Published by Vanessa Green
August 24 2023
Published byVanessa Green
August 24 2023
There’s no denying: It takes two to make a baby.
Historically, discussions about fertility struggles have centered around women. However, fertility status is a shared situation, and can involve one or both partners. And reproductive issues are impacting couples more now than ever.
Both partners are “intertwined” in the fertility process from the beginning, explains Cindy Golubisky, Clin Ops & Fertility Clinician at Hera Fertility. There are a lot of tests and a lot of anxiety and anticipation — and not much privacy.
“There’s that whole uncovering of what the culprit could be, and then dealing with it together. And that sometimes can be very disheartening.”
Couples facing infertility can experience significant psychological distress. In fact, a recent study found that women who end up undergoing fertility treatment and aren’t successful are three times more likely to divorce or end cohabitation with their partner than those who do. The path can be emotionally — and financially — draining.
Which is why joint fertility testing can be especially beneficial. It offers couples a chance to navigate the course together — so they can learn together, support each other and make decisions as a unified team.
And joint testing can be even more helpful for couples — and their fertility care team — if they’ve been trying to conceive for a while, and haven’t been successful.
[Read our blog post: The Truth About Female Infertility Diagnosis and Testing]
Understanding joint fertility testing
Joint fertility testing is exactly what it sounds like: Both partners undergo physical evaluations to determine the factors affecting their ability to conceive. Think of it as a deep dive into each partner’s health that provides a complete picture of fertility status.
Fertility investigation tests can take several forms. Often the starting point is blood work, image testing (e.g. ultrasounds) and internal exams (e.g. an HSG) for females and semen analysis for males. Couples are asked about any genetic diseases, lifestyle patterns, alcohol and drug use, etc. For example, some medications may impair the reproductive system. It’s important to discuss your medications with your provider prior to trying to conceive.
[Read our blog post: Male Infertility: Breaking the Stereotypes and Seeking Solutions]
Even these first steps might feel overwhelming. It’s an intensely personal experience that can be embarrassing and uncomfortable. However, navigating the process together can help a couple feel like they have more control over the situation, that they are both invested in the process, the solutions, and each other.