Often, by the time you and your partner decide to undertake fertility treatment, it’s already been a long and sometimes frustrating journey. You’re not alone: one in six Australian couples will deal with fertility issues when trying to conceive.
Navigating fertility isn’t always easy, that’s why it’s important to know how to support your partner through the process to help them manage the physical and emotional stress.
Here are 5 ways to support your partner through fertility treatments:
During fertility treatment, your partner is probably experiencing emotional stress as well as the physical effects of the process. Even if it’s not your normal role, doing more around the home will help your partner tremendously.
Doing the grocery shopping, meal preparation, cleaning and laundry will help your partner if they don’t have as much energy as normal, and ease the stress if they are feeling guilty for not getting enough done around the home.
Going through the IVF process can be all consuming and stressful, so it can be hard to find time to prioritise self-care.
As a partner of someone undergoing IVF, it’s important to encourage them to take care of themselves and look after your own mental health along the way. Exercising together and spending time in nature can help relieve stress and bring positive energy.
Look for opportunities to include low-impact activities such as yoga, meditation or walking into your daily routines to help increase endorphins and improve mood in times of higher stress.
Other ideas like a massage or even a nice dinner together may be just what you both need to de-stress and relax during the IVF journey.
If you or your partner are struggling with anxiety, worry or negative thoughts, it may be helpful to book them an appointment with a psychologist to discuss their worries. At Grace Private, our psychologists Karen White and Kerryn Blunt can help with fertility and conception issues and how to deal with stress associated with fertility treatment.
To support your partner, it’s a good idea to get familiar and learn about the IVF process. This will help you understand what they are going through and what to expect along the way.
Being positive is also important. You don’t have to go over the top, but remaining upbeat and avoiding negative comments will help your partner deal with the emotional stress they may experience during the IVF process. Positive text messages, notes or words of appreciation are nice ways to demonstrate your support.
Sometimes your partner may want to share feelings or vent frustrations. Having empathy and being a good listener will help you both get through difficult times.
The IVF process can be very exciting, but it can also be overwhelming. Being a good listener and avoiding judgement will encourage a safe space to talk and its a great way to show you care.
The old saying ‘there’s strength in numbers’ is definitely true when it comes to fertility treatment. Having a solid support system and network of friends, family, fertility specialists and medical professionals is important to help support you and your partner through the fertility process. If you’re feeling alone, an officially recognised or endorsed fertility support group may help with putting you in touch with other couples going through a similar experience.
If you’re ready to start your fertility journey, our supportive and experienced team at Grace Private is here to help. Our fertility specialists, Dr Tina Fleming and Dr Tania Widmer , have more than 20 years combined experience in fertility (including IVF) and have helped hundreds of couples achieve their dream of having a baby.
For a referral, ask for ‘Grace’ next time you visit your GP, or contact us for more information.