Welcome!

Welcome!

This blog addresses various emotional aspects of experiencing infertility. It is written by a clinical psychologist who specializes in infertility counseling. Thank you for reading, and best of luck with your journey!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The end of the line? The decision to end infertility treatment

A reader asked me to address the issue of how you can tell if you should stop infertility treatment. This is a very important question, and one that is perhaps impossible to answer. However, I am going to try my best to share my thoughts on this subject, for whatever they are worth.

Sometimes the decision to end treatment is basically made for you. A biological event occurs, like being diagnosed with a serious illness, that makes continuing in treatment unwise. In other cases, diagnostic information comes to light that makes the possibility of success so unlikely that continuing in treatment is pointless. Also, financial or practical considerations may arise that make it simply impossible to continue in treatment. However, in most cases, the situation is not so clear cut, and it becomes a judgment call as to whether or not you should continue.

The way I think about the decision to terminate infertility treatment is centered on one of my fundamental beliefs--that we should try whenever possible to anticipate what our future selves will think about our decisions, in order to minimize future regrets. Having children (or not having them) is a very important, life changing decision. Thus, I feel it is extremely necessary to really think about how you will feel about your choices ten, twenty, or thirty years in the future. As an example of what can happen when you do not take your future self into consideration, I would like to tell the story of a lovely woman that I know from my hair salon. She is now in her late 80's and is suffering from some cognitive dementia, so although she has met me several times, she does not explicitly remember talking to me before. Despite this, she always sits down with me and tells me her story, each time with more nuance and detail. In a nutshell, she and her husband had a baby when she was in her early twenties, but sadly, he was stillborn. She wanted to try to have another baby, but her husband was insistent that they should not. He felt if God wanted them to have a baby, he would have let their first baby live. As time went on, she still wanted to have a child, and suggested that they adopt. Again, her husband was adamantly against this--to him, God obviously did not want them to have a child, and besides, he was not interested in raising "someone else's children". She loved her husband and wanted to stay with him, so she put her dreams aside, and stayed with him through thick and thin. Every time she told me this story, she stated that although she is very sad about not having a child, she feels she must come to peace with it. But it seems to me if you are telling this (and only this) story sixty years later to a relative stranger at the hair salon, you may never come to peace with the decision. Although she has led a rich and full life, and has wonderful extended family that make sure all of her needs are met now (including making sure her hair looks fabulous), I am pretty sure that remaining childless was not the right choice for her. And the deep regret that she expresses is the kind of thing I think we all want to avoid.

If it's over, you'll know

So given that you want to make sure that in the future, you do not have profound regrets, how do you tell when it's time to call it quits with infertility treatment? My personal and clinical experience has taught me this: when it's time to quit you will know it. You will feel it, almost as a physical sensation--something like, "I can't do this anymore, it's bad for me." Your self-protective mechanism will kick in, and saving yourself will become the most important goal. I vividly remember the moment of my decision to quit infertility treatment. I had a break at work, and was pacing back in forth in my office when I realized that although I didn't want to stop trying IVF, I had run out of treatment options. If I kept going, it would be sort of like gambling--the odds were stacked against me. I had the profound sense that I would be really hurting myself if I continued, and to no good end. I acknowledged that I was really bad at getting pregnant--but maybe there was something else at which I was good, and it made more sense to put my energy toward that. We turned to adoption, and so far I have never regretted that decision.

But the heart wants what it wants...

However, if you feel in your heart of hearts that you would like to continue, but that maybe you shouldn't because it is expensive, time-consuming, or other practical concerns--then it is a different story. In this case, I think that if you could logistically make it happen, you should probably continue in treatment. Infertility treatment has a time-stamp on it, so you don't want to be looking back 10 or 20 years down the line, when you don't have the option anymore, and wishing you tried when you had the chance. The heart wants what it wants, and if continuing is what is in your heart, I think it is important to try to honor that. Whether or not it results in a baby, at least you will have the closure of knowing you tried everything you could to achieve your goal.

I know that this way of thinking comes at a price, usually financial. I personally hate the fact that money can be such a primary factor when it comes to decision making about creating a family. But money can usually be earned or borrowed, although admittedly not without significant sacrifice. However, having a child is such an important part of life that it may be worth taking on more financial risk or burden in order to maximize your chances.

