The Strain Of Infertility On Relationships

Dear Dr. Darcy, 

My partner and I have been trying to get pregnant for almost a year with no luck. We’re now seeing a fertility doctor who wants to start the process but is going so slowly (oral medicine for a couple months before trying in vitro).

This entire thing has made sex feel like work and my husband is freaking out about what it will cost if we wind up needing in vitro fertilization. 

TBH, I’d rather just go right to in vitro so this doesn’t drag out longer than necessary. I’m worried about what this will do to my relationship if it takes another 9 months. Is it wrong if I push to skip the oral medications and go right to in vitro?   


There’s a lot here that’s wrong — none of which has anything to do with you. 

We live in a world where younger generations no longer even hope to do better than their parents — just coming close makes most of us feel like success stories.  

Getting to that standard of living takes a lot longer than it used to — in part because we come out of college so burdened by student loan debt — and also because for most people, wages have barely increased since (wait for it) the late 1970’s. Don’t take my word for it. Read the research

Basically, we’re waiting longer to have kids because kids are expensive AF, and we’re having less sex because trying to get to a financially stable standard of living is exhausting AF. 

There are lots of ways to fix this problem and here are two basic ones coming from a girl who didn’t study economics but who did conduct a quantitative research study in PhD school:

We can adjust down the income at the top end of the bell curve and pass it along to the rest, enabling people to achieve financial stability at an age that wouldn’t increase the need for infertility treatment.

Or… we can cover the cost of IVF treatment for every woman since, in all likelihood, income distribution is going to remain fucked for the foreseeable future.

As micro as that rant was, it’s important for you to understand how your personal struggle is indicative of a much larger problem. That’s what you get for following a social worker 😉 

Essentially, you’re not just dealing with trying to get pregnant — you’re also up against two of the biggest relationship problems that couples struggle with: Money and Sex. That’s a lot of stress on your relationship and I don’t blame you for wanting to get out of the process as quickly as possible. 

Since I’m not an MD, I suggest you have a candid conversation with the fertility doc and tell them what you told me about how this is impacting your relationship and ask how they feel about you leapfrogging over the oral meds to in vitro. 


Writer’s Demographics

Gender: Female

Sexual Orientation: Straight