According to experience confirmed by research, the most common reason why couples give up trying to have a child is not their minimum chance at success, but the partners’ emotional and mental exhaustion. Such exhaustion can be avoided or at least reduced in several ways, or ideally a combination thereof:
- realistic expectations;
- finding a way of staying in control of the situation, i.e., taking an active approach;
- good communication, primarily between the partners but also between the partners and healthcare workers, family and other persons.
Being childless is not an acute state that must be resolved immediately, like when you get into a motorcycle accident. Yes, it is true that chances for biological parenthood diminish with age (for men as well as for women) and that there are age limits for adoption. But a few months here or there won’t make a difference. I recommend spending these months thoroughly preparing yourself. It’s interesting that, when planning their holidays or buying a car, people read all kinds of brochures and pamphlets or spend hours online and ask their co-workers for advice, but they often jump into the whirlpool of reproductive medicine as recklessly as I did at that apple...
I’m not going to use this section to offer detailed descriptions of diagnostic and therapeutic procedures or instructions on filling out adoption applications: the web is full of this kind of information. Instead, you’ll find some basic roadmaps – “How to get there,” “Under what circumstances,” and “Choosing your PR strategy.” This last one is the most important… and most underestimated. You will also find lots of commented links to useful sources of detailed information on treatment as well as adoption. And it is equally important to have at least an overview of legal aspects.
Pay attention not only to the websites’ content, but also make sure to carefully study their owners and operators. A website’s content is significantly influenced by the owner’s philosophy and objectives. And few areas of life are as controversial as infertility....
Also don’t forget to talk with Eve about everything from the beginning! I know how difficult it can be; I myself successfully avoided these kinds of serious discussions – not very successfully...
If these lines are being read by an Eve out there, here is some advice: Avoid the relatively common approach in which Eve (with all good intentions) undergoes all her examinations first and then one day comes up to Adam and announces, “They didn’t find anything with me, now it’s your turn.” It’s undignified and humiliating. Most guys aren’t exactly welcoming of this kind of message.
By the way, I’ve tried to find out who should go first. Doctors say that examinations should start with the guy, because testing the man is easier and the likelihood that the infertility difficulties are his is fifty-fifty (or even more). These same doctors, of course, point out that identifying a problem with the guy doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t test his partner. In fact, not testing both is a big mistake. So what’s that mean? Starting with the guy is more for the sake of social etiquette than medicine? My research of the relevant literature yields the following:When entering a building, the man opens the door and holds it while letting the woman go first. In some instances, however, the man enters first: If the woman is unfamiliar with the building or room, if it is dangerous, if it is a place into which a man should lead the woman or where she needs his protection. Traditionally, one such location are restaurants. Men lead women into spaces that they are more familiar with and vice versa. The man goes first when the couple is entering a football stadium, but a sweetshop or clothing store is first entered by the woman.
Well, that didn’t help much, did it? I’d say that (although the comparison to sweetshops is a bit odd) women are more familiar with reproductive issues. So the woman should go first. On the other hand, women might feel uncomfortable there, so the man should go first. And then there’s the issue of changing roles in today’s society. Gender this and gender that, so all this holding-the-door business is just a bit old-fashioned. But gender roles, schmender roles… when it comes to reproducing, it’s all still pretty darn traditional, even if she is a corporate executive and he is a hairdresser. Physically speaking, most of the hard work is done by women. So I guess I’ll go for the man as gentleman/protector, even though I’m not exactly thrilled about it.