As for the time, logistical difficulties, and other inconveniences involved with infertility treatment, I would urge you to remember that although it may be difficult in the near-term future, if you avoid these things now, you may be feeling regret later for many years.

As in so many things in life, we must balance our short-term needs with our long-term goals. It is never easy, but I think you should keep in mind that this is one of the most important decisions you will ever have to make. This will help give you the necessary perspective--and courage--to do what you need to do to protect your future happiness.

35 comments:

  1. Thank You Lisa. Thanks for your support and help. I wish we lived closer!!
    Your post has cleared my thoughts. I need to look into the future and make sure I don´t regret anything I do now. For now, we are moving forward with another IVF. Check out my blog for updates if you want.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The video presentation shows you some unique and rare tips on how to reverse almost any type of infertility disorder and get pregnant naturally in just 60 short days even if you're on your late 30's or 40's.

      This is based on the latest scientific research on how to stop the actual CAUSE of 97% of infertility disorders.

      For more info please click on the following link: how to treat infertility

      Talk soon.















      .

      Delete
  2. I find the advice of thinking about our future selves a very good one in terms of decision making. After our failed fertility treatments, a friend offered us eggs. It was hard to contemplate risking the kind of loss we had gone through in the past and it took some time to decide whether we could accept her gift and go ahead with the egg donation. What finally did it for me was that I knew I would regret it deeply if I didn't at least try. That's what finally helped me confront my fear of nurturing hope and be able to go ahead with a new attempt at motherhood.

    Thanks for your blog, Lisa.

    ReplyDelete
  3. just found your blog through ICLW: thank you for writing what you do. We can all vent and tell our stories, but you're reaching out in such a needed way!
    Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks for the wonderful comments! I think both LaLoca and Augusta have highlighted how hard it can be to move forward with treatment when it seems so emotionally risky in the short term--but how important it is to do so in the long term. I hope it worked/works out for everyone!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Well said Lisa. It is such a tough decision. It often helps to start getting educated on your other options for creating a family. This "education" can help in making the decision to try another cycle or may help you come to peace with another way.

    Dawn Davenport
    Host of Creating a Family: Talk about Infertility and Adoption
    Creating a Family, a non-profit providing education and resources for Infertility and Adoption
    www.CreatingaFamily.org

    ReplyDelete
  6. We had said 2 cycles and then we'd stop. In my IRL IF group, I have seen many couples say that and are on their 5th and 9th cycles. I don't know if we would have been similar but we did start researching other options very early on in order to prepare for any eventuality.

    ICLW
    http://daega99-arewethereyet.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  7. I've often wondered, in our 4 years of TTC, if I would ever feel like it was time to stop. This post does a great job of explaining what that realization would feel like, and I know that I'm not there yet. We adopted last year, which I too am much better at than at getting pregnant! For me, the experience of being a mother wad the one thing I could not imagine my life without. That realization led us to adoption,and I couldn't be happier with that choice. But I continue to have a deep longing for pregnancy, and so I am proceeding with donor eggs courtesy of my best friend so I can at least carry my husband's child. If that doesn't work, I want to pursue embryo adoption, though we plan to go the regular adoption route as well. Thank you for this insightful, thought-provoking.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Thankyou Lisa. Our TCM practitioner asked hubby & I to think about this the other day - what would our life be like if we decided to stop and live a childless life? It really made us think about when we would stop - and your post has some great advice :) ICWL

    ReplyDelete
  9. Thank you! This was such a wonderful article! I will definitely link to this! Thanks for stopping by my blog! Happy ICLW! (#72 & 106)

    ReplyDelete
  10. This was such a well-written piece, laying out both the pragmatic and the emotional repercussions of the decisions that have to be made about continuing or ending fertility treatment. I have subscribed to your posts and will surely be bringing some of them, and specifically this one, to the attention of my fertility coaching clients, as appropriate.

