Fertility Facts Every Couple Should Know
Insights on infertility decision-making from the author of The Fertility Guide: A Couples Handbook for When You Want to Have a Baby (More Than Anything Else)
Deciding How to Proceed
Only you and your partner can take the information your doctor has provided and evaluate it in terms of your life situation. Real-world constraints and considerations are extremely important in this whole process. Some factors you’ll need to consider are:
- Work: Very few women today have the luxury of being able to devote all of their time to trying to get pregnant. They have to pursue their careers at the same time. How much time away from work will each alternative require and how much can you afford? Can you pursue an alternative and still work? Some women even schedule certain treatments during vacations.
- Stress: The stress associated with infertility is second only to the stress associated with the death of a loved one. How much of a toll has that stress already taken on you, your self-esteem, your marriage? How much more can you tolerate? For example: Given two alternatives, a couple who has been trying to conceive for five years may decide to pursue the alternative with the best per-attempt chance of success simply because they just can’t tolerate a whole lot more.
One inexorable force that couples face as they pursue fertility is the ticking of the biological clock, making it seem as if their efforts are taking forever. This clock can make couples do silly things out of desperation. Don’t ever do something just to be doing something. Make sure the options you pursue are reasonable and offer you a decent chance of success.
- Geography: Fertility services are not available everywhere. If you have to travel several hundred miles, your choice of alternatives might tend to be more aggressive than it would be if you only have to go across the street.
- Cost: Insurance coverage for fertility services varies wildly. Medications, testing, procedures, and so on may or may not be covered; and many fertility services can be expensive. The cost-success ratio of each alternative must be a consideration.
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