I see lots of young married couples who come to me for counselling. They are not technically infertile, but are very anxious to conceive. Many of them have very busy stressful jobs, which means the often just don't have enough time to have baby making sex ! Others are being pressurised by parents to start a family quickly - while some hear their biologiocal clock ticking away, because they got married after the age of 30 !
The now want a baby as a priority - and expect this to happen on demand. When this doesn't, they get upset and ask me for help.
My advise is that it's much more fun making babies in the bedroom than coming to me. I try to discourage them from using my services; and encourage them to try on their own more actively.
However, I had an interesting conversation today , which is making me re-think my approach.
This was a young man, who is the CEO of a company. He was complaining that timed baby making sex was ruining their relationship. " Doctor, we've stopped having sex for fun ! My wife
forces me to perform only on demand, when her ovulation test kit tells her she is maximally fertile. I sometimes find that I cannot get an erection at these times, and this has started to affect my self-esteem. I feel my wife is treating me purely as a stud - and I am starting to resent this. This has now set up a negative vicious cycle, as she feels that I do not care about her ; and do not love her anymore when I cannot even get an erection !
Small fights are becoming major sore issues - especially when she has just got her period. Her PMS has become much worse, and I actually dread the days when her period is due. The major issue is always - Will this be the month ? And if not, then what do we do next ?
When a friend who got married after us gets pregnant, our inability to have a baby becomes a major sore point and she refuses to talk to me. She thinks I am not taking this issue of having babies seriously enough; and feels that I don't care at all. I love babies and would love to be a Dad, but I really don't know how to handle her mood swings.
I am quite patient and am happy to let nature take its own course, but my wife is not happy about this. She thinks that I am refusing to cooperate because I am being selfish and do not love her.
Why can't we just expedite the baby making process ? Why wait for Mother Nature ? Can't we just go ahead and do an IVF cycle so we can move on with our lives ?
I had to agree that his argument made a lot of sense. After all, IVF is safe and effective, with a very high success rate; and no risks. Did it make sense for me to refuse to treat them just because they did not have a well defined medical diagnosis ?
After all, if the stress of coming to me is less than the stress making a baby in the bedroom, then doesn't it make sense for them to use modern IVF technology to fulfill their personal reproductive goals as quickly as possible, so that they can move on with their lives ?