    ReplyDelete
  11. oh! i like that thought - try to envision what our future selves would think about our decisions. that's fantastic advice. we just did our 3rd IVF cycle and the response was not good. we only had 2 4cell embryos to transfer on day 3. it was a slap in the face after 2 beautiful cycles last year, both BFN. now we're left with trying to decide where to go next if this fails. this piece of info will be a great discussion point for me and my dh.... and i agree with you. i will know when its over. and i don't know that yet... thanks for this post. stopping over from ICLW (#31)

    ReplyDelete
  12. This is a simply wonderful post. Thank you so much for sharing... your words "that we should try whenever possible to anticipate what our future selves will think about our decisions, in order to minimize future regrets" really resonated within me. While I'm not considering stopping treatment, I'm considering starting it at all. We had planned to move straight to adoption, but as you said so beautifully "the heart wants what it wants" - it's in the best interest of my future self to get that second opinion. Thank you for solidifying that decision for me.

    Happy ICLW and I look forward to reading more!
    ~Keiko, Hannah Wept, Sarah Laughed (ICLW #142)

    ReplyDelete
  13. Great article. What I do not see here is what to do when you and your husband do not agree on when to stop?

    ReplyDelete
  14. , I have no words to express my gratitude, Eka the great priest of Eka kingdom...I have fought with infertility issues for more than a decade. My Gyn told a year ago that one of my tubes was blocked, and had insisted that IVF was the only option left for me. I was desperate and terrified due to my relatively advanced age (I was 38 a year ago) and the 2 ovarian cysts that were giving me hell, that I would be childless. My husband and I decided we will keep on fighting as I have read many awful stories about the side effects, the low success rates and pain involved with the IVF procedure so we kept looking for a way out to have a child of our own. We almost gave up and then I found the email of priest Eka (dreka14demons@gmail.com) and I emailed he for help and he told me all what I will do for him to cast me a pregnancy and pregnancy protection spell. And kindly I immediately ordered him to do all the needful for me to get pregnant and I did everything Eka said along with my husband who had poor sperm motility. After two months of trying I got pregnant with my first baby boy. With one blocked tube and 2 ovarian cysts, I think this is nothing short of a miracle! I will thank Eka for everything, Contact him (dreka14demons@gmail.com)

    ReplyDelete
  15. Excellent blog very nice and unique information related to Beclovent. Thanks for sharing this information.Infertility Specialists in Delhi

    ReplyDelete
  16. If you are looking for the best infertility treatments then here are main three types that are commonly used namely IVF, ICSI and IUI treatments. If you want to know the details of these treatments, then you can visit our blog post.

    ReplyDelete
  17. As we all know that IVF treatment in India is the only last option for having a baby. Sofat Infertility Centre in India provides the best services to resolve infertility problem at low cost

    ReplyDelete
  18. My partner and I have been trying for a baby for over 11years, We were going to a fertility clinic for years before somebody told me to contact this spell caster who is so powerful called Agbazara Temple for him to help me get pregnant,And I'm glad we contacted DR.AGBAZARA, Because his pregnancy spell cast put us at ease, and I honestly believe him, and his powers really helped us as well, I am thankful for all he has done. contact him via email at: ( agbazara@gmail.com ) if you are trying to get a baby, he has powers to do it.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Thanks for sharing this informative post.Now-a-days Infertility is the major problem caused among the couples.Either the problem may be in male or female partner.IVF Treatment has become common among people to get rid of infertility problems. Read More about IVF Treatment Female fertility hospitals in Chennai | ICSI Fertility Hospital in Anna Nagar Chennai

    ReplyDelete
  20. Thanks for sharing the post. If you want the best IVF treatment in Punjab then just contact with experienced surgeon at Eva IVF centre.

    ReplyDelete
  21. You are fed up with all the empty promises and expensive treatments, that haven't reduce the risk of miscarriages and other complications.after years of trying to conceive and a failed IVF and a failed FAnd if you also suffer from ovarian cysts, uterine fibroid, tubal obstruction, endometriosis or lazy ovaries or if your male partner has low sperm count or sperm motility disorders, then Prophetess Masade herbal medicine will help you treat most of these infertility related conditions while restoring your energy and vitality and giving you the healthy baby you've dreamed of for so long. course i have tried it and it worked out for now am pregnant with my baby with just two weeks of contacting him, after 4 years of us trying to conceive. Doctor with your herbs you have brought life into our marriage, am very grateful to you.contact her on masadeinstanthelp@gmail.com or Whatsapp +2349034745112

    ReplyDelete
  22. You have discussed an interesting topic that every body should know. Very well explained with examples. i have found a similar websitesperm donor sydney visit the site to know more about Fertility clinic Sydney

