By Dr. Virginia Houserman, M.D., ART Fertility Specialist

I met with a couple recently who had been trying to conceive for eight months. Typically we don’t recommend fertility treatments until a couple has been trying to conceive for at least a year, but in this case, the husband had a low sperm count, and the chances that it would increase significantly were very low. The wife was ready to begin IVF treatments immediately, because she was desperate to have a baby before she turned 30, but the husband wanted to wait. He wanted to see if vitamins and Clomid would make a difference and eventually lead to a pregnancy.

The wife said that he was in denial about his low sperm count. He denied it.

I see this more than you’d think – couples want to have a baby, but disagree on the best method to take to get there. It frequently happens that one person wants to do it naturally, but the other is ready for medical intervention.  Another common situation is where one person wants to stop fertility treatments, but the other wants to keep going.  Finances often play a major role in these feelings.

Couples who disagree about issues related to fertility have added stress in an already difficult situation. I see it in at least 5 to 10 percent of my patients.

When they talk to me about their issues, I tell them that I don’t know who’s right and who’s wrong. What I do know is that infertility can put a strain on even the best marriage. Infertility changes a couple – sometimes for the worse, sometimes for the better. So it’s imperative to talk to a counselor when you and your spouse disagree on fertility options.

Infertility is a process. It’s not unusual for it to take several years to play itself out. It’s not black and white, and there’s no right or wrong answer. I recommend that couples take opportunities for counseling, talk to a church group or enlist a listening ear of a family member or friend.

At ART Fertility, we can recommend counselors who have dealt with infertility issues in the past.

But the important thing to remember is to listen to your spouse, and take time to understand his or her point of view.

One Response to “It’s Not Black and White: When couples disagree on fertility treatments”

  1. I really liked this article… Can relate in many ways as my husband and I are dealing with this very process. Wanted to point out that the title of the blog says “Progran”… Typo?

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