While Valentine’s Day can be a fun excuse to pamper a partner, for many of us, it can be stressful. Whether you’re single, having relationship difficulties or even happily partnered up, the prospect of social media feeds peppered with mushy messages, supermarket aisles littered with a litany of love hearts or even pressure from friends and family can be daunting indeed.
And, for couples who are trying to conceive, Valentine’s Day can be an unwelcome added stressor in an already difficult time, often full of scheduled sex, ovulation monitoring and feelings of inadequacy.
But, if this sounds like you and your other half, it doesn’t have to be this way.
Here are three top tips for surviving, and even thriving, on Valentine's Day during fertility struggles.
There’s no getting around it, trying to conceive can be a very stressful experience for both partners, especially if it doesn’t happen naturally. However, papering over the cracks and avoiding the reality of the situation can push you apart from your partner, as you will both be dealing with it inside your own heads.
Instead, address the stress, strain and anxiety together; it can help to allocate time to talk about your feelings together, openly. This way, you both know how each other are doing and are better positioned to support the other person. This way, you could also put a limit on how long you talk about it so you can draw a line under the topic once a day, to try to focus on something more positive, without avoiding the topic entirely.
If you’re trying for a baby together, chances are you like each other quite a lot! The pressure and insecurity around getting pregnant can stop you from appreciating your partner, as you can start to associate them with the pain you’re feeling.
For Valentine’s Day (and increasing in regularity), why not spend some time together in a place you used to enjoy before the fertility struggles started. Spend some time reminiscing about better times, this can help you to remember why you love that person, and make you feel closer in a more positive way.
If you are feeling moody from fertility drugs you take to help you conceive, or you’re on edge as you wait to see if your recent IVF treatment worked, having a romantic evening is likely the last thing on your mind.
Don’t put too much pressure on yourselves, and aim for a low-stress evening which helps you to reconnect. There will be other Valentine’s Days, and romance isn’t restricted to one day a year!