Unfulfilled desire for a child - between hope and despair

The desire to own children is an elementary part of their relationship for many couples. Many men and women see their relationship only completed by a child; usually they are also confirmed by their environment. Most do not worry that they may not realize their wish. But an estimated 15 to 20 percent of all couples in Germany can not have children.

Cause of childlessness not always detectable

The search for the causes of their unwanted childlessness remains unsuccessful for many a couple: While medicine knows many reasons for infertility in men and women, in about one third of all couples no reason can be found. Even if the cause can be identified and treated, couples are often spared a physically and emotionally exhausting trip from one doctor to another.

Gradual cause research

Regardless of whether one speaks of sterility (no pregnancy despite regular unprotected intercourse within 2 years) or infertility (any impairment of fertility or no pregnancy despite regular unprotected intercourse within 1 year), the examination and possible treatment will usually be one Art step plan followed, the successively queried and examined various points.

With the man:

  • external genitals (testes, epididymides)
  • previous diseases such as urinary tract infections, mumps, prostatitis
  • Surgery in the genital and abdominal area
  • varicose veins
  • Problems with erection and ejaculation
  • Evidence of human genetic factors such as hereditary diseases in their own family
  • Stress in the workplace
  • family pressure
  • sexual habits

With the woman:

  • previous methods of contraception
  • Irregularities in the cycle by determining the basal temperature curve over 2 months
  • Knowledge of the fertile days
  • hormone analysis
  • Special examinations of the uterus, ovaries and fallopian tubes
  • / Disease control abdominal surgery
  • Suspected pelvic inflammatory
  • Rubella antibody status
  • previous pregnancies

By both:

  • sexually transmitted diseases
  • psychotherapeutic experiences
  • psychiatric pre-treatment

The cause research in unwanted childlessness is exhausting and time consuming; the outcome is uncertain. In addition, infertility in Germany is not considered a family medical task, but men and women are treated separately by the respective specialists (gynecologists, urologists, andrologists).

According to a recent study by the University of Göttingen, many couples, especially those with unwanted childlessness, would like to have a single, medically competent contact person who collects the individual examination results and coordinates the further treatment steps. In the context of current changes in the healthcare system, it would be conceivable that primary care physicians play a role as coordinators and mediators.

Psychological care

In any case, targeted and as early as possible psychological care makes sense for dealing with unwanted childlessness. Many couples find their childlessness extremely stressful and suffer from it. Concentrating on the question "Why can not we have a baby" prevents us from dealing with possible problems in the relationship.

In the vicious circle of tense wishes, failed attempts and unfulfilled yearning, massive stress arises. The stress hormones epinephrine and norepinephrine, however, also affect the household of sex hormones and additionally reduce fertility. After all, no one can say more about what came first: suffering from childlessness or childlessness from grief.

However, to tie personal well-being and self-esteem so closely to a child is dangerous. The partnership is soon behind the child, other interests can not be maintained or further developed.

Advice is necessary

Since 2000 there is the Kinderwunsch Germany Advisory Network, in which counselors have joined forces to assist childless couples. Consultations and discussion opportunities are also available at Pro Familia and the charities.

The aim of the counseling is to give support in accepting unwanted childlessness. This acceptance does not mean resignation or abandonment. Rather, it should enable a reorientation and make it clear that a life without a child can be possible and, above all, worth living.

Couples who choose reproductive medicine need psychological support as well as those who give up their dream of having a child. Those who opt for artificial insemination or in vitro fertilization will be informed about the risks and dangers. As a rule, however, the desire to have a child and the success of the treatment are in the foreground.

The possibility of being able to hold qualified crisis talks during this treatment should definitely be exhausted. These conversations help to cope better with the often intense pressure, especially from the family and friends. The opening to the outside, the active communication of the desire to have a baby and your own suffering are an important step in overcoming grief and stress.

Consider alternatives

The role of foster or adoptive parents can also be an alternative and discussed. For many couples, this reorientation has led to a decisive inner impetus and lifted all mental blockages: Only a short time later announced the desired child.

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