    ReplyDelete
  23. infertility for easy Conception. (No more adoption, with Dr Itua your problem will solve and you will have your child with ease.I have been blog Sites for a while now and today i felt like i should share my story because i was a victim too. I had endometriosis for 18 years and i never thought i would ever get a cure due to the terrible symptoms i had and this made it impossible for me to get pregnant even after 12 years of marriage and it was a serious issue. I got to know about Dr. Itua on Blog Site who treated someone and the person shared a story of how she got a cure and let her contact details, i contacted Dr. Itua and he actually confirmed it and i decided to give a try too and use his herbal medicine that was how my burden ended completely. My son will be 2 this december and i am gratetful to God and thankful to his medicine too.Dr Itua Can As Well Cure The Following Desease…Cancer,Hiv,Herpes,Epilepsy, Hepatitis B,Liver Inflammatory,Diabetis,Fribroid,Get Your Ex Back, If you have (A just reach his on (drituaherbalcenter@gmail. com Or Whatsapp Number..+2348149277967)He can also advise you on how to handle some marital's issues.He's a good man.

    ReplyDelete
  24. It is a joyful thing to have a table surround by our kids in our home, all thanks to doctor Uduehi. I suffered ZERO SPERM COUNT ( AZOOSPERMIA) for a very long time until I red about how he cured someone who experienced similar problem, at first i wasn't sure if he's real because I have tried so many medications and it was all to no avail but I have to give it a try hence no more hope. But behold after taking his medication for one month, I became fertile, my SPERM COUNT risen from zero to 14 million plus and after 2 weeks it became 18 million. All thanks to Dr. UDUEHI for his good work, you too can be cured reach him at: uduehiherbalcare@gmail.com phone/WhatsaPP: +2347084878384

    ReplyDelete


  25. Am jeremiah, I am testifying about a great hebal man that cured my wife of hepatitis B and liver cirhosis. his name is Dr oniha. My wife was diagnose of hepatities two years ago, i almost spent all i had then, until i saw dr oniha recommendation online, and i call him, then he told me how to get the herb. You can call him on +2347089275769 or email him at dronihaspell@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  26. Looking forward to reading more from you down the road!

    ReplyDelete
  27. You shared very nice and detail information with us .

    ReplyDelete
  28. You write good content, I am looking for this thanks for sharing it will help others.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Hello my name is Kyle from EDGEWOOD, Washington DC. I am here to give a glorious testimony of my life. Twelve (12) years after my marriage I have not been able to give birth to a child, it was getting unbearable for me and most especially my husband too. I was scared, my husband was loosing his patience for me though he did not say it out but I could see it in his eyes and the way his mood change most times until a day that we had a serious argument which almost led to the break of my marriage. I was loosing hope when a friend of mine told me about a powerful doctor, Dr. Osagie. I got to talk to him and I told him all I was passing through and he told me that all will be fine, although most times I had doubts but I had no choice but to try and see cause I had nothing else to loose. We discussed and he sent a medicinal herb that I took for 2wks and all of a sudden I began to feel weak and woozy anytime I woke up and my appetite for food increased, I told the Doctor all that was happening to me and he told me to go get a pregnancy test, guess what I was already 5days pregnant now I am a proud mother of 3 beautiful kids all thanks to Dr. Osagie if you feel you need help and your situation is just like mine do not be scared it is fine. You can get to Dr. Osagie through Email: DROSAGIE99@GMAIL.COM or you can also WhatsApp him Via +2349070977669. My regards to you out there.
    KYLE WARREN.

    ReplyDelete
  30. I am testifying about a great herbal doctor who saved me from AZOOSPERMIA , his name is Dr. Uduehi. I suffered zero sperm for many years, I’ve married twice and no woman could stay because of my inability to make them pregnant. I read about Uduehi’s medication online and I decided to try my luck, I contacted him and after using his medication my sperm count was 8 thousand and just like that it keeps increasing and its above 16 million as I speak and my wife is pregnant You too can become fertile just like me if interested. Contact him through: uduehiherbalcare@gmail.com phone/WhatsaPP: +2347084878384

