and potential for motherhood. All it signifies to me is my failure".
    How can you cope with the stress of infertility ?

    Even though the stress of infertility is often unavoidable, there are many steps that you can take to decrease the pain. First of all, both of you must recognize that you''ll have different feelings and different reactions at different times. If you expect your partner to behave in a certain way, you may create additional stress. Together, you should become informed about infertility and its treatment. Learn to focus on those factors which are within your control ( for example,, stopping smoking ) than those over which you have no control ( for example, your age). As you examine the treatment options and emotional stages, you can identify in advance the times that you will have difficulty. Then, as a couple, you can plan to make them easier. Talk about your feelings concerning infertility and its treatment. Determine if your

    expectations of one another are realistic, and accept differences of opinion that your partner may have.
    How can you share your feelings about infertility ?
    Sharing Your Feelings
    Sharing your feelings is essential when dealing with the emotional aspect of infertility. At times, valued friendships are especially important, but friends and family may not understand what infertility means, and they will sometimes make insensitive remarks. As a result, feelings of isolation may increase, and this could lead to depression and loneliness.
    Although it is true that many people do not understand infertility, it is important to remember that others don''t know what you''re going through unless you tell them. If friends make discouraging comments, try not to close them out. You may want to attempt to let them know how you feel and how they can help. Some of the following tips may be helpful.

    • Don''t assume that everyone understands your needs and what you''re thinking.
    • Don''t always put on a brave front. Friends and family may think that you are not distressed and don''t need emotional support.
    • Try to identify your feelings and share them. Putting your thoughts down on paper is often a helpful exercise.
    • Offer friends and family reading material concerning infertility. Articles or books with quotes from individuals who are infertile are especially beneficial.
    • Become aware of your own anger directed towards your body, your partner, and your friends. It is important to recognize its effect on you and your ability to communicate with others.
    • Examine your expectations of yourself and try to understand that infertility can lead to feelings of helplessness and loss of control.
    • Examine your expectations of others. You will be disappointed if you expect others to always be there for you.
    • Accept your own feelings and acknowledge that there may be a time when it is okay for you to avoid certain emotionally painful situations.

    How can you cope with your infertility in your daily life ?
    Coping with infertility in everyday living
    Undergoing treatment can "eat up" into your entire day - waiting to talk to the doctor, waiting to take your injections, waiting to do scans, waiting for blood test reports - it''s endless and all you do is wait! The treatment seems to take all day - and you don''t seem to have time to be able to do anything else. You need to take control of your time. While some waiting is unavoidable, a lot can be minimised. Can your husband learn to give you the injections so that you don''t have to come into the clinic for them? Can you get the blood tests reports on the phone? Also, learn to make good use of the waiting time - you can read more about your problem ; and also talk to other patients in the clinic - this often become the place for an informal "support group" meeting!
    The waiting to get pregnant also makes you put the rest of your life on "hold" you find you cannot make plans for the future because you do not know what lies ahead. Should you plan to go on a holiday next month - what if you get pregnant? Should your husband accept the new job, even if it means a transfer to another city and you will have to find a new doctor? This can be frustrating - not only are you not getting pregnant, but you also cannot get on with the rest of your life! You need to try to separate infertility from other important aspects of your life - and remember that you are a worthy person irrespective of your fertility. Women often have a harder time, because they have been taught that their life revolves around their family - which has yet to be started! Often getting a job is helpful, because it keeps you occupied and bolsters your self-esteem by confirming what you know - that you can accomplish useful things with your life irrespective


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    Re: Infertility and emotional Stress & Support

    How can you cope with your friends and relatives ?
    Talking to relatives and friends can be difficult when they ask awkward and thoughtless questions about infertility. Some typically painful questions include:

    • So when are you going to start a family? You two aren''t getting any younger!
    • When are you going to stop concentrating on your career and start on a family?
    • Well, I guess we''ll never be grandparents.
    • Oh, I have just the opposite problem - I get pregnant so easily.
    • I wish you''d take one of my kids - they drive me crazy!
    • I hear they''re having tremendous success with test-tube babies. Why don''t you try it?
    • You can always adopt.
    • Any good news yet?

    Questions and comments from others can be turned into opportunities for you to explain your situation more fully to close friends; or you can discourage further discussion. Be firm and pleasant - and don''t let yourself be put on the defensive. After all, just because a question is asked does not mean it deserves an answer, so with a smile, you can let them know that it''s none of their business without being rude yourself.
    Think about how you will respond to these questions - and plan ways in which you can successfully manage the conversation. There are emotional barriers between the fertile world at large and infertile couples - and you need to work to overcome this!
    Dr Epstein has described activities which you can use to help yourself at http://www.mindspring.com/~yepstein/activ.htm. Check this out - it''s a very valuable DIY resource !
    What times can be especially difficult ?

