We all know that procreation is one of the very important aspects of living organisms which distinguishes living from the non- living. And it is also something that is supposed to occur naturally when the time comes. When that does not happen, it causes tension within the organism or between the organisms. That is exactly why infertility has become a ‘problem’– physical, psychological and socio-cultural, rather than just a condition. This is where couples need effective relationship counselling for fertility.
The technological advancement has come as a boon to those suffering from infertility because many couples use Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) to find a solution to their problem. However, it is also important to understand that only medication is not sufficient to address the problem. Psychological well-being is also very important for making the whole process smoother and successful because mind and body are not different.
The Psychological Angle of Infertility:
Most of the couples undergoing infertility treatment suffer from depression, stress, anger, anxiety, marital problems and so on. Even though treatment options are many, the success of the treatment is not guaranteed. Therefore, couples are in a state of restlessness for a prolonged period of time. This may lead to Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD) too.
Generally, it is women who face a higher level of anxiety and mental trauma than men. Social, cultural and biological factors are causal factors for this. From time immemorial, if a couple is not able to procreate, the patriarchal mindset has always doubted the potency of the female rather than the male. Traditionally the identity of the female is also attached to the number of children she can bear. Culturally a stigma is also attached to those women who cannot bear a child. Biologically, the eternal feeling that a mother gets is always missed by a father. The attachment that a mother develops with her baby right from the stage of conceiving until the time of delivery and later on is much more than that of a father. So, when all these factors influence together, the woman is more vulnerable. At this juncture, it is important that the partner takes the reins and caters to the emotional needs of his wife, standing by her side to offer moral support. This will give the woman immense confidence and mental strength to tide against all those who stand against her.
Relationship Counselling for Fertility |How Husbands Can Help?
Men need to understand their spouse, the situation they are in which is sometimes created by the society, and should be compassionate to her. He should stand by her and offer moral support and make her feel that together they can find a solution to the problem. With such a man by her side, the wife feels a sense of security which is very crucial in a situation like this. Rather than just accompanying the wife for the treatment, a husband must offer nutritional, medical and emotional support.
We may not be aware but even men undergo similar psychological issues like stress, depression, anxiety and so on when they or their wives are undergoing treatment for infertility. However, the intensity of psychological trauma is lesser among men when compared to their wives. The level of psychological distress among women due to infertility is almost similar to that of heart disease or cancer. Socio-cultural and biological factors play a role in molding the male psyche. They need to understand that infertility is a biological state and should not engage in a blame game. The victimization of women should be prevented so that there will not be any sense of guilt among women and they will be better prepared to face the treatment.
Some Of The Good Practices That A Couple Can Adopt To Help Each Other
Let us look at what men and women can do together as a couple to help one another when both are going through a difficult time. Infertility, as we have already mentioned is neither a woman’s problem nor the man’s. It is a couple’s problem and therefore, each has to be there for the other throughout.
1. It is the responsibility of the husband and other family members to make the woman suffering from infertility understand that it is just a condition and is curable. This will give her immense hope and confidence which is very important before going for such a treatment.
2. The Wife has to be involved in different activities apart from daily routine so that she doesn’t get stuck with negative thoughts regarding infertility.
3. The couple should spend more time with each other so that share their emotions, feelings and fears. This will help in ensuring a stronger bond between them and give a sense of security for the woman.
4. The practice of yoga and pranayama would also help in maintaining mental stability. However, it is important to take proper guidance from a practitioner.
5. Healthy nutrition helps in keeping both physical and mental health in good shape.
6. Going for a walk is also a good practice provided it doesn’t become exhaustive.
7. Along with the medical treatment, relationship counseling for fertility is of utmost importance and mental health should never be neglected. At the same time, psychotic drugs should not be consumed without consulting a Psychiatrist, as it may result in a hormonal imbalance.
We have come a long way since the time when women were solely held responsible for procreation. The mindset is gradually undergoing transformation and this is good news. More and more families are understanding and helping their daughters and daughters-in-law to go ahead and consult a specialist to treat infertility. In fact, many husbands are coming forward to get themselves checked too. But not all women are lucky. There are still some caught in the patriarchal web and unable to cut through it. This article is especially for them, so that they can come forward and help their wives, support them physically as well as psychologically and fight out infertility as a couple rather as individuals. An effective relationship counseling for fertility can help the woman to fight the situation strongly and a man to understand his wife.
Tags: Infertility and relationships managing infertility relationships psychological counseling psychological problem Relationship Counselling for Fertility