Partner support during fertility treatment goes both ways. Sometimes just one partner is undertaking the physical side of treatment, and sometimes it’s both. But in any situation, consistent effort is needed to help ensure that the process doesn’t get the best of a growing family.
There’s a lot of consider when using fertility treatments like IUI, IVF or third-party reproduction. You’ll have to stay organized, with appointments, paperwork, insurance claims, medications and the actual procedure(s) all in the mix. With all of these responsibilities and the emotional challenges that accompany them, one partner cannot be expected to run things alone – it’s simply unfair.
At Aspire Fertility, we’ve worked with countless couples over the years who have looked for advice on how to be a supportive partner – and how to speak to their partner about needing support. Speaking to your partner involves honest communication about your needs and coming to an agreement on expectations for meeting those needs, but being a supportive partner may require some extra advice, which we’re happy to share below.
Don’t wait to be needed – you’re needed now
Assuming that everything is fine and you’re doing your part is a very human error that we’re all guilty of at one time or another. So often in relationships, we tend to think that we’re the ones doing the heavy lifting and the other person is just along for the ride, but this is rarely a correct assumption. We all do things for our families that go unnoticed, and we do them without “making a spectacle” because they’re things that need to be done.
The best way to be a supportive partner during fertility treatment is to never assume that you and your partner are on equal footing in terms of both responsibility and emotional well-being. Asking your partner how you can be more involved or helpful is one important step, but so is taking the initiative to move forward with scheduling an appointment, refilling a prescription, making a call to the doctor and so forth, without having to be asked (or worse – reminded).
Make communication a real priority, and stick with it
Sometimes the fertility treatment journey can seem daunting. Even with optimistic test results and a treatment plan in place, the road to parenthood can stretch. When progress seems slow or even stalled, it may seem difficult to talk about how you feel on a regular basis, but failure to communicate your thoughts, concerns, and high and low points is a mistake. Support groups for fertility patients that include couples – whether online or in person, depending on your preference and local availability – can really aid in keeping the lines of communication open.
Remember, no one expects you to be a perfect partner 24/7. Fertility care is as much a process as are many of life’s other challenges but working on being a supportive partner will keep your relationship balanced. If you have questions about fertility treatment support, please contact Aspire Fertility today.