How Do You Tell Your Partner He/She is the Infertile One?

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For those with fertility issues, trying to conceive can feel overwhelming. The pressure to “produce” eventually takes the fun out of the production! Add to that the uncomfortable realities of going through test after test to find out that, gasp, it's not you who's infertile – it's your partner. Here are some ways to break the ice and approach your partner with the delicate news.

{ MORE: What Infertility Really Felt Like }

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I Love You. Always Forever.

Telling your partner they are infertile can give both you and them anxiety. Be calm when you break the news and explain right off the bat that you will love them no matter what the outcome is. Assure them that your love for them is its own entity and does not rely on this news.

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Communicate Clearly

As difficult as it may be, explain everything you know about the situation to date so that you are both on the same page. Putting all the facts on the table will address some of your partner's initial questions or concerns. Allow time for both of you to express any frustrations, fears, desires, and needs to one another without judgment.

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Stick Together

Reassure your partner that even though they may be the one with the fertility issue, they will not be going through it alone. This includes doctor visits; medication orders, retrievals, and administrations; and invasive procedures.

{ MORE: Infertility: Taking the First Steps }

Dr. Randall R. Odem, Division Chief of Reproductive Endocrinology at Washington University in St. Louis, encourages partners to think as a team. “Couples should approach it as they have a goal. It's a group project, and I discourage people from thinking of it as his or her problem,” said Dr. Odem.

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Blame-Free Zone

Though it may be hard in such a sensitive situation, try not to place any blame on your partner. Emotions can run extremely high when dealing with infertility, but you need to remember to keep your cool. Nothing good can come from blaming each other, and neither one of you have any control over the situation anyway. Focus on the positive and what you can do to help instead of giving your partner a complex.

{ MORE: Improve Fertility with Natural Preconception Therapies }

“Figure out how severe the infertility is and focus on what your options are,” suggests Dr. Odem.

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R.E.S.P.E.C.T.

Don't assume because your partner had a different reaction to the news than you suspected that they don't care or are going to be too difficult to “work” with. This kind of personal surprise can catch a person off guard and test their emotional limits. Allow them to feel how they feel and don't pressure them to change their mind. They may have a lot to work out internally. This may be a good time to discuss who they feel comfortable sharing the news with and how to approach it in future conversations.

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