Each week, I sit in my office counselling couples and consulting with them about loss. Loss of the idea that they will have a biological child.
By the time couples come in to see me for counselling, often they have been trying unsuccessfully, for years, to conceive a biological child.
Their relationships with their fertility doctors are on a first-names basis. They know which ultrasound technicians work on which days. And they know which nurses they can rely on to give them proper instructions on how to inject themselves with hormones.
This week marks the beginning of National Infertility Awareness Week. Each year in Canada, a week is dedicated to raising awareness about infertility and to educate the general public about their reproductive health, how their bodies function and about any reproductive challenges they may experience.
After years of losses and uncertainties and needles and doctors appointments…with absolutely nothing to show for it, I often have clients ask, “When will this pain stop?”
How can couples recognize when it’s time to stop trying for a biological child?
For every couple, the answer it is different. However the following themes ring true for most of the couples that I have counselled:
As a therapist, it is never my job to tell a client what to do….they must reach their own conclusions. It is part of my job to convey the facts and support my clients’ decisions.
If clients are motivated to keep trying to conceive a biological child, then whatever obstacles they face along the way should be met with joy and anticipation.
However, if the negative aspects of trying to get pregnant overshadow this joy, then it may be time for couples to reconsider their approach. Do they need a break? Do they need a second opinion? Or do they need to change their course of action all together? Or is it time to move on?
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