Regardless of whether the infertility problem comes from the female or male partner, or is unexplained, men commonly experience a range of emotions while their partner is undergoing in vitro fertilization. Because the woman undergoes the physical procedures and drug treatment, all the focus is on her, and men can feel as if their only role is to be a sperm donor.
Problems can also arise when men are not as expressive as women in sharing and talking about their emotions and feelings.
Understandably, women are generally very upset when IVF fails and they don't conceive at the end of a treatment cycle. Some women are emotionally devastated, and are confused if their male partner lacks an equally strong response. This mismatch can cause a misunderstanding and possibly even resentment between pair.
Men going through the IVF journey most commonly feel loss of control, worry, sadness, frustration, sexual inadequacy, loss of identity, and loneliness and isolation.
When undergoing IVF treatment, women frequently feel that their body no longer belongs to them. They feel that their fertility and future are in the hands of their physicians. Male partners could also experience similar loss of control and frustration. This is particularly true when it comes to their sex life. Often, they feel like their partner's menstrual cycle governs their relationship. Intercourse is disassociated from pleasure and fun, and is perceived as a necessary responsibility in order to conceive.
When in comes to worried feelings, men can simply be very concerned about what their partner is going through with fertility treatments. After all, women may take a lots of fertility drugs that may or may not have some adverse effects on their health, not to mention their level of stress or emotions. Beyond this, men are typically worried about what happens if the IVF treatment fails or results in a multiple pregnancy.
The male partner can feel sadness if he loses his ability to contribute to the production of offspring. He may feel that he has let his wife down or that he is less of a man, particularly when the problem is male factor infertility.
Men may feel they are not able to offer their wife/partner this family they are so desperate to have. And, so, they question their sexual value as a man and worry about their social status.
Men whose friends and family are getting on with life and having their own children may also feel lonely, having no one to talk to who will sincerely understand their predicament and how they feel.
Men in situations of infertility may feel that they do not meet their own expectations of family, cultural, spiritual, and community.