We are lucky to live in a time when assisted reproductive technology can assist so many with making their dreams come true. Still, some people do indeed arrive at the conclusion that they've pursued treatment to a different end.
This article on Canada.com (Choices that will bear fruit) provides a well-balanced illustration of two different end-of-treatment options. In both cases, numerous attempts with fertility treatment did not result in pregnancy. One couple chose to build their family through adoption. The other is remaining child-free.
When pursuing a goal as heartfelt as having a baby, it's difficult for anyone to look at the 'what-if's' -- some may even call it defeatist thinking. In fact, there comes a time for some fertility patients when all options must be at least put on the table for viewing, if not actively chosen at that time.
What this article does not have the time or space to detail are the no-doubt lengthy journeys through complex emotions that these couples went through toward their decisions. Hopefully and most likely, they had the emotional and informational support of their fertility treatment team in the process. After all, while we reproductive endocrinologists focus on creating new life, our goals as physicians are to provide healing for our patients. Sometimes that means knowing when to say "when."