Here are tips for supporting your wife or partner when she is undergoing fertility treatment:
- Share the burden and the stress: Make sure that you are in sync on how to react to "less than positive" comments about your situation. This is especially important when people in your close circles may be successful in getting pregnant.
- Strategize and agree on what to say to friends, family and colleagues: While undergoing fertility treatments, you may differ on how much to share and with whom. Your decisions may vary depending on the nature of each relationship.
- Find ways to get away together: Since this is a stressful time, plan time for activities that you like doing together. This will help you focus on something other than infertility treatments and continue to share common bonds.
- Share your feelings of loss together: If treatments are unsuccessful, your partner will likely feel comforted knowing that you are also feeling disappointment and pain. Assure your partner that you are on this IVF journey together.
- Accept differences: Know that you may both react differently to the stress of infertility.
- Find the balance between communicating positive feelings and empathizing: Share your positive feelings to your partner, particularly when she is sad. Try to help her keep the good things about your live together in mind while not invalidating how sad she feels.
- Listen carefully and devotedly to your partner: Show her that you care about her thoughts, feelings and experiences. It is important not to judge her or give advice unless she asks for it. Sometimes there may not be anything to say to make her feel better at that moment.
- Be supportive and separate your own feelings and anxieties: Remain positive for your partner throughout every step. Introducing negativity will add more stress to an already tense situation.
- Find fun distractions: Especially during the two-week waiting period after the embryo transfer, find entertaining activities to keep you busy.
- Seek counseling: Get professional support or emotional help—either as a couple or individually for yourself.
- Actively participate in the process: Remain integrally involved throughout the process. Since the fertility specialist is your doctor too, inquire about upcoming tests, procedures or medications that your partner will need. Ask about the potential pain, discomfort or side effects. Find out how you can support her before, during and after the procedure.
- Go to medical appointments with her: Stay on top of the treatment stage, help her with the injections, know when you should expect to get news about the cycle outcome, and go along with her to day surgery and the embryo transfer procedure.
- Participate in research activities: Help your partner locate information online and read the literature with her.
Some good news
Even though most couples report that IVF treatment put them under stress, many experienced improvements in their relationships both during and after treatment. The experience of working through the fertility cycle together, along with good communication and understanding, can help partners get closer.
Most common feelings for men during IVF treatment