The advances in infertility treatment in the last five years have been amazing and a true blessing for those suffering from this disease. That’s the upside, but there is a downside as well. Deciding when to stop has become even harder for many people. There is always another treatment you can try, another procedure, another step up the escalator.

Will you feel like you quit on yourself if you stop infertility treatment?

Are you a quitter if you decide to not take that next step up the fertility treatment escalator? On member of the Creating a Family Facebook Support Group said it so well:

It seems that in our society, we’re always hearing the message that if you try hard enough, you will achieve your dreams and I think that there are many people struggling with Infertility who feel pressured to keep going longer than they might otherwise based on this mantra. In the end, it is up to the individual or couple to determine what is best for them as an individual and as a family, but there are many people who have a vested interest in the fertility treatment working. Extended family members, REs, etc. that add to that pressure as well. Yes, the general consensus that you should give IVF at least 3 or 4 times to see if it’ll work, but what if you aren’t able or willing to try IVF 3 or 4 times for whatever reason. Does that mean you didn’t try hard enough and you`re giving up to soon?

When is Enough Enough in Infertility

Knowing when to stop is complicated.

There are financial considerations. If you spend all your money on infertility treatment, will you have enough left over for adoption if you decide to go that route?

There are emotional considerations. Are you damaging your marriage or friendships beyond repair because of the stress of treatment? Are you giving up the joy of living your life right now and wasting years of happiness?

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What would you tell your Pre-Treatment Infertile Self?

On the other hand, you’ve had a lifelong dream of having a child, including being pregnant. You’ve spent years imagining what a child from you and your spouse would look like. Are you giving up on your dream? You’re making a decision for yourself not just for the here and now, but also for the future, when you aren’t sick and tired of all the hassle… in the future when you might wonder in the middle of the night what might have been if you only tried harder.

How did you know how far to go with fertility treatment and how hard to try? Or did you just keep trying until you succeeded?

Originally published in 2013; Updated in 2019
Image credit: D. Sinclair Terrasidius