When Infertility Treatments Fail: What’s Your Plan?

When Infertility Treatments Fail–The Place No One Wants To Go…

There is a bizarre dance of contradiction that goes on in our heads as we embark on our fertility journey. We are achingly committed to staying positive, yet there is deafening drone of “what if” brand negativity on heavy rotation in the background, whose volume control knob has been mercilessly broken off. The end result of this courage sapping juxtaposition is paralysis. As much as we know from a logical standpoint that infertility treatments can fail, going to that place in our minds and coming up with an action plan is about as enticing as a sharp stick in the eye.

I feel your pain. But, having paid my dues on this journey, I’m going to give it to your straight. If you want to create a life you love and stop being infertility’s bitch, you’ve got to snap out of your paralysis and ACT. You must have a plan for what you are going to do if or when infertility treatments fail. Knowing that you have a clear course of action mapped out when faced with heartbreak, is a hell of a lot better than walking around in a zombie daze for weeks.

Here are some key considerations for getting the ball rolling.

Life Plan

1) Talk To Your Partner

Seems simple enough, right? You’d be surprised how many people I talk to who are absolutely terrified at raising the question of what to do if or when infertility treatments fail. Some people avoid the issue all together, favoring instead the approach of “well we’ll deal with that when the time comes.” Sorry charlie, but the time is now. If coming at your partner head on with the question of what to do in the face of failure is too much, see if these questions help ease you into the conversation.

2) Give Yourself Permission To Take Time To Regroup

Getting knocked on your ass by disappointing news, no matter how well you have planned for it, warrants taking a time out. This is the perfect time to check in with yourself, your partner, and your finish line. Be patient. Avoid hasty decisions. Realize that you may be reeling. Check in with your coach. Take time to meditate. Talk to your pastor. Keep a soft focus on your vision for a family. You get to decide how long you take to do this, just realize that there is value in making sure that any moves you make are in alignment with what you truly value. Knee jerk reactions = expensive mistakes.

3) Resist Speculation–Have A Conversation With Your Doctor

Google can be your worst enemy in the hours and days after a negative pregnancy test. Plan to have a conversation with your doctor shortly after you get your results, if you can, so that you don’t start circling the drain with all of the folklore, hyperbole, and “well this happened to me…” craziness that is floating out there in the ether. You need good information from the doctor that treated you, NOT someone called “hopeN4BB4589.” (If there really is someone going by that handle on some fertility board, it is purely by coincidence!)

4) Know Your Options

Putting one foot confidently in front of the other when infertility treatments fail requires that you have thoroughly explored all of your family building options, within the framework of your budget and your values–it’s called a finish line! Having options = light at the end of the tunnel. Challenge yourself to keep your mind open.

Have a plan! My hope is that you never have to execute them, but in the off chance you do, you will thank me for urging you to “go there,” trust me. Kick fear and panic to the curb once and for all!

Do You Have A Plan For What You Are Going to do If or When Your Treatment Fails?

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With Love + Respect,


© 2014 Rosanne Austin, From Maybe To Baby

Rosanne offers a variety of programs to help you on your fertility journey — from Self-study, to Live, to Private Coaching.