Solidify your relationship against Infertility
About 1 out of six women will not achieve pregnancy within “normal” medically defined time limits based on age which range from 6 months to a year. This often sets couples off down the path of infertility testing and interventions.
Research has shown that infertile and invasive treatments can have a lasting effect on the marriage of infertile couples and on their relationship with their children. Research, has shown that the financial stress, the impact of psychological choices about adoption, sperm and egg donations and issues of unused embryos after a successful attempt take its toll on a couple (Savitz-Smith, 2003). Other couples must face the reality of determining when to stop.
Anxiety has been found to be a common issues faced by individuals with infertility. Other factors affecting a person’s ability to handle anxiety and subsequent stress are a result of protective factors such as family, mature coping capabilities and outlets of support. A client’s ability may be compromised if they have a past history of anxiety problems or other traumatic events in their life.
Maturity Level of the Couple
Couples that have had their relationship tested before and are well functioning with few other stresses may handle infertility well. However, couples facing many other stressors such as financial issues, communications problems or social isolation may feel the impact more.
Women tend to feel the stress and anxiety of infertility, regardless if it is male or female factors, more quickly than men (Savitz-Smith, 2003). Although there are variations, research has shown that having children is often more important for women than men. Studies demonstrated that it takes a man about 3 years of infertility to reach the same level of anxiety as a woman experiences with in 6 months (Savitz-Smith, 2003). Gender variations to infertility can bring discord over important decision on frequency of attempts, types of interventions, amount of money to spend and when to stop or consider different options.
Infertility is often a very personal and private experience. Because of its nature a couple is forced to rely solely on each other for support which can tax an already stressed couple. Support groups and counseling can be healthy outsource for dealing with infertility and learning more productive and healthy coping skills.
Counselling is most effective as a preventative measure before a couple starts down infertility treatments by clarifying priorities, teaching anxiety management skills and develop a system to address different expectations. In other countries counseling is mandated (Savitz-Smith, 2003). If a couple is already dealing with the stress and anxiety of infertility and treatments, the counselor can help a client process through and grieve the loss of each failed cycle work with the couple to re-establish healthy communications, expectations and boundaries.
All in the Family Counselling specializes in Infertility Counselling for individuals and couples. We also offer a support group for primary infertility.
All in the Family Counselling
20 Malacca Street, Level 9
MRT: Raffles Place
Tel: 9030 7239