Taking the First Steps Toward Family Building
If you’ve been trying to conceive without success, how do you know when it’s time to get help? Are you ready to consider fertility treatment? Is your partner in the same place as you are? Here are some things to do before you start on your fertility journey.
Know When to Get Help
Clinical guidelines can help you know if you’re worrying needlessly or if you may need help getting pregnant. If you are 34 years old or younger and have been TTC for a year, or 35-40 and have been trying for six months, or over 40 and have tried for three months, you may be infertile. That doesn’t mean you can’t have a child, but it means you are more likely to need fertility treatment. This is the right time to consult a reproductive endocrinologist, who is a fertility expert. It’s your choice, and your partner’s choice, to determine if you want to start fertility treatment. Fertility treatment can be stressful, emotionally, financially, and to your relationship. You need to be in agreement before you begin.
You may decide you’d rather take your chances with natural conception or pursue adoption. If you decide to consider fertility treatment, there are some areas to investigate before you begin.
Paying for Treatment—Do Your Research
Fertility treatment is not covered in full by health insurance in most states. Even in states which mandate some coverage the cost of IVF can be substantial. Check to see if you or your partner have fertility benefits through your employers or your personal health insurance. Investigate what the potential costs of IVF would be, including the fertility medications, testing, and treatment. You can start with fertility clinics in your area to get an idea of the likely costs. Companies like WINFertility can help you find a clinic and also lower the cost of treatment. Some, including WINFertility, can also provide loans for treatment costs.
Line Up Your Support Groups
When you’ve made your decision, reach out to trusted family and friends, and let them know you will need their support through this journey. Check in often with your partner and make sure you both keep communications flowing. People often say fertility treatment is an emotional roller-coaster ride, so it’s good to have emotional support throughout the process. Your fertility center will probably have support groups, either in-person or online, of other patients who are going through treatment. Sharing your feelings with others who are having the same experience can be very helpful. Many clinics can refer you to a counselor if you want one-on-one help with managing the emotions and relationship challenges of fertility treatment.
Going through these steps will aid you and your partner in making a decision which impacts both your present and your future as a family.