Assisted Reproductive Technology — The Emotional Toll

Assisted Reproductive Technology — The Emotional Toll

Be mindful that a tremendous emotional toll can be exacted by the cycle-to-cycle swings of hopefulness and grief, even if they are eventually followed by triumph. It takes a strong relationship to hold up under these stresses. Besides the natural emotional aspects of all of this, you will also be subject to yo-yo mood swings because of the hormones used in ART. Here are a couple of stories of real people that illustrate what we’re talking about.

Sydney was a teacher, in fact she was head of a prestigious private high school. She and Tom had married in their mid-thirties and were busy with their careers until, when Sydney was 41, they realized that they wanted to have a family before it was too late. Their doctor recommended an immediate referral for in vitro fertilization because of Sydney’s age. They approached the whole process with complete optimism; they were sure that none of the difficulties the doctor kept talking about would apply to them. Six cycles of IVF later, they were at each other’s throats and still were not pregnant. Sydney was ready to try one more cycle, but Tom was very skeptical about the possibility of success. When their arguing accelerated, they terminated the ART and entered counseling to see if they could hold together the shreds of their marriage.

-Lisa and her husband, Seth, were a different story. They had married straight out of college and had begun trying to start a family soon thereafter. Lisa was tormented by endometriosis and alternated treatment for that with attempts to conceive. When she was 33, she became pregnant but miscarried almost as soon as she realized she was pregnant. Both Lisa and Seth were devastated. They were too disheartened to try again to conceive for quite some time. When Lisa was 38, they decided to look into 1VF and maybe donor eggs, since involvement of her ovaries in the endometriosis seemed to be part of the problem. They knew from what they’d already been through and from their reading that this would not be a walk in the park, so they started couples counseling with a therapist attached to the infertility clinic they had chosen. The support proved helpful, strengthening their relationship. At age 40, Lisa gave birth to a healthy baby boy. Yes, half of his genetic material came from another woman, for they had used donated eggs, but Lisa knew that she was his mother in all the ways that mattered and that she had nurtured him under her heart.

Sometimes things work out as a couple wishes and sometimes they do not; part of approaching pregnancy over 35 is being prepared for either outcome. If you receive cautions about ART from your doctor, do not dismiss them. Your doctor knows you and knows that ART can significantly affect a woman’s emotional and physical health, and might also put a considerable strain on your relationship and finances, so she or he will wish you to weigh carefully all the pros and cons before embarking on this way of achieving motherhood.

Elaine is a librarian, aged 43. She was in a new relationship with Mac, had never been pregnant, and began to think that it might not be too late after all. After several months of trying, she was still not pregnant, and her family doctor sent her to talk to the ART people in the nearest city. Elaine had already done some research on the Internet and knew that she might need donor eggs; she has a younger sister who had agreed to provide eggs for her. However, Dr. Robson, a woman with twelve years experience in ART, sat down and had a long and frank discussion with Elaine and Mac. She pointed out that Elaine weighed in excess of 265 pounds and had chronic hypertension requiring two different medications. These factors make the ART process more hazardous and they are significant impediments to successful pregnancy. The doctor sent them off with instructions to think about it all. Over dinner that night, Mac firmly asserted that he did not want them to do anything that would risk Elaine’s health, and thus her happiness and his, especially when there was no guaranteed outcome of a live and healthy baby. The upshot was that they decided to become short-term foster parents, with the idea of proceeding to long-term fostering if this goes well.

Самые свежие новости медицины в нашей группе на Одноклассниках

Читайте также

Оставить комментарий

Вы можете использовать HTML тэги: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Лимит времени истёк. Пожалуйста, перезагрузите CAPTCHA.