Staying Connected Through the Storm of Infertility

Infertility and Your Relationship
Resilience is all around us on this good earth (Courtesy:

I am constantly impressed by the profound impact that infertility has on relationships. I’ve seen 15 years of family building effort end up in bankruptcy, failure and divorce as well as in healthy babies. The strain of being infertile can send a relationship spiraling faster than a lead balloon. Others, though, show incredible buoyancy, almost a lightness of being, taking it all in stride and moving on.  Given that the impact of infertility on quality of life is similar to having cancer, what’s the secret to keeping things on the keel?

Relationship Glue

What keeps a couple strong in times of extreme stress is termed “resilience.” It’s a kind of elastic ability to take a hit, get back up, bounce back, change and thrive. What gives a relationship resilience is pretty clear to psychologists. Here are some of the key features of resilient couples:

  • They connect. Often. And as simple as a kiss, hug, text or smile.
  • They communicate. With respect.
  • They listen. To each other. With empathy and forgiveness.
  • They celebrate. Small things just as much as the big ones.
  • They hope. And share goals.
  • They control what they can and let go of what they can’t.
  • They commit to solving, not ignoring problems.
  • They laugh. A great way to break up tension and reduce conflict.
  • They don’t blame, but rather admit to vulnerability and fears.
  • They move past conflict, and into understanding and helping.
  • They move forward, and not backward.
  • They are good friends. Maybe not always “in love,” but certainly friends.

1+1 = More Than You Know

Resilience doesn’t come naturally to most relationships; it is part of the work of partnership. Think of it as a muscle that only gets stronger when exercised.  Funny, the resilience concept sounds a lot like another word that has been a staple of relationships since time immemorial: Love.
So, this holiday season, start with small steps toward building resilience. Lead with love. Take a good look at your partner…and smile. Tell stories. Recall memories. Repair those little hurts. Share your dreams and your fears. Hold hands. Go for a long walk. Give and get some hugs. Remember that although alone you can make a difference, together you can really make change happen.

4 thoughts on “Staying Connected Through the Storm of Infertility

  1. I wrote the doctor explaining my situation with a failed vasectomy reversal and my being 60 trying to start a family using Thailand Doctors. I’m from Boston, MA and I’m used to the best medical care available. I was a little hesitant on IVF treatments especially after my failed VR. Well myself and wife ended up at Korat Fertility Clinic (Nakhon Ratchisma). After all the tests they break the news to you explaining to you don’t expect much because of age of wife shes late 30’s with 1 child and me being an ancient 60 and having had a vasectomy more than 25 years ago! Well quess what folks were 2 months pregnant, I swear as soon as that egg was put inside my wife it exploded multiplying inside of her. Don’t give up hope we had been trying for a few years! Good Luck and Gods speed.

  2. Hello Dr Turek
    I was recently diagnosed with Sertoli cells only, after my testicular sperm extraction here in the uk, they looked in both testes and no sperm was found, my FSH was high and slightly low testosterone
    Is there still hope, can sperm be found, or is this the end of the road for me.Stroll

    1. Dear Rahim, Whether you have sperm or not depends on how hard someone looked for it. The testis biopsy pattern means little. If you had a TESE procedure on both sides, the chance of finding sperm on FNA Mapping could be as high as 40%. If you had an mTESE procedure its 29% (recently published). If these numbers have meaning for you, give us a call!

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