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Happy Together: Making Love Last (When infertility comes between your marriage)

Jay and Mariana are the perfect couple. They met and dated during their senior year in high school and had been inseparable ever since.  After a long wait, they were finally engaged right after finishing college. After less than a year of college,  Jay and Mariana decided to tie the knot.

The first few months as newlyweds was a bliss.  They were so in love that there wasn't even room for even a single petty quarrel.  But in their second year as husband and wife, things began to change. Suddenly, both began to feel the pressure and frustration of still having an empty nest.  Their romance and intimacy was slowly eroded by the sense of incompleteness.  


Mariana was so consumed about having her own child that she eventually drifted away from Jay.  In her mind, marriage was all about having a family.  At times, she would feel very depressed and think that maybe she was at fault.  At the back of her mind, she was worried that something was wrong with her and that is the reason why she has not been able to conceive.


Jay had his own share of stress and anxiety in their marriage. Even if he tried to hide his frustrations, he could not help but express his envy whenever his best friend Mikey spoke about his one-year old son and how his wife Pamela was expecting their second child. 


The couple found family reunions and other occasions with relatives to be particularly difficult.  Jay and Mariana were always bombarded with questions about when they would finally have children of their own.  The sight of nephews and nieces made them more sensitive to the fact that they were childless.  Both of them had to endure endless questions, jokes, stares,  and the noise of happy children.  They would not have minded the laughter, crying, and screams of the children --- except that these little packages of energy and fun were not their own.  Every family reunion, an insensitive aunt would always joke about the “stork” that lost its way and never reached Jay and Mariana's empty home.   The couple just kept silent everytime they heard that cruel joke.


For such a long time, Jay and Mariana exchanged accusations and blame for not having a child of their own. The stress and anxiety of not having a child almost took a toll on their marriage.   Fights became more frequent and the moments of intimacy became rarer --- which further complicated their problem.  How could they have a child if they were always fighting?


With the prodding of a mutual friend,  Jay finally agreed to go with Mariana to a doctor.  After a series of tests, the doctor told them that Mariana was perfectly capable of getting pregnant.  The doctor also said that Jay had a very low sperm count which could probably explain why Mariana still could not get pregnant.


Like Jay and Mariana, many couples experience problems with infertility.  In fact, in the United States, it is estimated that six million couples face infertility challenges each year, or about 10 percent of all married couples.  Infertility is the failure of a couple to become pregnant after one year of regular and unprotected intercourse. Under ideal circumstances, the probability that a woman will get pregnant during a single menstrual cycle is only about 30%. In many cases, infertility is caused by a combination of factors in both partners that conspire to prevent such conception from occurring. Infertility affects one in 25 American men. Men infertility cases are due to low sperm count or poor sperm quality. In most industrialized countries like the U.S, sperm counts have been found to be in a decline especially among busy, career-driven men.

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