By Laura Garrido BSc, MSc (embryologist).
Last Update: 05/21/2015

“I came to accompany my wife… I don’t have any problem… I don’t care about it…”

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?

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.

“It is essential to insure a fluid and close communication between the man and the woman”, explains Dolors Cirera, psychologist at Eugin. 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 favouring 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.

Authors and contributors

 Laura Garrido
BSc, MSc
Embryologist
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

One comment

    1. Mariah Parker

      In my case, it was my husband who administered the medication to me. That made me feel way more relaxed because I felt I actually had his support. I find it very important, since it is us the women and not men who have to take medication for being able to undergo the ovarian drilling. This was our way to “suffer” together during this process. My recommendation is as follows: don’t do this by yourselves, it is really helpful to have someone by your side during an IVF.