OvuSense logo

How Your Relationships Can Impact Your Fertility - Fertility Tips Part 3

If you’re trying to conceive, you likely spend a good amount of time thinking about what you can do to increase your fertility — external changes you can make in the hopes of impacting what will happen inside of you. The truth is that not only can your fertility be impacted by the environment around you, but going through infertility can have unintended impacts on other areas of your life as well. 

To finish out our three-part series, we want to talk about the interconnectivity of all aspects of your life, including how your professional environment can impact your ability to conceive…. and what you can do to not let your relationships suffer during what can be an extraordinarily emotional time. Continue reading for some insight into how your surrounding and connections can impact your fertility journey, and vice versa. 

Work-Life Balance

Considering work is such a big part of most adult’s lives, it's hard to imagine that your occupation could not have an impact on your chances of getting pregnant. Not only can stress caused by work affect your ability to conceive, some research has been done into what occupations impact women’s fertility the most, including a study of women who work night shifts on a regular basis. It found that not only did women who work alternating shifts in the evening and overnight have an increased risk of miscarriage, they also generally found it more difficult to conceive.

The reason? Probably multi-faceted experts say. In part, because not sharing a bed as your partner may impact the frequency of your ability to have sex. But more significantly, the lack of sleep and/or disturbance of your sleep can impact the body’s circadian rhythm— getting your cycle out of balance and causing your hormones to be disrupted, leading to menstrual cycle disturbances and ultimately difficulties in conceiving.

The hardest question is, what exactly can you do about it? The answer is not so simple. Each woman has to assess their own situation and priorities. Consider visiting a fertility coach or speaking with your doctor about some ways you can create balance or make small changes in your lifestyle and routine to improve your fertility. 

Beyond your work schedule affecting fertility, there may be instances where your fertility influences your work schedule – specifically if you're trying to schedule various doctors appointments between 9 and 5. If you’re feeling stressed about taking time out of the office to make these appointments, it may be helpful to confide in a manager with whom you have a good relationship. Many women find they’re given additional flexibility to make up this time, or that their company has additional fertility benefits they weren’t aware of.

Navigating Personal Relationships

When you’re going through infertility, it can feel all-consuming, which for many people can have a profound effect on the relationships in your life. The most obvious is how infertility can impact your relationship with your partner. Many couples may be unprepared for the emotional toll that infertility can have on a relationship, however the impact isn’t always negative.

There are many ways to manage the impact infertility has on your relationship. It can be as simple as setting aside time to talk about other things, prioritizing your sex life, making compromises, or even considering therapy. Fortunately, research has shown that couples who have weathered the stress of infertility are no more likely to break up than couples who have not. For many couples, their relationship may even be strengthened by the challenges that infertility brings, by bringing them closer together and leaving them with a more strengthened bond. 

Outside of your relationship with your partner, friendships may also be inadvertently impacted by your experiences with infertility -- especially with those who have children. While it is so important to engage in self-care and there is absolutely no shame in taking actions to protect your own mental health, don’t miss an opportunity to find a friend who may actually benefit you in the long run. A friend who is eager to talk about your journey may have experienced similar challenges herself, and could be a wealth of knowledge and welcomed refuge to vent and confide in. 

While there is no right and wrong way to approach these relationships while going through infertility, do what you feel is right and maybe you will be surprised along the way. 

 

Thanks for following along during our three-part series! In case you missed it, read Part 1 on taking care of your body, and Part 2 on fostering a fertile mind. 

Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram or share your #FertilityTips with our TTC community