Spotlight On The Male Partner
Going through fertility treatment is difficult and while there is emphasis on the female partner, the male partner can sometimes feel they have been overlooked.
Fertility Counsellor, Helga Behan, shares her tips on how men can help themselves and their partners through treatment.
Why do men sometimes feel overlooked?
- The male partner can feel they're not part of the process; their partner has to take injections and go through invasive procedures. However, at Sims IVF, we feel both partners are an important part of the process.
- The male partner can feel they can't express their emotions/feelings/fears, as they have to look after their partner. This can contribute to men feeling alone.
What are some of the fears?
- The pressure of having to produce a sample at egg collection can lead to anxiety and unhelpful thoughts. What if there is no sperm in the sample or they can't produce? This can be a worry that can lay quite heavy on male partners.
- Their partner has changed and does not seem to be coping; will they ever get back to their old self? Male partners can then feel helpless and don't know what to say to make it better.
- If the fertility issue is male factor then there is an added feeling of embarrassment. If the couple needs to use donor sperm, this can also cause a host of different emotions.
- There is now little focus on the relationship as it all revolves around getting pregnant.
- Men are just as important in the process. It actually helps your partner if you can talk about how you are feeling. It helps them feel less alone in the process and you deserve not to feel alone too.
- Men have the right to grieve/be disappointed/be angry too.
- You both really want a baby and yes it does take over to some extent but that's normal. Talking about why you got together and bringing back some of the fun can help to reaffirm the relationship.
- Having someone outside the relationship to talk to can help. Knowing the support team is there to help no matter how big or small the issue, can really help take the pressure off.