Facing the challenge of infertility can be a stressful time for couples, but it does not have to be a strain on your relationship. Working together as partners can help you form a strong bond and allow you to move through the infertility journey as a team. It’s important to find ways to support your partner so you can recognize their feelings and needs.
Four ways to support your partner during infertility:
- Ask your partner how you can help decrease their stress.
- It is important to note that stress is likely not causing infertility, but it can be helpful to have coping mechanisms in place to reduce stress throughout the journey. The American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) offers a Stress and Infertility Fact Sheet. Listen to your partner’s guidance on how you can help your partner reduce stress and follow through with their requests.
- Have open and honest conversations about treatment plans.
- When a treatment plan changes or doesn’t go as planned, be ready to discuss preferred next steps with your partner. Check in on how your partner is feeling about these adjustments. Learning more about treatment options can be a great place to start in supporting your partner. SGF provides a stepped-care approach to treatment and provides support throughout the process.
- Plan fun activities together.
- Don’t forget to prioritize spending quality time together. Since dealing with infertility can feel like a full-time job, it is important to take time off by consciously making time for each other. Have regular dates where you can have fun and take a break from infertility. Do some of your favorite activities like taking a long walk, enjoying a good meal, or watching a favorite movie or show. SGF’s psychosocial team offers some ways to enhance your relationship during infertility.
- Encourage your partner to join a support group or seek counseling and join them, too, if helpful.
- SGF offers patients a wide range of support services, including support groups, online communities, and resourceful articles. SGF is proud to have an in-house team for psychological support and can recommend other preferred partners. Attending one of our support groups is a highly effective way for you and your partner to learn different techniques for managing the stress of treatment in a supportive and open environment.
Nurturing your partner throughout fertility treatment can ease the bumps and inevitable stresses of the journey. When you and your partner feel supported and heard, you will both be better prepared to handle obstacles that might come your way.
Find a support group near you.
Mia Joelsson, LCSW-C
Mrs. Joelsson is a licensed clinical social worker in Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, and Maryland. She has a special interest in working with individuals and couples facing reproductive challenges of infertility, pregnancy, pregnancy loss, and postpartum adjustment. She sees clients virtually and in her Gaithersburg, MD office. Mrs. Joelsson is passionate about helping infertility graduates who are adapting to the new realities of pregnancy and parenting after struggling with infertility. She leads the virtual miscarriage support group that SGF offers.
To learn more about how to support your partner during infertility or to schedule an appointment, please call our New Patient Liaisons at 1-877-971-7755 or click here.
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in December 2016 and has been updated for content accuracy and comprehensiveness as of July 2022.