Some Advice Before You Start Fertility Testing

The other month a friend asked me for advice re fertility testing, IUI, and IVF. Here’s what I told her below. If you, too, have been through fertility testing, IUI, or IVF, please feel free to add your two cents in the comments.

1. Cut back at work. I actually quit my job during the process, b/c basically you have to revolve around your ovulation cycle and show up to appointments at the drop of a dime sometimes. If people are counting on you to be certain places at certain times, you’re going to drive them and yourself crazy. So don’t quit your job, but if you can, do the bare minimum to keep your job and don’t take on any new projects.

2. Pick someone to vent to outside of your partner.

3. Make a worst-case scenario budget. For example we said that we would pay for any fertility tests that we needed. And would try IUI up to 5 times (we were advised to stop after two tries). And we agreed that we would only try IVF twice b/c it is so expensive. A lot of people don’t like to think about the worst-case scenario, but that’s how you end up divorced and broke. Agree beforehand how far you and your partner want to take this before you look into adoption or not having children at all. The process is very hard on marriages and much like with parenting, you want to be on the same page. The worst fights come when one partner wants to keep trying and the other is like, “No, we’ve spent too much money.” Have the fight BEFORE you start the process.

4. Have some hard discussions about finances. If IUI works, there’s a good chance that you’ll have multiples. Discuss what you want to do if it turns out that you’re pregnant with more than two babies. Also, discuss the fact that if you do get pregnant with multiples, you will be put on bed rest at some point during your pregnancy and won’t be able to work. Seriously, I can’t stress enough how important budgeting is beforehand.

5. Start doing Date Night now. Date Night is basically a date every other week where you don’t talk about infertility. The process is consuming and it’s easy to forget about your partner’s needs and wants. Date Night is a great way to touch base and remind yourselves why you wanted to spend the rest of your lives together in the first place. Also, Date Night helps to keep you both sane during the often long process of getting pregnant. And it sets a great precedent for parenthood, when your Date Night will be you two agreeing to go out and not talk about your child(ren).