Why you may decide not to pursue fertility treatment
When a couple first decides to try to get pregnant, for most of us, the first thought isn’t ‘But what if we can’t?’
For couples who are concerned by their age, health or family backgrounds of difficulty conceiving, this very well may the first concern.
And if you end up being one of the 1 in 6 couples who after years of trying to conceive naturally have no success, this question will be the next decision you face.
For many couples the obvious next step is fertility treatment.
There are a number of different treatments and programs that can help you get pregnant, and address your own personal reasons for infertility.
Infertility treatment has evolved enormously in recent years, and for so many couples, the inability to conceive naturally is no longer any kind of barrier.
But fertility treatment is not for everyone.
It is a big decision to go down this path, and there a few very valid reasons why you may decide not to.
You have a range of options available to you right now, and one of them, just as valid as any other option, is the decision to not pursue fertility treatment.
Here a few reasons why:
Fertility treatment is expensive.
While fortunately much of it is subsidised through Medicare, you will end up being at least $4000 out of pocket for every round of treatment you try.
And then there may be medications, natural therapies such as acupuncture or vitamin supplements, and diet or exercise costs, and this is only the beginning.
You don’t know how many rounds of treatment it will take.
If you do conceive there are a whole new set of doctors’ bills and expensive things you will need to fork out for, so you can’t spend all your savings on the fertility treatment.
Depending on your individual reasons for infertility, treatment may require some intrusive, painful or draining processes on your body.
Once you get all the information available about what you might have to go through, it would reasonable to decide that this is too much.
Religion or values
When you decided to get pregnant you most likely decided to do it naturally.
You may come from a religious background, or just have personal values, that don’t really agree with artificial assistance in this process.
You may decide that if you can’t do it naturally, you weren’t meant to be a parent.
And this is a completely reasonable decision to come to as well.
Artificial medical processes can involve different levels of personal interference.
You might decide that there a level which goes beyond your comfort zone, and want to stop there.
Medical fertility processes include making decisions about disposal of extra embryos, or use of donor sperm or eggs and some of this may pose ethical problems for you.
Do what feels right for you!
You may not have the time left to devote to many more years of trying.
You may feel honestly, and completely reasonably, like you are too old to keep trying.
You may feel like you would rather spend your time pursuing something more guaranteed of a happy return, like focussing on your career, buying or renovating a home, travelling the world or even living overseas.
You should be aware, going into fertility treatment, that it still may take years to get pregnant.
You may weigh up all the information about what it will take, and the chances of your success, and come to the conclusion that you would rather spend your time another way.
Mental or emotional stress
The journey of trying to conceive has so far probably been incredibly taxing on your mental and emotional health.
If you make the decision to try fertility treatment, you are continuing through what could be more stressful and heartbreaking experiences.
If you are worried that you are not mentally up to the strength needed to face continued disappointment, you may wish to consider this step in a bit more detail.
Talk to a professional infertility counsellor about what the process could involve from here on in, and work out for yourself if you think you can face it.
The most important thing at all times is your own mental health, and looking after this first has to be your top priority.
For your relationship
Your second top priority will probably be your relationship.
For most people, you will be trying to conceive not on your own, but as part of a couple.
And whatever decisions you make have to be together.
Your partner will have their own feelings about infertility treatment, and for any of the above reasons, may not feel like they can go through with it.
For the sake of your ongoing relationship, you must decide to do what is best for both of you.
No reason at all
You don’t actually need a reason.
Going through fertility treatment is very difficult, for all sorts of reasons, and you may just not want to. It may just not feel right.
You don’t have to justify this decision to yourself or to anyone else, and you certainly shouldn’t choose to go ahead with treatment if it doesn’t feel right for you.
Trust in your instincts and believe in your decision, wherever it came from.
Other people will weigh into your decision process.
Your mother may have always wanted to be a grandmother, and be pressuring you about this.
You might have friends who decided not to have kids and then regretted it.
You might have friends with kids who rave about how wonderful it is, and encourage you to keep trying.
People that you care about can have an effect on how you feel about this, but you and your partner must make the final decision for yourselves.
You are the ones that will have to live with it.
Get all the information you can about your options, talk to professionals and people close to you, and make a careful decision.
Spend time alone with your partner and make sure that you both lay everything on the table.
Follow your heart, and take all the time you need to work this out.
Whatever your reason, only you know the right one for you!