Fertility Treatment Is a Game with No Guaranteed Winner
Why is fertility treatment so stressful? Of course the doctor visits, testing, procedures, medications and all that is a lot, to say the least, to manage on top of our already frequently busy lives. We see that. We get that. It makes sense.
The other layer of stress that we often feel is the fear around the unknown.
Will this work?
Will this fertility treatment cycle work?
Carrie Van Steen, my co-facilitator for Ladies Night In- talks about this eloquently. "If we only knew the outcome was going to be a baby in our arms, we would undergo the fertility treatment cycles with ease of mind."
Guaranteed outcome. This is not an unreasonable expectation. If you're judging yourself or others, that wanting to know the outcome is irrational, consider this- in many other situations, that's exactly what we expect.
Not to be crass, but if I went into a car dealership, after saving for years, plunked down a chunk of hard-earned money, after doing careful research about the type of car that I needed, then picked the car dealership based on my needs, I would expect to drive out in the car. I wouldn't expect for the salesperson to tell me that there was a 70% chance of driving out in it. Or a 50% chance.
Or a 20% chance.
I would expect to have the car and it would be mine.
We don't have that with infertility and fertility treatment cycles.
We simply don't have that.
Is Fertility Treatment a Game You're Tired of Playing?
Just recently, on the Ladies Night In Online FB page (comment below if you want to join), someone dear to me described it as a game. And she was tired of playing. And it makes sense, doesn't it? Some games are fun, the ones where there's not much at stake and the whole point is in the playing- that's the enjoyment factor, simply playing.
Regardless of how wonderful we make the experience of fertility treatment (and we do, with acupuncture, fertility counselors, nutritionists, Fertile Yoga, Ladies Night In), no one is here for the experience.
We're here for the prize. Or the goal. Or whatever metaphor you want to stand in for the real answer.
We're here for the baby.
Not the experience, not the relationships, not the support services. Those are essential to staying in the game, without a doubt. All those things, starting with the professional, clinical, medical care is the reason that we choose the fertility programs that we choose and that we endure the disappointments.
But bottom line?
We're here for the baby.
And that's tough when it's not a guaranteed outcome.
Something to soften this message is the realization that for most of us, staying in treatment is the missing piece. So many of us leave treatment before the baby- often because of a lack of resources, whether that be money or energy (yes, fertility treatment can be so exhausting and stressful that people leave).
There are a lot of ways to stay in the game. That's why we're here. Let us help you if you are getting to that, "game over" point.
We know how high the stakes are in this game. And we have a lot of ideas on how to help you stay in treatment.
We're here to help.
Email me. We'll figure it out.
About Lisa Rosenthal
Lisa has over thirty years of experience in the fertility field. After her personal infertility journey, she felt dissatisfied with the lack of comprehensive services available to support her. She was determined to help others undergoing fertility treatment. Lisa has been with RMACT for eleven years and serves as Patient Advocate and the Strategic Content Lead.
Lisa is the teacher and founder of Fertile Yoga, a program designed to support men and women on their quest for their families through gentle movement and meditation.
Lisa’s true passion is supporting patients getting into treatment, being able to stay in treatment and staying whole and complete throughout the process. Lisa is also a Certified Grief Recovery Specialist, which is helpful in her work with fertility patients.
Her experience also includes working with RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association and The American Fertility Association (now Path2Parenthood), where she was Educational Coordinator, Conference Director and Assistant Executive Director.