Infertility: A Source of Marital Conflict

The first few months of marriage was nothing but bliss. The couple lived in the proverbial paradise on earth as they enjoyed each other’s company as newlyweds. People would often see them walking hand in hand as they strolled along the beach. They still regularly went out on a movie date just like they used to in high school.

However, on their third year of marriage, things slowly began to change. Friends and family began to wonder why, after three years of marriage, the couple was still childless. Soon enough, Robert and Meryl also began to feel the pressure and frustration of not having a child to call their own. The empty nest began to take a toll on their romance as the feelings of incompleteness began to seep in.

Soon after, Meryl began showing signs of obsession about getting pregnant. Ironically, her desire to have a baby caused a rift between her and her husband. Depression cast a dark cloud on their relationship as Meryl developed strong feelings of inadequacy for not having been able to conceive after several years of marriage.

Robert also had to grapple with his own stress and anxiety about being childless. He would often feel embarassed about not having any stories about his own child whenever his friends would open up the topic of marriage and family during their regular get-togethers. The couple also found family reunions and other occasions with relatives to be quite awkward. The couple would often be surrounded by children of their siblings and relatives, all time wondering if they would ever have children of their own. Robert and Meryl always had to dodge questions about the fact that they were still without child.

The worse thing that happened about Robert and Meryl’s relationship is that they slowly began to blame each other. The stress and anxiety in their relationship almost took a toll on their marriage. Far from the almost idyllic relationship they had when they first started as a newlyweds, the couple began to have more and more fights.

A concerned friend mustered enough courage to ask the couple to consider going to a counselor. The couple’s friend also advised them to see a doctor who specializes in fertility issues. Fortunately, the couple decided to follow their friend’s advice. After a series of tests, the doctor told Meryl and Robert that she was perfectly capable of conceiving a child. The doctor also advised Robert to get more sleep and rest periods that would help him improve his sperm count.

Like Robert and Meryl, many couples experience problems with infertility. In fact, in the Unites States alone, an estimated six million couples face infertility challenges every year. About 10 percent of all married couples in America struggle with the issue of being childless, a situation that causes emotional as well as relational problems.

Infertility is defined by doctors as a condition when a couple fails to attain pregnancy after one year of regular and unprotected intercourse. Under ideal circumstances, the probability that a woman will get pregnant during a single menstrual cycle is only about 30%.

In most cases, infertility is caused by a combination of factors that prevent conception from occurring. Based on recent studies, infertility affects one in 25 American men. Infertility cases in men are due to low sperm count or poor sperm quality. In most industrialized countries like the U.S, sperms counts have been in decline supposedly due to the increased work load and hectic lifestyle of the male population.

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