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Communication – Talking to Your Partner

Communicating With Your Partner About Infertility

Being unable to conceive can be frustrating and stressful for any couple. Undergoing multiple fertility treatments can also create both physical and emotional stress, as well as financial burden.

Many couples find that fertility treatments drive them apart. Others find it brings them to a place of understanding and love. Couples who are having trouble trying to conceive should take time to talk with a doctor or fertility specialist.

More importantly, couples should talk to each other. Open, honest communication can give both partners a chance to discuss their thoughts, desires, and fears. This can help couples determine which treatment, if any, is best for their situation.

Making It Through Infertility Treatment

Make an Appointment With One Another

Set aside time each day when the two of you can discuss:

  • the latest results of your treatments
  • how you’re feeling
  • what’s next

The National Infertility Association suggests the "twenty minute rule". Set a time limit to talk about the issue, and then move on. That way both of you get to be heard and have a chance to really listen as the other speaks. However, the time limit keeps infertility from becoming the total focus of all your time together.

Respect the Way Your Partner Is Coping

The way you are coping is the best way you can manage. The way your partner is coping is likewise the best they can do at present. Remembering and genuinely embracing these realities will enhance both communication and compassion.

Share Responsibilities

If one partner makes all the doctor’s appointments and calls for all the lab results, the other partner should handle the bills or insurance claims. Doing this makes sure no one person feels they are shouldering all the responsibility. It creates a feeling of working together.

Decide How Much You Will Share

It’s important that you two agree on how much you will tell family and friends. A good rule of thumb is to follow what the most private person desires. However, if one partner needs to vent with a best friend, sibling, or parent, it’s important to respect that connection when making the decision. It’s vital that you both stick to that agreement. If you would like an exception, it’s important to ask permission. That helps you maintain a consistent level of trust with your partner.

Get Support From the Outside.

When you admit to one another that you can’t be everything to each other, it helps avoid hurt feelings. The Mayo Clinic suggests that you feel free to seek out support from a:

  • support group
  • medical professional
  • mother or father who went through the same difficulties in their quest to become a parent

Content licensed from:

Written by: the Healthline Editorial Team
Medically reviewed on: Sep 04, 2014: Kenneth R. Hirsch, MD

This feature is for informational purposes only and should not be used to replace the care and information received from your health care provider. Please consult a health care professional with any health concerns you may have.
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