    ReplyDelete
  31. I want to sincerely thank Dr.Osagie the great herbalist who cured me of fibroid disease which was the only thing stoping me from becoming a mother . i had these disease for 7 years which almost cost me my marriage because i was unable to get pregnant. i did a litle research on my own which lead me to this testimony of a woman saying how dr.osagie help her out from this same situation that i was in too, i had no choice but to give a try and see . i got in contact with Dr.Osagie and we discussed, told him my worries and he prescribed a herbal medicine for me with price and how i could get them. i got this medicines and took it as was directed to me and to my greatest supprise in not less than five weeks i did a test and found out that i was already three weeks pregnant. all thanks to the great Dr.Osagie for his herbal drugs that made me a mother and also saved my marriage. you can also contact Dr.Osagie if you find your self in this situation cause he can also help you out . Get to him through Email. via DROSAGIE99@GMAIL.com or call/whatsapp him on +2349070977669 also check out their website www.drosagiefertilty.ste.live
    I would recommened him..
    thank you i'm Hilda.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Don't think of anything else just contact Dr.Osagie and buy some of his herbal medicines, and your depression will certainly go away. This was my state of mind when my doctor told me I would not be able to conclude because of Fibroid disease, and when I decide to come out to the priest, and the priest told me what to do to get the medicine. Finally, I receive all herbal remedies that heal my Fibroid and gave me the chance to become a proud mother. Dr.Osagie is a great spiritualist because of him today I am a mother of two. He did it for me and several other women around the world, because that's how I came to him through his own testimonies. I give you my now you can contact Dr.Osagie at (DROSAGIE99@gmail.com) or Via whatsapp or phone, (+2349038036558). If you suffer from the following gynecological disease:
    1. Fibroid, Hysterectomy, Asthma, All STD, sinus infection, unexplained abortion, fibromyalgia.
    2. High blood pressure (herbs to reduce BP within 7 days)
    3. Infection, common body pain (yeast infection), urinary tract infection. Thyroid Infections, Skin Infection Herbal Cream
    4. Blockage from the fallopian tube, Herbs to unbound uterus, Hepatitis
    5. Ovarian cyst, PCOS
    6. Unpleasant odor from virgin, virgin itch
    7. Irregular menstruation,
     painful period Just contact the spiritualist Dr.Osagie at (DROSAGIE99@gmail.com) or (+2349038036558) to get his herbal medicine to cure your illness and put you on a fun side of life.
    thanks it has been a joy to share.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Hello friends,
    Do you need cure to any of this deadly virus? Contact herbal medicine doctor Ojie today to help you get out of that deadly deaseas which has been waying down for long..email him
    on.. ojieherbalcuretempleofsolution@gmail.com..,he is reliable and dependable in any of the sickness whatsapp..+2348074609849
    HE ALSO HAVE THIS CURE
    {1}HIV And AIDS
    {2}Diabetes
    {3}Epilepsy
    {4} All kinds of cancer cure
    {5} HPV
    {6} ALS
    {7} Hepatitis B
    {8}Herpes
    {9}Pregnancy spell
    {10}Penis enlargement cream
    {11}Love spell
    {12}Lupus
    {13}Gonoria
    {14} Ex back spell
    {15}Magic ring
    {16}Promotion spell
    {17}Power to overcome evil
    {18}Stroke cure
    {19}Fibroid cure
    {20}Fertility remedy
    {21}Lassa fever cure

    ReplyDelete
  34. I am excited to share this testimony, I was 3 years ago diagnosed of fibroid and complicated Endometriosis. My medical condition was heart broken because it was causing my menstrual cramps,bloating before menstrual periods,lower abdominal pressure which result to heavy periods. I was subjected to different medications by my doctor for treatment such as Coenzyme Q10,ibuprofen, Danazol and many more. Despite my visit to several doctors my health wasn't getting better, all they could say was surgery. At the verge of giving up, I went to the internet to search for a treatment at least. But I found a cure instead. In the internet, I read a testimony of a lady who had Fibroid. She shared an e-mail address of the Doctor. Luckily everything seemed to be okay after I took the Herbal Medicine. I wish I could say that’s the end of it because I haven't had any symptoms since then. Do not expose yourself to more danger, use a herbal remedy that is safe and effective. If interested contact him via email address drleetu99@gmail.com.

    ReplyDelete