According to clinical psychologist Stephanie Bové, infertility is a temporary decrease in the ability to conceive.
Infertility affects 15% of reproductive couples. One-third of couples over 35 have fertility problems.
It is estimated that infertility affects 1 in 7 heterosexual couples in South Africa.
Bové says, in many cultures motherhood seems to be an integral part of their identity and not following the 'order of life' (falling in love, getting married and having children) is seen as dysfunctional.
The experience of infertility has a psychological impact on the couple. Bové says while it is usually expected to be the woman going through the difficult time, more and more men go through an equal level of stress.
When you start basing your sexual intercourse program on a time limit it becomes extremely challenging on a couple.— Stephanie Bove', Clinical Psychologist
Bové says when a couple is dealing with issues of infertility, they tend to be anxious about how they are perceived by the broader social context and their peers.
The anxiety gets linked to possible social exclusion from their peers who may have already embarked on developing families.— Stephanie Bove', Clinical Psychologist
Your immediate family member might start distancing because they are not used to those feelings you might be experiencing.— Stephanie Bove', Clinical Psychologist
To hear the rest of the interview, listen below:
This article first appeared on CapeTalk : Family Matters: The emotional effect of infertility