Asking for help can: when and how to ask for advice if the pregnancy is late in coming
Searching for a pregnancy may not be a linear pathway. When a child makes himself wait, the couple risks entering a circle of expectations and disappointments. Added to this is the invasion into the personal and intimate sphere of external elements that can create other barriers.
To face this experience it is possible to get help: the first step is to open up, and talk about it with those around us, or addressing associations and listening centers, because the loneliness in which the partners risk closing themselves is just a bad memory. It is of vital importance not to wait too long, before the couple asks for help and the greater the chances of being able to have a child.
Dr. Sebastiana Pappalardo, geneticist and president of the Onlus Fertility Association, answers some questions about the approach to listening centers.
Do man and woman face the difficulties in the same way in the first conception disappointments?
No. They live it differently, the woman seems more fragile, but reacts better to difficulties. Man lives in the background, suffering the stress of those who cannot actively participate. This is verified by our association on a daily basis.
Does life as a couple run risks?
Initially the problem can unite, but if the infertility is prolonged in time it can change the balance of the couple and create a considerable disturbance.
And the sexual activity?
Even sexual activity is affected by the problem that is being experienced, spontaneity is lacking and sexual intercourse is experienced as a function of procreation, almost as if it were medicalized. Also in this the Fertility Association, through its sexologist consultants has been able to verify, study and analyze the problem to be of maximum help to all the problems that can occur and try to solve them.
We often speak of "stress" as a cause that prevents healthy couples from not conceiving. How much is true in this?
Undoubtedly, psyche and body travel together. Stress can be strongly implicated in reproductive incapacity, so much so that there are around 15% of cases of unexplained infertility for which, by doing all the investigations, there is no physical cause. The association is carrying out a research project on this very topic, which until now has not been particularly addressed.
If non-physiological problems are found, how important is the attitude of both partners to a successful pregnancy?
It matters a lot. Couples who accept psychological help in the expectation of a pregnancy, which is slow to arrive, if they manage not to focus too much on the difficulty of conception, and live the problem more detached, can achieve better results.
Another research by the Association is trying to evaluate the impact on assisted reproduction of the attitude, especially in women, with which the attempt to conceive is experienced.
When a couple fails to have a child what, if any, is an ideal way to proceed?
For us as an Association it is very clear that people need to turn to professionals with proven expertise in infertility: gynecologists, andrologists, biologists, psychologists who are dedicated to this specific sector.
When the couple turns to a help center, how is contact and who is talking to?
Our experience shows us how the couple needs to talk first of all with people who know how to stay close, understand, listen, but, immediately afterwards, the transition to expert consultants is mandatory, because the couple needs to solve the problem as soon as possible she turned to the help center.
Is it advisable to consult a doctor for a specific diagnosis using tests?
It is essential to contact a specialist infertility doctor without wasting time, we often see couples who have lost their best years by traveling in places that are not particularly specialized and doing unnecessary, repetitive and expensive tests. If they had landed before, with a professional fit for their situation, they would have been more likely to succeed and less stress.
Established that a couple should renounce pregnancy, is there adequate support that may indicate alternatives?
Unfortunately there are no adequate supports or very few. If by alternative we mean adoption or foster care, even in this field it is difficult to find support, due to an equally complex path, if not even more complex than that of assisted reproduction.
Are there help centers at the public level?
No, at the public level there are no help centers, there are only a few industry associations, born from the private will of those who have already experienced the problem, to give information and support to people who find themselves living the same situation. We have been aware of this for many years and in fact our association of infertile patients and expert consultants was born precisely from the realization of this reality and from the need that derives from it.