Partner’s Role During Assisted Reproductive Treatments

By (psychologist), (embryologist) and (fertility counselor).
Last Update: 05/21/2015

“I came to accompany my wife… I don’t have any problem… I don’t care about it…” Does this sound familiar to you?

Nowadays, society has, and continues, to evolve in terms of reproductive health matters. For that reason, statements as the above mentioned belong in many cases to the past. Infertility is increasingly seen as a problem associated with teamwork in which both partners work to the common end, so why don’t we talk here about the influence that this mutual support has on the success of treatment?

Provided below is an index with the 4 points we are going to expand on in this article.

Do males & females deal with infertility differently?

Thanks to Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART), many couples and single women are able to make their dream of becoming parents come true. However, both your physical self and mental state of mind may be compromised during any reproductive cycle. This unavoidable price to pay must be weighed up and taken into account.

Generally speaking, men and women cope with infertility diagnosis in a different way. While women tend to share their feelings, a great percentage of men are usually more introverted, whoever the partner of the couple is the one having problems to conceive. This situation can be extrapolated to gay couples as well.

Ovarian stimulation may be a two-way thing

An ART cycle may cause physical weariness in the woman throughout time and it may grow exponentially if more than one cycle is required in order to achieve pregnancy.

According to Dr Vernaeve from Eugin Clinic (Barcelona, Spain), the partner’s support and accompaniment is fundamental so that the woman cannot feel lonely during the process.

Although she is the one who physically receives the medication, the treatment is a two-way thing at an emotional level. Thus, it is advisable for the man to be part of the process in every respect, i.e. both as regards the preparation and administration of the medication and as regards the time of the visit to the doctor and during any medical/surgical procedure needed if possible.

As psychologist Dolors Cirera explains:

It is essential to insure a fluid and close communication between the man and the woman

In conslusion, professionals at Eugin agree to state that:

It is not only very important at the beginning, but also at the end of the treatment to establish a cooperative relationship atmosphere, with or without children.

The environment has an influence

Research is now available that confirms that although being positive during a fertility treatment does not lead to better clinical outcome, it may be the main factor favoring the woman to feel supported in her weakest moments or when she feels lonely and not eager to continue with the treatment.

In such cases, the partner’s attitude towards the challenging process of a reproductive cycle gives the woman the strength to move forward. Support from family and friends may be helpful too.

Creating a more favourable environment for pregnancy as well as having a partner who sees the assisted reproductive treatment as a common end will contribute to achieve the ultimate goal: a beautiful, healthy baby.

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Authors and contributors

 Dolors Cirera
Dolors Cirera
Licensed Clinical Psychologist with specialized studies in Tourism. Teacher and clinical psychologist. Former psychologist specialized in infertility at Eugin clinic. More information about Dolors Cirera
 Laura Garrido
Laura Garrido
B.Sc., M.Sc.
Bachelor's Degree in Biotechnology from the Pablo de Olavide University (UPO) of Seville, Spain. Master's Degree in Biotechnology of Human Assisted Reproduction from the University of Valencia (UV) and the Valencian Infertility Institute (IVI). Experience at IVF, andrology, and general analysis laboratories. Embryologist specialized in Assisted Reproduction. More information about Laura Garrido
Adapted into english by:
 Sandra Fernández
Sandra Fernández
B.A., M.A.
Fertility Counselor
Bachelor of Arts in Translation and Interpreting (English, Spanish, Catalan, German) from the University of Valencia (UV) and Heriot-Watt University, Riccarton Campus (Edinburgh, UK). Postgraduate Course in Legal Translation from the University of Valencia. Specialist in Medical Translation, with several years of experience in the field of Assisted Reproduction. More information about Sandra Fernández

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