I have fertility problems. Can I avoid feeling hurt and hurting others?

We live surrounded by The Others: All those acquaintances who have no idea what it means to not be able to have children when you want to, who are always trying to make us feel better and help us find solutions, but let’s face it, they don’t know what it feels like.

At the beginning of follicular development month by month, the ovaries, due to the action of 2 hormones, mainly FSH (Follicle Stimulating Hormone) and LH (Luteinizing Hormone), in turn produce estrogens derived from both follicular growth and peripheral aromatization in adipocytes ( adipose grade tissue) by androgens. Hence the direct importance exerted by body fat on the menstrual cycle.

The problem is that those of us who suffer from infertility at one point in our lives are a minority of 15% of the population, the rest will never know what this is.

In studies of fertility psychology, it has been found that women can begin to feel anxiety and frustration about infertility, from the first menstruation that comes when they are looking for children and men can take up to three years, before having these emotions.

This is interesting, because depending on when the couple meets, the responses to other people will vary.

In the first months, women will feel guilt and inadequacy, feelings that will be strengthened with comments such as: and when will the children? Or: and have you stopped taking contraceptives? How long do you plan to wait?, etc.

It is very painful for the woman who is in this period to know that she has done everything and does not get pregnant. Some are even pressured in a more intimidating way:

And are they doing homework? Look how time passes… As if you didn’t know you have to have sex to reproduce.

What couples with fertility problems need to learn is that infertility is a disease and most of us don’t know how to handle the disease.

In the case of couples with reproductive difficulties, those close to them think that they have to help them solve, help them make decisions, without knowing that it is not a lack of desire, but rather the body that does not want to function as expected. And it is not the responsibility of anyone, neither the couple nor the family. No one but the doctors have anything to do there. But even making that decision, seeking professional help, is something that takes time and as I said before, a man who is not worried and a woman who is frustrated are not on the same wavelength. That is why we will see calm men while their women drink medicinal teas, take their temperature to know when they ovulate, put their legs up after having sex, among other things.

That is one of the reasons to remember all the time, the limit of one year of unprotected relationships before seeking help if you are a woman and you are under 35 years of age and six months if you are older, it is the way to help the couple to make that decision.

But that is not the subject of this writing, the subject is another. When you are in your darkest moments you will hear comments like:

But relax, if you stop thinking about it, you will surely get pregnant. You are obsessed. I have an acquaintance who she adopted and got pregnant. You can’t be like that. That’s nothing, in Syria a lot of people are dying every day, what’s happening to you isn’t that serious.

Of course, each person will listen to their own versions of it, but in the end it is the same. The important thing is to know that: They don’t do it badly, they do it because they don’t know what you feel. And although they can still hurt you a lot, you have to start having adequate responses and reactions, and accommodate them to your personality. Here I leave you some that can be useful for some of the comments that you will hear:

  • “And for when the children?” You can answer: “We do what we have to do several times a week, we are waiting.” (This answer is valid for anyone, nobody should be interested in anyone’s sex life, so with this it is very difficult for them to ask again).

  • “I know a very good doctor, can I give you his number?” You can reply: “Thanks, I have mine. In any case, if he does not do his job well, I ask you ”. (If you accept the information, you will have to put up with him asking you if you went, judging you if you didn’t, and in the end if she or he doesn’t get pregnant, they’ll let you know it was your fault for not listening to them).

  • “God knows what he does”. This one is hard. He just takes a deep breath, nods and send them flying in your head. Having children is a natural necessity, it is part of a complicated system for maintaining the species. Praying does not make the desire and need decrease, on the contrary it makes you want to say very ugly things to God. But out of respect one endures and learns some craft. In my case it was knitting, there are several scarves full of desires on the necks of those I love. After having my children I was reconciled to God and I have never touched a needle again.

  • “Not having children can be good, they can do so many things that those of us who have children can no longer do”… If one wanted to do things, one would not commit to a relationship whose expectation is family. He would still be single. As in the previous case, nod and smile. Perhaps it is true that life without children is easier, but that is not what you want, and you have the right to want to have a family. Don’t let these comments make you feel selfish in a bad way. Reproduction is natural and the need to reproduce as well. Assume that you are within your right to want to have children.

  • “Don’t be obsessed, when you least expect it you will be pregnant” You can answer: “It’s not an obsession, it’s a desire. I really want to be a mother, nothing more”. I repeat the same, to this type of primary desires, which comes directly from a need that passes from individuality to become the common good of the survival of the species, we cannot qualify it with clichés that will make the other feel disarmed. It is unfair to try to silence someone who expresses his feelings, just because we do not know what to do with his expression of pain. If you don’t know what to say, it’s better that you remain silent with us.

  • “Maybe you should do other things, keep busy so you don’t think” You can answer: “Perfect, what can you think of?” This is good advice, but most women looking to get pregnant are also looking to occupy their free time. Listen to what opinions others have and evaluate if it is useful to you or not. Whoever suggests these activities should directly propose an activity: “They are giving a pastry course for beginners and since I know you love sweets, what do you think if we sign up and go together? If your friend needs you, she offers options, sometimes that outing in company does a lot of good.

  • “Come on, you are a strong woman, you can handle this and more”… If the person who says this is someone who loves you and cares about you, hug her very tight and tell her that you don’t feel strong right now, that you need someone to hug you and make you feel that you are not alone. That you want to know that you have her or him at this moment. If it’s not your style to be so open, just hug her (him) and thank her for trusting you, and don’t let go of that hug even if the other wants to run away. You are worthy of affection and understanding, the other does not know it yet, but if he gets involved in such a sensitive subject, he can endure it. If it’s someone you don’t care about, breathe again, smile and look at the long line that joins the wall to the ceiling of the room where you are… Anything is more important than the nosy who doesn’t know you and on top of that wants to put qualities on you that you don’t have at the moment.

This is dedicated to both of you, knowing that because of the early symptoms of anxiety and sadness, women are the ones who suffer the most. So friend, although I am very sorry for what you will have to put up with, from my heart I wish you to fulfill your dreams. And whatever, a psychologist from the area, me and other women who have gone through what you have, we are here, if you want to talk, surely we are too.

“Infertility is difficult but it is a disease, nothing more, something that has a solution. Don’t be afraid to seek help, and don’t be afraid to show those you love what you live so they can help you. Success!”

Psyd. Adriana González
Psyd. Adriana González
Clinical sexology and sexual health
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