Ending fertility treatment

The decision to stop trying to have children or end fertility treatment is difficult and deeply personal. Here are some points to consider.

Often the decision to stop fertility treatment can be made for you, or it can be made by you as a couple. The reasons may be emotional, physical or financial: some couples limit themselves to a certain number of attempts, while others may set a date or a financial limit and when it’s reached they stop.

The decision to stop trying is a very personal one for you and your partner, so you need to decide whether you are both ready to take this step. It is not compulsory to keep trying and you mustn’t feel that you have to keep enduring treatment cycle after treatment cycle in the quest for a child.

Deciding to call a halt to treatment is a momentous decision. You need to ask yourselves whether the time is now right for the treatment to stop. If you can’t agree then consider counselling. Think about your consultant’s advice, but above all keep talking to each other about how you feel.

Weighing up the pros and cons may help. You may feel you have failed, you have lost your future hopes and dreams, or that you have let down your parents who won’t have grandchildren.

But on the other hand, there could be a huge sense of relief that the roller coaster of fertility treatment is over. Dates and charts no longer control your lives, and you won’t have to find thousands of pounds every time you embark on another treatment cycle.  This could lead to a new beginning for you: perhaps a change of career, or maybe working part-time so that you can pursue a hobby that until now you have not been able to find the time for. Getting involved with a charity can be rewarding.

Making contact with others who have come to the same conclusion can also help. Using the social side of the charity may be beneficial for support, understanding and a route to come out of the feeling of isolation.

Your decision to stop treatment will have been made based on the information and medical expertise that is currently available. However, future advances may alter the issue, so don’t feel that you have to stick to the decision forever; you can always reconsider at a later date if you feel it appropriate.