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Fertility Road Magazine 46 - September/October 2018

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The latest issue of Fertility Road Magzine brings you our latest Fertility Journeys update, a closer look at stress and infertility, natural approaches to endometriosis and a how your weight can affect your chances of getting pregnant plus lots, lots more.

MEN ONLY Selfesteem

MEN ONLY Selfesteem support e her biggest cheerleader Your wife’s self-esteem may be suffering, and the indignities and side effects of IVF treatment don’t help. Try to keep any criticism and sarcasm to a minimum and think about whether it is wise to make jokes at inappropriate times (even if it is to lighten the mood). Compliment her on how she looks as she is likely to be feeling bloated and not her usual self – be genuine with your compliments so she believes you. Any little boosts to her confidence will put a smile on her face and make her day a bit brighter. t’s really important that you don’t blame each other for the fertility issues and don’t blame yourself you are in this as a team Show her you admire her for what she is going through, that you think she’s great and handling everything really well. Show her you love and appreciate her – it doesn’t have to be big gestures, something as simples as flowers, chocolates, a hug, or saying ‘I love you’, just to show you understand what she is going through physically and emotionally – trust me, she’ll thank you for it. nformational Support Do our esearch The man’s role in fertility treatments is different from his partners in that he will mainly play a support role as his partner does the physical side of treatment. You can help by doing research on treatment – clinics, add ons, side effects, the process, finances, payment plans – so you can support your partner through the process. Understanding the impact of treatment on your partner’s body and the way infertility in general makes her feel can help you support her better – it will show your partner that you are interested in her well-being. You can also research other lifestyle factors that may help with conception and feeling prepared for treatment. Look in to ways that you and your partner can relieve stress, nutritional advice and emotional support. ractical support rganise all the dull bits Between the stress and the physical effects of fertility treatment, your wife may be feeling more tired than usual, and all the hormones can cause some side effects such as nausea, fatigue and even pain. Taking on some of the day to day chores that you don’t normally do will ease the pressure on her and show that you appreciate that she is taking the brunt of the physical side of treatment. You could take on all the logistics and planning side of fertility treatment – timings of journeys, booking hotels, picking up medication. You could also offer practical support in terms of nutrition – buying healthy snacks and cutting out/ down alcohol as a support to her. It’s really important that you don’t blame each other for the fertility issues and don’t blame yourself – you are in this as a team, it is a joint issue that you will work through together. Supporting yourself through Fertility treatment We can’t get away from the fact that most of the pain of treatment is felt by women (physically and emotionally), but it is often forgotten that men experience emotional stress, they have to watch their partner go through the gruelling process of IVF, have to go through invasive procedures and they also long for the family they want to create. Many men feel hopeless during this period as there is nothing they can physically do to take the pain and stress off their wife. They empathise with how their wife is feeling, but they may also feel overwhelmed by the depth of their wife’s emotion and pain. 62 | | fertilityroadmag | follow us @fertilityroad

MEN ONLY partner) a fertility professional (Counsellor, fertility Coach) or a support group where it is more anonymous. hink about the things you want to do and achieve Infertility and going through treatment can make you put plans you have on hold. Write a list of things you’ve always wanted to do and achieve and create a plan to start doing some of them. There may be time and money constraints around treatment, but it will give you a sense of achievement and something to focus on outside of treatment. Do things you enoy Men and women deal with the stress of infertility in very different ways, and it is important to remember that no way is right or wrong. Each person processes their pain in a way that works for them, and it’s important to find what works for you. Communication is so important in couples struggling with fertility, and honesty and openness can save marriages. Supporting your partner through IVF is so important, but it’s also really important to look after yourself through the process and get the support you need. There are lots of ways to help cope with infertility and IVF: ake control of the things you can Infertility can make you feel out of control of your life and your future, and when you go through IVF it can feel like the process is out of your control, with all the timings, hospital visits and medications. However, there are things that you can control; Lifestyle – you can make sure you are eating healthily, avoiding alcohol, reducing/stopping caffeine. These things are important for your body to be in the optimum state for sperm production, but you will also feel better in yourself. Mindset – you may feel that you don’t have any control over how you feel, but you do have full control. You can make a choice to be in the right mindset for going through treatment and supporting your partner. en and women deal with the stress of infertility in very dierent ways, and it is important to remember that no way is right or wrong. Practical – although a lot of the process is out of your control, control the things you can – research treatment so you can ask informed questions, research add on treatments, so you are clear on what you do/don’t want, organise logistics and plan treats around procedures to give you both something to look forward to. Don’t bottle it up Its normal to feel that you need to be a rock for your partner and that you can’t show your emotions, but it’s important that you address your feelings and have a way to cope. Everyone copes differently, and there is no right or wrong way, it’s just important to have an outlet for your feelings: Write in a journal – you can write freely without worry of someone reading it. Use it to scribble down your feelings, worries and frustrations. It can be quite therapeutic! Write a blog – this is a good way to talk through your feelings anonymously, and it may help others in the same situation if you choose to share it. alk it out You may find it difficult to talk about what you are going through and how you are feeling, but it’s important that your feelings are heard. There are lots of options for people you can talk to – either someone you know (friend, family, Plan things that you enjoy, so that infertility isn’t your only focus - gym, exercise, walking, reading, computer games, seeing friends. Spend time as a couple It’s really important to remember why you are together as a couple and spend quality time together. You need this, so you don’t feel the focus is only on having a baby and that you’re only needed for your swimmers. Spending time together gives you chance to talk openly if you want to about how you are both feeling and anything about treatment. Set time limits for how long you talk about the treatment and infertility, so your conversations don’t just revolve around trying for a baby. This can add to the stress and pressure in the relationship. Also set times when you don’t discuss it – for example if you’re out for a meal, so it gives you time to focus on the other good things in your life and each other. Remember to look after yourself and get the support you need, you will be better able to support your partner through treatment and both be in a better state as a couple to cope on this journey. Sarah Banks is a Fertility coach and mentor who works with fertility professionals to enhance their patient experience and success rates. She helps them understand how patients feel, the emotional support they need and helps implement support structures. She also works on a 1-to-1 basis with women struggling to conceive, to improve their emotional state and increase their chances of getting pregnant. For further information contact her on or via her website | fertilityroadmag | follow us @fertilityroad | 63

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Fertility Road Magazine 46 - September/October 2018

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