“Infertility is in your head”, “Just relax”, or “Maybe they haven’t tried enough” are just some of the popular beliefs when a pregnancy is not achieved. Have you heard them? Discover the reality behind
I remember as if it were yesterday my anger and anguish at not knowing if one day we could be parents. That Tuesday night a hard journey began for our marriage, when we encountered the unexpected monster of infertility.
In my work I have had the opportunity to accompany dozens of couples on this path so misunderstood and, potentially, so enriching. Like us, many couples are faced with false beliefs about infertility in the first place.
1. Infertility is a disease
You do not “get” infertility, you do not “cure” infertility. Fertility in nature is a sign of health. Not achieving a pregnancy under normal conditions is more of a symptom: what is lacking in our health, that something so natural could not happen?
2. It is an exclusively feminine theme
Great queens in the history of humanity suffered terribly for not achieving offspring, there being reasons to believe that the infertile were their husbands. Today we know that the role of the ovum is as important as that of the sperm in the generation of a new human life.
3. It’s just a matter of relaxing and “flowing”
Infertility is not “in the head.” Going to the beach for a weekend will not lead to pregnancy, despite well-meaning “stop stressing and it will happen” advice.
When we feel stress, anxiety, anguish, our body secretes special substances to allow it to react to what it recognizes as a danger. These substances undoubtedly modify biological processes, and it has been proven that they can affect the timing and quality of ovulation. Knowing that reducing stress levels will improve overall health, stress itself is not a cause of long-term infertility, so we cannot say that by reducing it, underlying causes will automatically improve. It is necessary to obtain a diagnosis and appropriate treatment to the specific needs of each woman and couple.
Reread: That infertility is not synonymous with separation
4. The best option is artificial fertilization
In my experience, I have come across many couples who were told by respected doctors that their only option would be to use artificial techniques to achieve pregnancy. Fortunately, this was not the case, because by knowing each other objectively and confidently, women can evaluate and restore their gynecological health, thereby restoring their natural fertility. Today there is a highly effective medical science to achieve a pregnancy, without having to resort to artificial treatments that involve a high moral and economic cost.
5. It is not so important
More than half of the women who have suffered infertility define it as the most difficult experience of their lives. Studies have even compared the stress and anxiety it causes with that suffered by patients with cancer, AIDS or heart problems. Each menstrual cycle is experienced as an emotional wheel of fortune, where illusion, fear, and disappointment continually follow. It is especially difficult to share this experience with family and friends, which brings us to the next point.
Infertility: the monster in your marriage
6. It’s rare, or maybe they haven’t tried enough
It is estimated that one in six couples of reproductive age will face problems conceiving a child, according to statistics published in Mexico and the United States. Make a list of twelve friends, most likely two of them at some point in their life will face this situation. Maybe they are going through it right now! This situation makes the general misunderstanding on the subject even more surprising.
7. I understand how you feel
No no and no. Even if it took them a couple of months or years to conceive and hold their baby, never compare your experience with that of another marriage. It must be recognized that the phenomenon is enveloped in taboos, and that most of the time it is a lonely path full of doubts.
If someone you love is suffering from infertility, you can research about the phenomenon, how to help them, medical treatments and more, with all the love and care that it requires, which is perhaps turning out to be one of the most difficult and enriching experiences of their lives. .
In English, many media use the concept “survivor of infertility”, thus pointing out that infertility, although it marks us, does not define us. It is not the only nor the main criterion of happiness and fulfillment. Yes, there are many ways to be fruitful as a couple, as a family. Through adoption, if it is your vocation, or through fulfillment in other physical, intellectual, spiritual, emotional or social aspects of your life. Remember that open and caring dialogue is a great step toward healing. If you live with infertility also remember that you are not alone, those who love you are willing to support you and most of the time they just need to know how.