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Describes some of the possible reactions to infertility investigations.

Possible reactions of infertile couples

Infertile couples may react in several ways.

There are several possible reactions that infertile couples may experience while undergoing investigations. It is important to realize that couples are different, and will react in different ways.

Affects relationship with other family members

Infertility can affect a couples relationship with other family members who have become pregnant when they themselves have failed. A reminder of their own problem.


A frequent target is the doctor or specialist, sometimes patients can become abusive or critical to their doctors’ competence. Reassurance usually fuels their anger. It is important to note that these reactions are normal, acceptable and should be received with empathy.


An infertile partner may feel guilty of letting the other partner down. Some couples express feeling of guilt for wanting a child after having their first one as a result of in-vitro fertilization (IVF), because they do not want to deprive the existing child from a brother or a sister, they repeatedly try attempts at IVF without success.

Couples who have had a termination of their first pregnancy and can not conceive a second time may have particular difficulty coping with their feeling of guilt. They may feel that they are being punished for rejecting their first baby. Similarly, some individuals may feel that they are being punished for past sexual activities.


As the sense of failure intensifies, the infertile couple will become more isolated from social activities and friends. Women are particularly vulnerable; the danger is that they become more isolated, losing contacts with reality and suffers from low level of chronic depression with acute episodes. These are often triggered by events, which will be reminder of their problem such as birth of someone else’s baby, the announcement of a pregnancy, children’s birthday parties etc. Those who have past history of emotional difficulty are the most vulnerable.

Sexual problems

This is a very important problem and too often over looked. It is very difficult for the couples to admit that their sexual life is suffering, if not ceased altogether except in the mid-cycle. The command to have sexual intercourse on demand may affect both partners. Sexual activities may become baby making rather than a natural expression of love. This stress may leads to impotence and vaginismus.

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