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Archive for the ‘Marriage and Infertility’ Category

Infertility is one of the leading causes of marital troubles and more than seven million couples are affected by it. Many people are waiting until their mid 30s to start a family these days only to find out that they aren’t getting pregnant right away.

One of the most common problems we see is advanced maternal age. We’re seeing a lot of difficulties with women 35 or over and sometimes even younger than 35, who are starting to have diminished egg quality. We call that diminished ovarian reserve. So at 35, their eggs and ovaries might be acting like they’re 42 or 45 and that can be a difficult problem to get through because the essence of the embryo and the infrastructure of the embryo is the egg so you must start off with a good quality egg. The best way to eliminate that is with early detection and treatment as with most disorders.

Many couples are opting to have children later and it’s understandable that they want to be financially stable with a successful job and career, but unfortunately Mother Nature doesn’t wait for that. To some degree, I do want to get out the message to couples to not wait too long. If we can start testing women when they’re younger around the age of 30, with simple blood tests which can give a woman an idea of the quality of her eggs, that would help. One of the things we can do now is take the eggs of a young woman, freeze them and then use them later in life when they’re ready to have children, although that is not a guarantee and it can be quite expensive.

Either way all of this stress and pressure and lead to marital tension.  I encourage all couples to seek help in the beginning of this journey to help process these feelings.

Amoreena Berg, MFT

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Let’s talk about marriage and infertility.  Infertility can wreak havoc on a marriage. Even the happiest marriages can be torn apart by the struggle of infertility.

Infertility can put a wedge between husband and wife like nothing else. But trying to have a baby can also bring a couple together and bond them in new ways, if they let it.

When my husband and I tried to get pregnant, we struggled.  There were miscarriages, multiple IUI’s and an IVF. Infertility creeps into your marriage in small ways. Intimacy seems futile and unproductive, making it seem like a chore rather than love. Resentment starts. And the hardest part is, both husband and wife feel sad, frustrated and alone because they can’t discuss their feelings with their spouse for fear of hurting them.

My bout with infertility lasted 3 years, but my husband and I made it out with our marriage intact because of three things. First, we decided we were in it together. No matter what happened, there would be no blame and no fault. Second, we continued to live our lives. We tried to enjoy the moment together instead of focusing on the children we wanted and didn’t have. Third, we sought outside help (counseling and support groups) because we realized this was bigger than us and even though we were a strong couple it had the potential to ruin what we had.

There were some dark days, of course. There were days I felt utterly alone. My heart goes out to anyone struggling with infertility, and I hope somehow you are able to not let it consume you or your marriage. You will have the family you are meant to have. Talk to your husband. Talk to a counselor. Get into a support group. Get the help you need to get through this time together.

I now run support groups in Oakland and Orinda as well as see individuals and couples in the East Bay.

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