How Infertility Affects Relationships | Causes, Impacts and Treatments
Life is never easy. If you think you are the only one who has problems, look ahead, and I am sure you would see many dealing with situations worse than yours. If you want to know why I have started with this note, let me tell you something from my experience which I think is affecting us all. I am talking about the less-discussed and hidden problems that blow our lives tearing us apart.
Infertility is one of those problems which destroy our lives but shockingly the most avoided subjects in public. So I have decided to finally put an end to this awkward silence and address one of the major issues- infertility and its shadow on our lives and relationships and ways to overcome it.
The Infertility Problem:
All living species are biologically designed to reproduce and keep the family free running. The procedure to reproduce differs widely. Like other mammals, the humans too conceive reproduce. The problem arises when a couple is unable to conceive and give birth to a healthy child. Infertility or the inability to conceive has a far-fetched negative impact on us which we will find out soon, but before that let’s find slightly more about fertility disorders.
In a report published by NICHD (NIH), the authorities claimed that there are 12% men and women in the United States who suffer from infertility. According to the American Pregnancy Association, infertility among women is higher, up to 50% of the total cases. There are several reasons behind it.
Reasons for infertility:
Genetic complications, physical inability such as obesity, diseases, stress, hormonal dysfunction, stress, inappropriate lifestyle are some of the common factors leading to fertility disorders. NICHD has further elaborated the reasons and sheds light on them. Later we have also discussed how female and male fertility diet plan along with few more steps you can cure infertility.
For now, we have summarized the main reasons for infertility for your better understanding:
- Spermatogonial Stem Cell Population Imbalance: Imbalance in the adequate number of spermatogonial stem cells in the males are one of the prime reasons for infertility among men.
- Obesity: The Reproductive Sciences (RS) Branch, NICHD has confirmed that obesity increases the secretion of androgen hormone in the females which impacts pregnancy and causes infertilities.
- Hormonal Issues: Androgen is a male hormone which is also produced in the female bodies up to a certain level. Increase in androgen hormone due to several factors may become a potential cause of infertility.
- Diseases: Primary Ovarian Insufficiency (POI), Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), endometriosis and some other diseases are held responsible for infertility.
- Stress: Division of Epidemiology, Statistics, and Prevention Research (DESPR) and researchers from the University of Oxford have jointly published a report that shows stress causes higher levels of alpha-amylase in the saliva and has been associated with infertility among women.
- Smoking: Studies find the cigarette smoking women experience a high level of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH) during their menstrual cycles, which are associated with difficulties in fertilization. Smoking also reduces sperm production in men.
What is the Impact of Infertility on Your Lives?
It is not easy to deal with infertility, and nearly all of the patients suffer from severe psychological trauma. It is nearly impossible to describe the emotional stress one goes through because it not only impacts the mind and body but also affects relationships to a great extent. Fear of loss, shame, anxiety, coping with social stigma, and loss of interest on anything completely shatter the patients and the couples. Though the responses of individuals are varying to a great extent, negative impact has been found to be more prevalent.
- Effect on Individual: The mind takes the first hit for which the body suffers. A sense of guilt, fear, and insecurity capture the mind and compels us to show our rejection of any activity. As a result of this, the patients stop eating, communicating and responding to clinical treatments. Due to complete seclusion from the outer world, the patient often tends to suffer from anxiety. Loss of communication with partners is another reason.
- Responsibility: It is very often seen that partners often start behaving slightly abnormal in the initial stages. They suffer from discomfort and lack of confidence. Moreover, inside their minds, the “responsibility” factor starts erupting. Irrespective of the gender, this problem largely affects nearly all the couples. They often remain silent but blame themselves for the outcome.
- Communication: Lack of communication is seen among the patients who suffer from infertility. During the initial stages, the patients and couples may find it difficult to speak to each other or talk less to avoid an emotional breakdown. However, some of the patients have gladly accepted that their communication process turned better after they learned about their problem.
- Lack of Interest: Unresponsiveness totally shatters a relationship. It may affect any of the partners. It is noticed that couples gradually start to stay away from each other and show lack of interest in physical closeness. Even if one of the partners shows emotion, the other may reject to respond to it and avoid further attachments. This may last for a few days or months to years.
- Divorce: Change in behavior, reaction, communication, feelings, and detachment all pileup, couples often find it difficult to stay together. The results can have a long-lasting effect on you and your partner. In many cases the couples part ways failing to deal with their lost hopes and expectations. Sad it is already, divorce is the most unwelcoming and heartbreaking.
In addition to all these, patients suffering from infertility feel rejected by the society because it is related to social taboos and stigma. One feels that they lose their respect and dignity in the society and therefore, avoids public interaction, stepping out. Taking it further, the problem can also hamper relationships among family members and friends.
How Treatment For Infertility A Way To Overcome Related Issues
Infertility is not the ultimate answer to your woes. Thanks to the advancement f the medical science, treatment of infertility is available and largely opted by the couples. Now that you know the reasons mentioned above, all you need to do is visit a medical practitioner and seek help.
In vitro fertilization or IVF, Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), Intrauterine insemination (IUI), donor eggs and embryos, Zygote intrafallopian transfer (ZIFT), Gamete intrafallopian transfer (GIFT), surgery and drugs are the major success in the field of reproductive science. After evaluation, if the doctor prescribes a particular treatment, the couples may go ahead and follow the procedures to enjoy a successful parenthood. Apart from medical treatment, you should also ensure a healthy living, quit smoking and consumption of alcohol. Follow a balanced diet, exercise, socialize and above all, communicate.
In the end, I would like to say that let’s not infertility destroy our lives and happiness because there are several ways to deal with it. In fact, your stress and health level will have a negative impact on the treatment and complicate the process further. Let’s not lose hope and learn to love yourself. There is nothing wrong with you or your body, so stop blaming yourself. All you need to do right now is just calm yourself down and think rationally. Speak with your partner and let him/her understand your problems and help you overcome the stress. This should be the ultimate goal of your relationship.
David Gomes by profession a Sexual Health and Fitness expert. He lives in Oakland, California; USA. David writes for Good Men Project, Medical Daily, The Huffington Post and many other publications. He specializes in customizing health programs for men’s health such as erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation. You can connect with him on Google+, Twitter, and LinkedIn.