Walking a path of infertility can be emotionally draining. It can be difficult to continue on a journey when you are feeling exhausted and unsure. At Lansing Mom we know that having an inside perspective on this topic can be so beneficial to couples. We are so grateful to IVF Michigan’s, Dr. Suruchi Thakore for sharing these tips and tricks for couples with infertility. Our hope is that these tips and tricks bring you comfort and encouragement on your fertility journey.
Tip One: Keep Time on Your Side
There are so many things we can do to keep time on our side when we are navigating a fertility journey. In order to keep time on our side, it’s important to know when and where to start.
The general definition of infertility is trying to actively conceive for 12 months with no success. However, there are exceptions to this “rule.” If you are above 35 years old, the recommendation is to seek help at 6 months (or sooner) of attempting pregnancy. Women with irregular periods and difficulty detecting ovulation should be seen by a medical professional within 6 months (or sooner).
The first step in keeping time on your side is testing to determine the potential cause for your difficulty conceiving. We know age directly affects pregnancy and miscarriage rates, therefore a delay in seeking help can affect your overall outcomes. There is no risk in getting testing done sooner rather than later to make sure you are on the right path when trying to get pregnant.
Tip Two: Trust the Process
We know this one is a little easier said than done but trusting the process is so essential when going through infertility. In order to more easily trust the process Dr. Thakore highly recommends working with a team that understands your goals and supports your plan.
This is because every couple has different priorities when creating their ultimate family plan; no two journeys are the same. It is important that your medical team is aware of your desires as a woman and a couple to ensure they are providing the best treatment plan for YOU, given your clinical circumstances.
There are many different approaches and treatments available to help couples with infertility achieve a pregnancy and build a future family. Your health care team is there to guide and inform you of the realistic options available, given some couples may be required to proceed with more aggressive treatments due to their test results. Other couples may desire medical interventions to decrease their time to pregnancy, though they might not be medically indicated. It is very important that you are educated in all your options and are comfortable with your health care team before moving forward with treatments. This helps ensure that you have trust in the process and makes communication much easier when you’re on the same page as your team!
Tip Three: Keep the Flame Alive
Going through infertility can be exhausting and feel like a job in and of itself. Setting aside time for yourself and your partner can make a huge difference in the process. Infertility, non-traditional family planning, and recurrent pregnancy loss can come hand in hand with
emotional stressors and relationship stressors. Keep tabs on your emotions and make sure you ask for help if they are impacting or interfering with your daily life. Sometimes, it is difficult being the “partner” in the relationship, as there is little you can do to help with the day-to-day process. These obstacles can contribute to feelings of stress, depression and anxiety for all individuals involved. It is imperative that couples set aside time for themselves to relax, unwind, and enjoy each other’s company and companionship OUTSIDE of attempting to conceive. Working on maintaining a stable and supportive home environment will help ensure a more enjoyable and successful journey to having a child.
Tip Four: Celebrate the Small Wins
The war of infertility has many battles for couples with infertility. No one said the fertility journey was easy. Be sure to acknowledge the successes that you encounter during the process. Good test results – win! Successful ovulation – win! Frozen embryos – win! Though each battle may not result in a successful pregnancy, there is something to be learned from each experience. We use those experiences to “win the war” and make sure we complete your ideal family plan with the tools and resources that we have. Focus on the silver-lining because that will keep the hope alive.
Tip Five: Keep an Open Mind
The journey may not be what you expected, be willing to take a detour. The journey to building your family can take multiple paths. Though it may seem very straightforward for some, it can be a winding road for others. You may take three steps forward, and then two steps back. But remember – there are always options and alternatives. Be willing to listen to your medical team and their alternate suggestions. Using an egg donor, sperm donor or donated embryo may have not been part of our original plan, but they can be just the right option to help you achieve the family you have always wanted.