Pregnancy

Unbearable: I Like That Natural Fertility Treatments Torment My Husband Too

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Having a child is usually a happy time in a woman’s life. Unfortunately, as we wait longer to have children, infertility and trouble conceiving can become a part of the family making process. Unbearable addresses these difficulties.

In case you missed the discussion last week, natural fertility treatments suck. Or at least, they suck for me. They smell awful. They taste disgusting. And they mess with my digestive system in ways that I will not describe to the public.

That being said, there’s one small positive about my latest regimen that I can’t help to feel a little guilty admitting. I kind of love that my husband has to suffer through this madness with me.

Here me out. This isn’t just a case of misery loves company. Or if it is, I’m going to do my best to rationalize it as something else.

Infertility treatments primarily deal with women. For a long time, they only dealt with women. A close family friend told me that she tried having kids for years, seeing doctors and specialists, before anyone finally bothered to check on her husband. A quick semen analysis and they found the problem in a matter of days. While modern treatment is much more likely to test a man’s sperm count up front, that’s still about as far as the process goes for men. Plastic cup and you’re done.

After that, it’s really the woman’s job to really get pregnant. She gets the hormones. She normally handles the testing, because it has to do with her body. (Although that isn’t always the case, as an awesome writer shared on our site a while back.) She sees doctors and browses the same magazines over and over again in waiting rooms. No matter how supportive and amazing your partner is (in my case, very), it can feel like fertility treatments are a woman’s process.

So when my husband plugs his nose and chokes down one of those fertility treatments with me, it feels like there’s this sense of solidarity. When we both start watching our saturated fats, something this process asks you do, I feel like he’s sharing a bit in the sacrifice. And when we both sit back and complain that our stomachs are lined with lead, I kind of want to cuddle up to him even more and remind him that the only way to stop this torture is to get pregnant!

Infertility has an impact on men, just like it does on women. It’s difficult to handle emotionally, no matter what role you play in the process. Partners should be an involved part of the fertility process, even if they aren’t sucking on bee milk. (Yes, we are doing that right now.) And my husband always has been supportive and invested in our journey to get pregnant.

But that doesn’t stop this small part of me from enjoying that natural fertility treatments are the first treatments we’re doing together. It’s the first time that he handles more than the plastic cup part of the process. And it’s nice to have us both struggling as a team. Alright, maybe this is just a case of misery loves company. In which case, my dear, there’s no one else I’d rather be miserable with.

(Photo: mast3r/Shutterstock)