For most American families, the real American Dream is precisely formulated in a nursery rhyme: “Love comes first, then the wedding happens, and now mom walks with the baby in the stroller.” But for one of 13 couples, this dream turns into a terrible dream when they find out that they cannot have children.
Infertility is diagnosed if attempts to become pregnant during the year are unsuccessful or if pregnancy has repeatedly ended in miscarriage; this is usually one of the most difficult crisis moments in family life. In one study, 200 couples were treated for infertility; 40 percent of women admitted that the inability to give birth to a child is the most difficult emotional experience they have experienced in their life.
Pain due to inability to have children overwhelms the lives of many couples, affects and poisons all aspects of their lives; affects self-confidence, sexuality, work and relationships. Pregnancy turns into an obsession, trying to get pregnant "in full-time work," as one of the women put it. Friends, family members, a career all recede into the background in comparison with daily basal temperature measurements, sperm analysis results, another medical procedure, and another medicine. As one psychologist said, in the life of these couples there is a lack of poise. One week they hope, next week they grieve.
Susan Michells, Ph.D. from Washington, a psychologist specializing in counseling infertile couples, describes the monthly cycle as a psychologist and as a woman who herself has experienced everything related to the fight against infertility.
“At the beginning of the month, you are full of hope,” she says. You know that with the advent of a new cycle, you will start all over again and you will succeed. If the temperature rises on the scheduled days (a sign of ovulation) and if you had sexual intercourse at an opportune time, during the next two weeks you feel euphoric, but at the same time hold your breath. You listen to your sensations, whether there is a slight soreness in the breasts, or if nausea begins. This rise lasts until the appearance of signs of menstruation. At this point, the usual reaction is an unwillingness to believe, and you say to yourself: “Some people experience slight bleeding during pregnancy, don't they?”
Then comes the recession. You are definitely not pregnant. Sorrow and bad mood last from a few minutes to several days and weeks. Then a new cycle begins and hope reappears. And all this is repeated from month to month. "
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