    Times that may be especially difficult
    Social gatherings such as weddings where the conversation focuses on pregnancy and children can be difficult to cope with. You''ll also inevitably have friends who become pregnant during your infertility treatment. The news that infertile friends have conceived with treatment can be bitter-sweet - you are happy for them, and know that this also means there is hope for you; but you feel it''s unfair that you are not the one pregnant, and sometimes despair whether you will ever be able to have baby. Furthermore, holidays and birthdays may bring added stress by reminding you that time is passing by without children.
    Time becomes the enemy - whether it is the incessant ticking of the biologic clock, or the endlessness of waiting for the next menstrual period. The few days before your next period is due can be hell for both of you. The suspense is killing - and you await every day with bated breath to see if the period has started. Each twinge of pain or drop of discharge is monitored carefully - and if the period is delayed, hopes start rising. Then, when the menstrual flow starts, all the castles in the air come crashing down, and you are inconsolable. You sometimes wonder - is it worth beginning all over again?
    Coping with treatment is difficult too - especially when you know that for most treatments, it is impossible to predict what the outcome is going to be. Also, with nature''s imperfection and today''s technology, the chance of your not getting pregnant in any cycle will always be more than the chance of your conceiving. Often the key to success may be to repeat the treatment several times but this can be pure torture! You need to be realistic about your chances of conceiving - this level headedness can help to buffer the disappointments and tribulations of failure. Some women feel that they must maintain a "positive" attitude, no matter what and put up a brave front to the world - but pretending to be hopeful when you are broken inside increases your burden.
    How can you regain control ?
    Regaining Control
    In order to decrease your feelings of helplessness and to regain control of your emotions, there are several things you can do. First of all, take the time to learn about your infertility. By doing this, you will feel more in control at your doctor''s office and you''ll be better able to understand the tests and procedures that you''re undergoing. Read about infertility treatment, and discuss your ideas and opinions with your physician. It''s also important to talk with all of your health care providers. For example, your nurses may be able to help you with troublesome emotions as well as medical questions, or a technician could explain test procedures and results.
    You need to make an "action plan" outlining possible courses of action as regards your medical treatment. For each treatment cycle, hope for the best and prepare for the worst. If you get pregnant, that''s fine; but you should know what do next if you do not so that you are not shattered when it doesn''t work. Many couples refuse to think about the possibility of failure and plan treatment on an ad-hoc single cycle basis. This is unrealistic and you are only fooling yourself. Being realistic allows you to cope with the ups and downs of treatment - and you need to have a time perspective which includes 4 to 6 treatment cycles, so as to give yourself a reasonable chance of success.
    During treatment, you need to set your own limits. Sometimes, treatment becomes a merry-go-round, which never stops and you find that you just can''t get off. Some patients get "hooked" onto treatment and never give up - at great pain and expense to themselves. Decide when you will stop treatment and which treatments you will try. This is a decision only you can make and it should satisfy you that you have done all that you want to - so that you do not have any residual feelings of regret later! If medical therapy becomes too stressful, consider taking a break. When necessary, make it a point to remind friends and family that these are your decisions and that you know what''s best for you.
    Little things that you do for yourself can make a big difference in how you handle your infertility. Write down positive things you have done or good things that have happened, and read them often. Plan a special evening, and share your thoughts and feelings with your partner. You and your partner may want to join a support group so that you can meet people who are experiencing infertility. It is also important to become more informed about infertility, so that you can share this information with friends and family who do not seem to understand the stress and pressure surrounding this disorder.
    Many patients find religious support at this time is very helpful - and a deep belief and abiding faith in God can help you immensely in tiding over this crisis in your life. Others use meditation to help themselves.
    How does infertility affect your marriage ?
    How Infertility Affects Couples
    Infertility is a medical problem that involves two people - and both of you remain involved even if only one person needs medical treatment. Attend medical appointments together if possible - it is very lonely and frightening sitting alone in the doctor''s office, and the support you give by your presence is very helpful. Sometimes the partner who is undergoing all the tests and treatment ( usually the woman!) may feel resentful and angry at all the poking and prodding. Blow off your feelings - but not at your partner - rage at fate instead. Chances are your spouse would do anything to take this burden from you. If you are the partner who is not being treated, you may feel strangely guilty that you are getting off "free". You may also be upset and blame your partner for the infertility problems - but being upset and giving needless blame are two different things. Some husbands are very upset about all the procedures that their wives have to undergo - and often cannot bear to see the pain they have to go through.
    Men and women generally respond to infertility differently. Generally, while men are concerned about infertility, it may be less crucial to their self-esteem and identity. Also, handling the emotional impact of infertility may be more difficult for them because they are not used to voicing and sharing these types of concerns - they are taught to bottle up their feelings. On the other hand, women frequently accept the label of infertile as a key aspect of themselves and who they are. In Indian society, the pressure to conceive is directed towards the woman, and it is often she who has to bear the brunt of its impact.
    It is common among infertile couples for the woman to be the much more verbal and emotional partner. This often leads to the wife thinking and talking incessantly about infertility, and her whole world now revolves around how to have a baby. She talks ( or complains or screams or cries ) about it and wishes her husband could feel the intensity of her pain. He tries to be supportive, but never seems to be able to do or say the right thing, so he gets "put off and shut off" and refuses to talk about it - exacerbating the tension even more. In order to help keep infertility from becoming an all-consuming event and to break this vicious cycle of one-sided conversation in which no productive communication occurs, the "20-minute rule" recommended by Merle Bombardieri of Resolve, is very useful. You need to set aside a period of time each evening to talk about infertility. Use a timer to limit each person to 20 minutes and let one speak and then the other. The person not speaking needs to listen intently.


