Most couples who have regular unprotected sex are able to conceive a child within a year. However, for many other couples, starting a family can be a difficult and complicated process: it’s estimated that fertility problems affect one-in-seven heterosexual couples in the UK.
When you want to start a family of your own, it can be frustrating and a little disheartening when falling pregnant proves to be a challenge. It can also put a lot of strain on your couple relationship.
Many couples are now choosing assisted conception methods such as IVF to help them on their journey to parenthood.
What happens to couples experiencing IVF?
Couples feel a lot of strain when they are trying IVF. While it is a strain, it is a SHARED strain, and being able to discuss the treatment together is important.
A study found that if a man saw having a child as important, stayed involved in trying to have a baby, and continued communicating with his partner, the couple would experience infertility in a more positive way.
On the other hand, men who can’t talk to their partner during the IVF process are at risk of becoming depressed. Similarly, women who found it difficult to talk to their partners whilst initiating IVF treatment were more likely to experience stress one year later.
A couple’s sex life can also be affected by infertility as the act of lovemaking become more focused on ovulation, timing and reproduction as opposed to enjoyment and intimacy.
What if IVF is unsuccessful?
While it may be heartbreaking, most couples come out of failed IVF treatments feeling stronger.
In fact, couples who had unsuccessful IVF treatments are less likely to separate five to ten years later, compared to couples who conceive children naturally.
If IVF is successful, you and your partner will need to prepare yourself for parenthood – which comes with its own challenges and rewards. Visit the Becoming A Parent section for help and advice on how to prepare for being parents and partners.