When One of You Wants to Stop Fertility Treatment

Can You Resolve This?

Infertility can be emotionally stressful for both partners.  Either or both of you may feel guilty or angry at being unable to conceive.  If you are having fertility treatment, you may also feel worry and stress about paying for treatment, and you may feel increased stress and grief if the treatment is not successful after one or two tries.

What can you do if one of you has had enough and wants to stop fertility treatment, and the other one wants to keep trying?  Here are some tips.

Be Honest with Your Partner

It’s important to be up front with your partner about what you want, whether it’s to keep going with treatment or to stop.  Often, people hide their true feelings from their partner because they fear rejection or don’t want to rock the boat.  This is one time you need to be 100 percent honest.  If you’re tired and you just can’t do this anymore, say so.  If you desperately want to keep going, say so.

Listen to What Your Partner Has to Say

Your partner’s opinion has as much value in this situation as yours.  Many women feel that since they are going through the vast majority of the fertility treatment and will be the ones to carry a child, their opinion should count more.  But remember that you will be parenting together and sharing the burdens and expense.

Understand Your Options

Where are you in your fertility journey?  What options do you have left to create a family?  How do you both feel about IVF?  Would you consider donor sperm, donor eggs, or surrogacy?  Is adoption something you both could agree on?  There’s more than one way to make a family, and all of them are based on loving parents, however the child comes about.

Know That Feelings and Circumstances Can Change

Check in with each other about your fertility journey every few months, and more often if circumstances change.  If your finances change or one of you loses a job, if your health is affected by chronic conditions, if your emotional state declines and either of you becomes depressed or anxious, stop and talk about the status of your journey and how you each feel.  Don’t be surprised if your feelings change as time goes by.  Make sure you are still approaching fertility treatment as a team and are agreed on where you are going.

Get Support

If you and your partner are not in agreement or if you are stressed and anxious for any reason, reach out for support.  Fertility centers usually have counselors and support groups to help patients cope with the emotions of infertility and fertility treatment.  You can consult a therapist, or talk to your parent or other family member.  It’s good to have more than one source of emotional support.  If you find this disagreement can’t be resolved, think long and hard about next steps.  Again, be honest with your partner and yourself about your feelings.  Don’t make an ultimatum unless you really mean it.