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    Re: Infertility and emotional Stress & Support

    And another comment about sexual attractiveness:

    "I have always been told I was pretty. I like the way I look, and I feel confident in social situations. After my pelvic surgery, the doctor told me he had never seen a worse mess of adhesions in his life. He said it looked like a little kid had been let loose with a pot of glue and stuck everything all together. I am ugly on the inside and pretty on the outside. I would gladly have the reverse if it would make me a baby."
    Which are the times when sexuality is particularly affected ?
    There are significant periods which impinge on feelings about sexuality of the couple faced with infertility. These are:

    1. Trying to get pregnant
    2. Investigation and diagnosis
    3. Treatment
    4. Menopause

    1. Trying to get pregnant

    The usual advice for a couple trying to start a family is to have unprotected sexual intercourse for at least twelve months before having fertility investigations. This waiting period can be nerve-wracking ! Doubts about one's fertility almost always result in a heightened awareness of signs of fertility that surround us. Pregnant friends, noisy children in markets, media coverage of new reproductive technologies, hints from eager parents wanting grandchildren - all these can begin to erode the sexual self-confidence of the couple wishing to have children. Inevitably, sexual intercourse is timed for the fertile time of the woman's cycle. Spontaneity goes out the window as the sexual life of a couple comes to be associated month after month with procreating and the failure to conceive. Men often come to feel like a stud bull, and women may feel it is pointless to engage in sexual activity when it is unlikely to result in pregnancy.
    2. Investigation and diagnosis

