Monday, April 11, 2016

Google, the infertile woman and stress

A lot of husbands are worried when they see their wives spend hours googling infertility and IVF treatment. They are worried that this incessant googling will cause additional stress. They are fearful that their wives will end up spending so much time and energy on technical minutiae,  that they will start becoming negative and fearful, especially when they read about risks and complications. 

They're concerned that their wife  is not able to interpret the information properly ; and feel that the details of medical treatment are best left up to the doctor. They want to find a doctor whom they can trust, and then leave everything is his capable hands, rather than trying to second-guess him. They believe that the wife shouldn't be spending so much energy trying to become an expert by talking to other infertile couples online . They feel IVF is the doctor's domain, and that it's dangerous to become half a doctor, because a little knowledge can be dangerous. 

However, the reality is that they're confusing cause and effect - it's not the googling which causes the stress, it's the stress which an infertile woman is going through which causes her to google . She needs to find out more information , so she can be comfortable and confident that she's on the right track, and that the doctor is providing her with the right treatment.

She cannot afford to be passive and leave everything up the doctor because ignorance is not bliss. She needs to retain control of her life , and know that while it's important to trust your doctor, it's equally important to verify that what your doctor is doing is right.

For lots of these women , googling actually reduces  their stress ! When their husbands prohibit them from going online to find out more information , they get extremely infuriated and even more stressed out . Not only are they upset about the fact that most doctors do not bother to share information with them, they're even more upset about the fact that the husband is not supportive , and is not helping them in their quest for information .  What upsets them is that the husband  seems to take a hands off, disinterested approach in the treatment rather than trying to be actively involved. When he ignores and rejects the information she has found by saying - The Doctor knows best" , she feels belittled and patronised . She jumps to the conclusion that he is uncaring, and this makes a bad situation even worse.

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