Keeping a Strong Relationship During Fertility Treatments

Couple in a strong relationship during fertility treatments

Keeping a Strong Relationship During Fertility Treatments

In the beginning, trying to get pregnant is one of the sexiest things to happen to a relationship. First, there is the new excitement of adding to your family; then, there are all the extra, timed sex sessions aligned with ovulation. However, if you don’t conceive in the first three to six months (or 12), that excitement starts to wane, and it can take the romance right out of the equation.

A study on the NIH website followed 113 couples through their fertility journey and noted, “…results show that infertile couples suffer from infertility-related sexual and relationship concerns.”

This is something we hear about from our own patients. Unfortunately, most of our patients come to us after 12 or more months of TTC and not getting pregnant, which means sex may already be a chore. The hope of fertility treatment success might spark things a bit, but that passion and romance wane again if things don’t happen in the first few months.

3 Ways to Keep Your Relationship Alive Despite Fertility Treatments

Don’t let the rigor of repeat fertility treatments blow the flame out of your love life. We’re here to tell you that focusing on your relationship should be a priority. Once you get pregnant and become parents your future child(ren) deserves parents with a strong foundation based on partnership and romance.

Here are three tips to help you keep romance and your relationship strong, even when you’re during fertility treatment.

1. Practice self-care and get the support you need.

Self-care during fertility treatments is two-fold. First, you must take care of and nourish your body, mind, and spirit. Of course, healthy lifestyle choices support fertility, but they’re also essential to optimizing your mental and emotional well-being. If those are falling apart, it’s impossible to have anything left to give or share with a partner.

  • Eat well
  • Get good sleep
  • Make relaxation and stress management a priority
  • Exercise often to vent stress and pent-up energy

Part two of self-care during fertility treatments is ensuring you get the support you need that does not come from your partner. You both need other outlets (friends, family, bona fide support groups, fertility counselors, etc.) to emote and hone the skills required to cope with the emotional roller coaster.

2. Redefine romance

What is romance, anyway? For many, romance is about the hot, exciting, and can’t get enough of the one they love that is rarely part of a decades-long life partnership. Sure, those moments rekindle, but they’re not the mainstay. Romance is also more than just sex or passion. Relationships that place sex, passion, and romantic love at the top of the pyramid may be unhealthier than “normal.”

In her NYT bestseller, All About Love, author and activist bell hooks makes a case for redefining what healthy love is and how the idea of Love has gone awry in recent decades. She writes, “Love is a combination of care, commitment, knowledge, responsibility, respect and trust.” Love a verb rather than a noun and couples have to choose Love over other things (fear, anger, resentment, guilt, etc.) to flourish.

By redefining romance, your partnership may sigh with relief rather than wilt from “what’s missing.” True romance is about:

  • Trust
  • Communication
  • Connection
  • Vulnerability
  • Feeling inspired to be our true selves
  • Humor and fun

If your partnership embodies these qualities, you’re doing just fine, and the romance part will cycle in and out over time. If not, focus on what needs to be strengthened and work on that. Schedule dates, events, and together time that focus on these core elements of romantic/loving connections and let the rest go for a bit.

3. Go on fun, exciting, and first-experience dates

If you feel like romance is on the run, take a few breaths and reset the narrative. The more you fret about it, the more evasive romance is. Instead, be honest that sex may not be the way to connect romantically right now – at least not initially. Instead, connect in ways that strengthen the holistic reality of Love, choosing fun things, and thing that make you laugh, help you learn or grow, conquer a fear, etc.

Whether you’re a local or visiting Charlottesville, VA specifically for fertility treatments, there are all kinds of fun things to do and see. If you’re looking for something entirely outside of the traditional date box, consider planning a date to:

Trying something new together, laughing, and just plain old having fun are great ways to feel more bonded than ever.

Virginia Fertility & IVF Helps Couples Stay Connected

The team of fertility specialists at Virginia Fertility & IVF help couples remain connected in any way we can. That includes supporting you in taking a break from fertility treatments if that’s what’s needed to get your personal and relationship lives back in balance.

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