    Those not faced with infertility would be staggered by the number, complexity, and invasiveness of medical procedures that a couple with a fertility problem go through in their search for an answer to why pregnancy is not occurring. As one patient put it - " It's like donating your body to science while you're still alive!"
    A basic procedure is the Basal Body Temperature Chart. Although useful from a medical point of view, it is also the surrendering of some very personal information about oneself, as shown by this quote:
    "There is no inner recess of me left unexplored, unprobed, unmolested. It occurs to me when I have sex, what used to be beautiful and very private is now degraded and very public. I bring my chart to the doctor like a child bringing a report card. Tell me, did I pass ? Did I ovulate ? Did I have sex at all the right times as you instructed me?"
    The Temperature chart becomes a way of ruling one's life - and ruining one's sex life. It is also a public declaration of making love. With the desire for a child becoming increasingly frustrated, life can become an endless maze of temperature changes, ovulation calculations, timing of sex and the disappointing signs of one's menstrual onset. Anxiety, depression and fighting over sex can often be traced to this source. "Ordinarily my husband was the instigator of sex. During my fertile time, I felt I had to seduce him. What quite often happened was that we'd end up fighting instead of making love."
    "It was pretty hard to feel an urge to make love when your wife is expecting a command performance."
    It is not just the physical charting but the mental charting (which may continue indefinitely) that is a source of stress, even if the partner is not aware of what is happening.
    "One of the things that freaked me out about charting my temperature was the accompanying need for the X's. I guess that is what brought home to me that we had stopped making love as frequently as we had used to."
    "The ultimate moment for me was when I found myself 'cheating' on the charts. I put in a few more X's here and there to make things look good...then I said to myself, " Good heavens - has it come to this ?"
    "At first it was quite exciting - I felt as if I was actually doing something. We would both look at the chart and go for, say, six X's in a row - in fact our frequency of intercourse increased I'm sure. By now we've gone through the stage of 'saving up sperm' and have hit the stage of almost total abstinence. I put in an occasional X so that the nurse doesn't get the impression that there's something wrong with our marriage."
    Providing a sample for semen analysis can also be stressful:
    "I looked around desperately for something to turn me on - there was nothing - not even soap. After 15 minutes I gave up - literally sore as hell."
    Most men feel their masculinity is 'on the line' when having this done, sometimes to the extent of being unable to produce the specimen. It is not uncommon for the man to become impotent for a short time while he is undergoing such procedures.
    "The first time it happened I thought - here it is - middle age. I'll never get it up again."
    While post-coital tests are painless and physically unobtrusive, many find them very difficult because they intrude so much on your relationship. There's the need to comply with a specific time, the rush to the surgery or clinic to keep the appointment, the embarrassment and real fear of 'failure' if all does not proceed as had been 'instructed'.
    "They told us to make love first thing in the morning and then come in. Well, what if you don't feel like it ? We're dreadful in the morning. We put the alarm on at 6 o'clock and we had the kettle on to make coffee...making love was the last thing we felt like doing...he hated it and I hated making him do it."
    The power play dynamics in the doctor-patient relationship takes on a new dimension when fertility is being investigated. Couples are desperate to find an answer to their difficulties and hence are compliant and rarely let the clinician know they are under stress ("not coping"). They must expose the most intimate aspects of their lives - their sexual relationship and their desire to have children.
    "There's a coyness about the way doctors handle sex. It's as if infertility has nothing to do with sex, yet it's everything to do with it. I never know whether I want them to assume that I don't have problems, or whether I want them to ask me if I do have any difficulties."
    3. Treatment

    A couple's decision to commence a treatment programme, such as IVF or Donor Insemination signifies hope and excitement that they can overcome infertility and produce children like everyone else. However, like the investigative period, it again signals a further, if not more intense, invasion of their sexuality and sexual relationship.
    Once accepted on to an IVF programme, most women are confronted at each attempt with the barriers to becoming pregnant, to become mothers, and thereby expressing a major aspect of "femaleness". The low pregnancy rate - about 35% per treatment cycle - means most will leave the programme with a reconfirmed sense of failure, at least for a short time, and certainly if they have had little emotional support.
    The use of donor sperm to cause a pregnancy, as in a donor insemination programme where the male partner is infertile, brings home to the man his inability to reproduce. Some of the feelings of inadequacy may have been worked through during the period following diagnosis, but it is not uncommon for these feelings to be rearoused when the programme actually begins. At most infertility clinics, the men are encouraged to be present while their wives are being inseminated. Some even do the insemination themselves (a painless and simple medical procedure). This encourages bonding between the couple at this time, and especially gives value to the participation of the husband in the act of the conception of their child.
    During IVF treatment, after the embryo transfer , most doctors will advise patients not to have intercourse. However, this does not mean that you cannot have sex ! Sex does not always mean putting a penis in the vagina - and you can use your imagination to give each other sexual pleasure in other ways - for example, by mutual masturbation.
    With nearly all forms of infertility treatment, rarely is the infertility cured, and clearly not where donor egg or sperm is used. For example, women with blocked fallopian tubes who become pregnant on an IVF programme, still face further IVF attempts if they wish to become pregnant again. A feeling of defectiveness may remain despite pregnancy and a live birth.
    4. Menopause

    Menopause is a time when all women are confronted by their sexual identity, simply because the physical signs of being a woman are changing forever. It is a difficult time of adjustment for many women, and for those with infertility it means saying goodbye, yet again, to motherhood.
    It is useful to ventilate feelings of frustration, anger, and feeling "taken over", as your sexuality gets trampled upon throughout the course of investigation and treatment. This will restore a sense of personal worth. Remember that it is normal, expected and almost inevitable that your sex life will take a beating for a time.
    It is useful at this stage to join a support group or talk to a counsellor - who can help you to separate sex from reproduction - perhaps by throwing away the BBT chart for a while, or taking a break in the middle of a treatment programme to have a romantic holiday.


  5. #5
    charuram is offline Newbie
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    Re: Infertility and emotional Stress & Support

    Hallo viji,

    It is a very good post but too lengthy.we want only short, sweet and instant remedies for our problem.
    Greetings,
    charuram


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