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  • Cecilia Yee, Counsellor

Infertility – When Will It Be My Turn?

Updated: Nov 18, 2019

“When I got married at 25, starting a family was furthest from my mind as I was busy building my career.  I was nearly 30 when I decided it was time to start a family.  After trying unsuccessfully for 6 months, I turned to my gynaecologist for help.  It was then we found out both of us had issues. The following months led to years of visits to numerous Western and Eastern doctors.  Each visit was filled with hope followed by loss.  Some months it was just unbearable. The accumulation of disappointments started to overflow into bouts of depression.


I know some couples do not make it because they just cannot work out how to support each other. That is why I am grateful I have a very supportive and understanding husband who provided me with the emotional support I needed whenever the lows were deep and painful.

I met another woman who was struggling to conceive as well and we leaned on each other for comfort. We reminded each other to take ‘mental holidays’ from TTC (trying to conceive) and egged each other on during treatments.  


What happened ‘in the end’ you ask? Well, after 5 years we decided we would adopt and continue trying for a baby. Our daughter brought us so much joy that we often forget we are an adoptive family! Statistics say that the chances of conceiving increases when a couple adopts, well, it’s only 5% and we were not in that 5%. After 4.5 years, we adopted our second daughter. 15 years on, we are so grateful we changed our mindsets – our girls are indeed blessings and we remain forever grateful toward their birthparents for the gifts of life!


Infertility is a silent grief which many amongst us experience that is difficult for others to understand. Oftentimes, the couple suffers quietly; gingerly avoiding full month parties, sometimes they fall into pieces on hearing someone else announce their pregnancy, festive seasons become torturous because they get asked over and over when they will bring a baby along to the next gathering…


If you are going through a similar journey, know that it helps to speak to another on the same journey. It is alright, too, to take a break from treatments. Perhaps, set a realistic time line for plans to run on and when to change or explore other treatment plans. Remember too that there are people around you who love you, and whether or not you become a mom, they want to still hang around. Those who stop hanging around just because you can’t become a mom, perhaps they may have issues of their own that you are not aware of. 


Men and women process emotions linked to infertility very differently; men are often more able to compartmentalise their emotions and can go about their daily tasks more steadily whereas women can often feel overwhelmed and struggle to manage their day to day tasks.  Knowing this does not mean that infertility impact males less than the females – they just handle it differently.


If you know someone who has been unsuccessfully trying to conceive, offering a shoulder to cry on and a listening ear is always welcome. You can offer to help run some errands or accompany her when your friend is undergoing treatment. Refrain from saying, “You can always adopt”, “Just relax”, “It could be worse”, and a host of well-meaning, yet sometimes hurtful, comments. If you don’t know what to say, just be present for them. Do reach out to her husband too, who may also be feeling down and all the attention seems to be extended mainly to his wife. Invite the couple out. Ask them to go for a walk, watch a movie, grab some coffee, or any other enjoyable activity to provide a change of scenery and to recharge their spirits.


At aLife, we journey with couples who are finding it difficult to conceive. Make an appointment to see our Counsellor if you would like us to journey alongside you. Call us at 62588816, email contact@alife.org.sg or book an appointment online at https://www.alife.org.sg/book-online/counseling-service.

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