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"Let's talk about infertility - how does it affect life as a couple?"

Couples who suffer infertility must rediscover the meaning of fecundity because they too are called to bear fruit, even if not through children. Love is always fruitful

16 | 03 | 2023

The Master's Degree Marriage and Family University has initiated a series of Webinars to address issues that currently affect the family. The purpose of these seminars is to train all those people who are aware that the most important business that human beings have in their hands is the family; to make visible initiatives, in many cases professional, of some of the 650 graduates from the five continents that the Master's Degree in Marriage and Family (MMF) has formed throughout its twenty-two years of life; and to present the Master's Degree as a great learning option to face the challenges, crises and cycles that marriages and families must solve today.

The second seminar graduate "Let's talk about infertility: How does it affect the couple's life?" was given by Dr. Cristina López del Burgo, physician, professor at the MMF, researcher at the UNAV and expert in the field of sexuality and infertility.

Cristina, who has been married for 22 years to Javier, explained through her professional experience and staff that accepting an infertility status is a long road that involves dealing with feelings of uncertainty, sadness, anger, guilt and, on many occasions, loneliness due to social ignorance, despite the high incidence (1 in 6 couples have difficulties in having a child). She also stressed that the experience of infertility is different for each person, therefore, it is essential that the couple in this status walk board and united: talking, understanding and validating each other's feelings.

The speaker equated the initial moment, that of diagnosis, to a tsunami that washes away the dreams of the marriage. The loss of this vital project entails a mourning process, she added. When asked the question "When will the children be ready?", Cristina advised not to ask it in the first place. But given that it continues to be asked, she advised couples with infertility to think about what they want to answer. On the other hand, she explained why it is necessary to avoid saying to childless couples "how well you live without children", "you are young, I am sure you will make it" or "relax and you will get pregnant", among other comments.

The session addressed the impact of infertility on sexuality. Scheduled" sexual relations, medical treatments, the decrease in self-esteem when discovering a fertility problem, negatively affect sexuality, especially sexual desire. Cristina encouraged couples who are at this stage to grow in intimacy and enjoy the shared moments. She also gave some tips to regain desire. Cristina emphasized that being a man or a woman is much more than being able to have a biological child.

The speaker gave some advice that can help in this path of infertility. She encouraged to talk with couples who have gone through the same status to reduce uncertainty, with good friends who know that they will not minimize their problem and that they will support them during the process, and even with a priest, if they consider it appropriate. He insisted on asking financial aid to psychologists or psychiatrists if one of the members of the couple feels overwhelmed or is unable to move forward on this path.

Another committee was to maintain an attitude of gratitude. Cristina showed with an example that infertility is like a black dot on average of a blank sheet of paper. We tend to focus on the black dot (infertility) instead of focusing on all the white space around it. That white space is all the good things we have in our life and we should try to discover them, focus our attention on what we have instead of what we lack.

In conclusion, the speaker stressed that "there is light at the end of the tunnel" and "you can be happy without children, even if you have wanted them with all your heart and soul". She also encouraged couples suffering from infertility to rediscover the meaning of the fecundity of their love, because all love is fecund, even if it is not through biological children. Finally, Cristina invited those who want to deepen in this topic to contact her through her Instagram account @clopezdelburgowhich under the degree scroll "A vuestro lado en el camino de la infertilidad" (At your side on the road of infertility) tries to accompany those who suffer.