DOíS AND DONíTS
DOíS Ė USEFUL SUGGESTIONS TO HELP ONE COPE WHEN FACING INFERTILITY
1. Read as widely as possible to keep an individual and personal understanding of terminology that you will encounter, particularly in the medical field. Educating oneself is an individual responsibility and not the sole responsibility of a medical specialist. This might include reading useful books, surfing the internet for useful web-sites, consulting professional specialists verbally or in writing, buying specific magazines on infertility related issues etc. Notwithstanding the above, be alert to the possibility that your need to be in control of the situation might cause you to become obsessed with the infertility issue. Donít allow that to happen to you !
2. Surround yourself with a positive atmosphere including your choice of friends and family, activities that you involve yourself in, current job, choice of music / tv programmes etc. It would assist in you keeping a positive outlook on life, in spite of the challenges the road of infertility will throw at you.
3. If you are not strong enough emotionally to attend baby-showers, Mothersí Day celebrations or family get-togethers, then donít feel forced to. Not every person will understand the toll that infertility takes on an individual. You are bound to take insensitive remarks about you not being a mother very personally. Handle the challenges of infertility at your own pace without feeling the need to explain yourself in detail at every turn.
4. If a definite medical problem is diagnosed that is hampering pregnancy, try as far as possible to obtain the valuable opinion of more than one medical specialist in the field. This is particularly relevant if an operative procedure is suggested as the way forward.
5. Fertility / infertility is a very sensitive issue especially to the persons directly involved. Be aware that you might be overly sensitive which could impair your judgement on any issue that is being discussed with you.The road of infertility can involve continuous blood tests, internal examinations, unpaid medical bills, several operations, pap-smears, sperm tests and visits to the gynaecologist. It will really help if the couple involved is supportive of each other. Infertility can break the strongest of relationships. Try to talk to each other through the dark times so that you can draw strength from each other. Women need to remember that men are not very expressive vocally on emotional issues. This does not mean that they do not feel the impact or pain of infertility.
6. Choosing the correct gynaecologist that specializes in infertility is a very crucial one. Double-check the credentials and bedside manner of more than one gynaecologist. If it helps, speak casually to other patients whilst in the waiting room. Allow the first few visits to the gynaecologist to confirm if you have made the correct choice. If at any time, alarm bells go off, donít ignore them.
7. If it will help, join a support group that you feel comfortable in. It might help to know that you are not alone on this journey. There are an increasing number of people that face the challenge of infertility worldwide today.
8. Maintain a healthy lifestyle in terms of what you eat, drink at least 8 glasses of water per day, exercise regularly, get at least 8 hours of sleep per day and take the necessary supplements.
9. Keep focused on your faith and what it teaches you in the area of child-bearing and family. The miracle of a child is as a result of divine intervention. Doctors and medical staff are instruments in that divine intervention.
10. If you are involved in medical treatment, always ensure that you arrive timeously for appointments at your gynae or medical facility. Donít make a habit of running late. Your promptness also reduces the stress on yourself and allows you to proceed through the fertility treatment more relaxed.
11. Fertility treatments require you to follow a structured programme of taking medication on specific dates and times. Keep the documents and medication that you will use in an organized manner and familiarize yourself with what is required of yourself.
DONTíS Ė USEFUL SUGGESTIONS TO HELP ONE COPE WHEN FACING INFERTILITY
1. While you try to remain informed and educated about everything that is happening to you on this difficult road, donít obsess about it. Life must go on whilst you prayerfully wait for your miracle. Live your life to the fullest, trying to be of help where-ever you can. Use your talents to make your mark in this world !
2. Donít allow the strain of infertility to damage your relationship with your husband / partner. A childless couple can still lead a very fulfilling life enjoying each other.
3. The medical profession is talented and also used by God to bring healing to the lives of many people. Donít write off the value that they can add to your life, especially if a serious medical problem is detected.
4. Accept that the road of infertility is like a roller-coaster ride. One day you feel on top of the world, the very next you feel down in the dumps. When you feel down, donít allow yourself to stay there for too long. Listening to sad music will only add fuel to the fire. Have a true friend monitor your mood swings and speak to you bluntly if you tend to steer towards depression. You may not want to hear his / her words, but you may need to hear it.
5. If you attempt a fertility treatment which is later not successful, it is advisable to give your body a reasonable rest period before attempting the next one. Doing fertility treatments can be exhausting. Donít fall into the trap of demanding from your gynae that it be done every month with no end in sight.
6. Donít feel compelled to attend every function that you are invited to, especially the ones that make you feel like the ďblack sheepĒ in the room. If you are having an emotionally low day at the time of the function, take some time off to bring balance back into your life. It might mean pampering yourself with some much needed sleep, having a beauty treatment or taking a long walk.
7. Although this is difficult, be happy for the person who falls pregnant and rejoices about her pregnancy. As far as is humanly possible, share in the joy of that couple. They might also have walked a long road before their miracle arrived.
8. Donít work yourselves into a lifelong debt paying off fertility treatments which are not covered by the medical aid. Cash is required upfront before a fertility treatment can commence in South Africa. At some point, you and your partner will need to decide how many unsuccessful treatments a human being can handle and then no more.
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