Falling pregnant isn’t always as easy as you may think it will be. In fact, it can be downright challenging. According to Dr Nicholas Clark, fertility specialist and director of Medfem Clinic in Johannesburg, one in six couples struggles with infertility in the US, while in developing countries, this number is one in four. This amounts to about 9% of the global population having fertility issues. Even couples at their fertility peak have only around a 20% chance of conceiving each month. These odds can definitely add pressure to your decision to start your family and can turn what should be a fun and loving experience into one fraught with stress. The important thing to realise is that you are not alone – there are certain arguments that will happen– it’s how you deal with them that makes the difference.
Here are the most common fights couples have when trying to conceive:
The fight about the steps involved
Most couples don’t realise just how small that contraception window is until they are actively trying to have a baby. Conception is only possible for about five days of your menstrual cycle about two weeks after your last period. If you and your partner are busy or tired during this time, try to take a moment to connect – all it may require is waking up slightly earlier for a quickie. Using fertility tools like ovulation predictors can help you plan ahead.
Lack of spontaneity and intimacy
When sex turns from something intimate and beautiful to being hard work, it can take the fun out of your relationship. Even if you have to plan your lovemaking, try to keep the intimacy alive and continue to do the things you love.
The fight about facing disappointment
That moment when you realise that your dreams of conceiving are over for another month. Everyone handles disappointment differently. You may jump right back in and trying again, but it may be harder for your partner to get over. Try to remember that you are both in this together.
The fight about whether to tell
Your partner may prefer to keep it between the two of you, as he doesn’t want to share the disappointment when it doesn’t happen as expected, but you may want to tell friends and family so you have a support network. Both are valid viewpoints, but you may need to compromise. Perhaps tell only a select few close people such as your parents, or best friend, so you have that emotional support.
The fight about who is to blame
After a period of time trying to fall pregnant without success, feelings of failure can follow, which in turn can result in the blame game as to who is the one with the issue. Remember that you cannot make a baby without both an egg and sperm. So, no matter whose issue it may be – both partners are equally involved. Support each other during this tough time.
Bringing in the experts
This can cause arguments as no one wants to think the problem lies with them, and there is a fear of failure regarding something that is perceived to happen naturally. Ultimately, it is important to understand that seeing a fertility expert doesn’t necessarily mean that you will need fertility treatment. The idea is to understand what the concerns may potentially be and to find the best possible way to conceive.
Alternative methods of having a family
If fertility treatments are not successful, you may need to consider a surrogate, sperm donor or adoption. This decision can result in heated and emotional discussions.
The fight about it simply being a bad day
Trying to conceive and not having it go entirely the way you want or planned, can be emotionally draining and stressful. This added frustration can result in you and your partner blowing up over small things that wouldn’t usually cause a ruckus. Ask yourselves whether this is truly something you want to fight over, or is it something you can let go.
Kim Bell is a wife, mother of two teenagers and a lover of research and the way words flow and meld together. She has been in the media industry for over 20 years, and yet still learns more about life from her children everyday.