The world of fertility treatment is a vast unknown.
My wife and I started out on our fertility treatment journey in 2015 and it was a massive learning curve for us, both as individuals and as a couple.
There are a variety of reasons for needing to access treatment. You and your partner may have had trouble conceiving, you may be a single person wishing to start a family, or like me, you may be in a same-sex or LGBT+ relationship and need donor assistance to conceive.
Regardless of your reasons for choosing fertility treatment, for most people, it’s a really difficult and isolating time in your life. Because it’s not necessarily a topic that everybody feels comfortable discussing, it can be really hard to get advice and decide on the right course of action for you.
There are so many questions when you set out on your fertility treatment journey. What is the difference between IVF and IUI? What tests do I need? How much money do we need to set aside for one cycle? How many cycles will we need? How do I choose a clinic?
A few things to consider when undergoing fertility treatment:
To tell people or not?
Telling people is a tricky thing. On one hand, you don’t want the added pressure of people asking you how it’s going. But on the other hand, I found it was important to have a circle of people around us who knew the details of what was happening.
When we were trying for our second baby, it was more public because I was blogging about the journey, but we still kept certain things private. We decided as a couple what we were comfortable sharing and then took it from there.
You are under no obligation to share anything that you don’t want to. At the end of the day, it’s nobody's business but yours. That being said, talking about it can take a huge weight off your shoulders and be very therapeutic. You have to do what’s right for you!
Finding the right support.
One of the biggest supports I have found over the last 4 years of our treatment has been talking to other people going through the same situation.
I searched online and found support groups for other same-sex couples doing the same treatment that we were doing. I can’t tell you how helpful it was to be able to communicate with other people who knew exactly what I was talking about and could discuss any concerns or worries with me.
We then looked closer to home and connected with other people in LGBT+ families. That was invaluable and many lasting friendships have been formed. I now organise regular meetups for LGBT+ families and their children. It’s amazing how easy it is to chat with other people who have gone through similar situations and struggles to start their families.
Considering all your options.
As you may have guessed by now, there are so many options in the world of fertility treatment. It’s important to decide on the right course of action for you. What suits one person or couple may be entirely wrong for you. Based on your own circumstances, you will need to decide on various different components of your treatment.
From decisions around donors to clinics or particular methods of conception. There is no right or wrong way. What matters is that you are happy, healthy and supported along the way. Choose a clinic that fully supports you in whatever choices you make.
Wishing you all the best in your fertility