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Archive for the ‘man’s role in IVF’ tag

The Man’s Role in IVF

By David Kreiner MD

January 24th, 2015 at 8:13 am

 

credit: imagery majestic/ freedigitalphotos.net


Many husbands complain that they feel left out of the whole IVF process as all the attention and care is apparently directed towards the woman. If anything they may feel that at best they can show up for the retrieval at which time they are expected to donate their sperm on demand. If you should fail at this then all the money, time, hope and efforts were wasted all because you choked when you could not even perform this one “simple” step.

I have not witnessed the terror and horrors of war but I have seen the devastation resulting from an IVF cycle failed as a result of a husband’s inability to collect a specimen. Relationships often do not survive in the wake of such a disappointment. Talk about performing under pressure, there is more at stake in the collection room than pitching in the World Series.

Husbands and male partners view IVF from a different perspective than their wives. They are not the ones being injected with hormones; commuting to the physician’s office frequently over a two week span for blood tests and vaginal ultrasounds and undergoing a transvaginal needle aspiration procedure. At least women are involved in the entire process, speak with and see the IVF staff regularly and understand what they are doing and are deeply invested emotionally and physically in this experience. So what is a husband to do?

 

Get Involved

Those couples that appear to deal best with the stress of IVF are ones that do it together.

Many husbands learn to give their wives the injections. It helps involve them in the efforts and give them some degree of control over the process. They can relate better to what their wives are doing and take pride that they are contributing towards the common goal of achieving the baby.

When possible, husbands should accompany their wives to the doctor visits. They can interact with the staff, get questions answered and obtain a better understanding of what is going on. This not only makes women feel like their husbands are supportive but is helpful in getting accurate information and directions. Both of these things are so important that in a husband’s absence I would recommend that a surrogate such as a friend, sister, or mother be there if he cannot be. Support from him and others help diminish the level of stress and especially if it comes from the husband helps to solidify their relationship.

Husbands should accompany their wives to the embryo transfer. This can be a highly emotional procedure. Your embryo/s is being placed in the womb and at least in that moment many women feel as if they are pregnant. Life may be starting here and it is wonderful for a husband to share this moment with his wife. Perhaps he may keep the Petri dish as a keepsake as the “baby’s first crib”.  It is an experience a couple is not likely to forget as their first time together as a family.

With regards to the pressure of performing to provide the specimen at the time of the retrieval, I would recommend that a husband freeze a specimen collected on a previous day when he does not have the intense pressure of having to produce at that moment or else. Having the insurance of a back-up frozen specimen takes much of the pressure off at the time of retrieval making it that much easier to produce a fresh specimen. There are strategies that can be planned for special circumstances including arranging for assistance from your wife and using collection condoms so that the specimen can be collected during intercourse. Depending on the program these alternatives may be available.

* * * * * * * * * * *  * * * * * * * *

If you did IVF, was your partner involved? How did it go? Any funny or sweet stories to share?

If your partner wasn’t involved, are you happy about that decision, and if so, why was it the right decision for you?

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Infertility Podcast Series: Journey to the Crib: Chapter 23: Nominated for Best Supporting Role Is…

By David Kreiner MD

July 30th, 2013 at 9:16 pm

 

Welcome to the Journey to the Crib Podcast.  We will have a blog discussion each week with each chapter.  This podcast covers Chapter Twenty-Three: Nominated for Best Supporting Role Is… You, the listener, are invited to ask questions and make comments.  You can access the podcast here: http://podcast.longislandivf.com/?p=122

Nominated for Best Supporting Role Is…

Superficially, the role of the male partner in IVF is to produce a semen specimen… at least in those cases not utilizing sperm from a donor. This is not trivial and in fact when the partner is unsuccessful the cycle is lost. For this reason, I recommend freezing a specimen before the retrieval that is available as back up.

 

However, the male’s role can and should be much more than producing a specimen on the day of retrieval.  Those couples that appear to deal best with the stress of IVF are ones that do it together. 

 

Many men learn to give their partners injections.  It helps involve them in the efforts and give them some degree of power over the process. They can relate better to what their partners are doing and take pride in contributing towards the common goal of achieving a baby.  The more involved a partner is the more support that is felt by the patient which is not only good for her emotionally but also helps in getting accurate information and directions from the office. It also helps to solidify their relationship. 

 

My recommendation is for partners to be as involved as possible.  In their absence a surrogate such as a friend, sister, or mother is far better than dealing with the office visits and procedures alone.

 * * * * * * **  * * * *

Was this helpful in answering your questions about the partner’s role in IVF?

Please share your thoughts about this podcast here. And ask any questions, which Dr. Kreiner will answer.

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Infertility Podcast Series: Journey to the Crib: Chapter 24: I Look Pretty Good in Scrubs

By David Kreiner, MD

August 31st, 2012 at 9:54 am

Welcome to the Journey to the Crib Podcast.  We will have a blog discussion each week with each chapter.  This podcast covers Chapter Twenty-Four: I Look Pretty Good in Scrubs. You, the listener, are invited to ask questions and make comments.  You can access the podcast here: http://podcast.longislandivf.com/?p=126 

I Look Pretty Good in Scrubs 

It is easy for an IVF partner, male or female to feel left out of the process.  After all, the IVF patient is the focus of all of the attention of the physicians and nurses, from the initial consultation and exam to the testing, ordering of medications, monitoring, etc.  

I have seen partners, who busy with their own jobs, appear to neglect their loved one who is going through IVF.  Unfortunately, partners are much needed for their support during this critical and stressful time. In some of the worst examples, I have seen relationships suffer as the IVF patient undergoes the entire process alone building resentment that can be difficult to overcome. 

I have also seen partners get involved by accompanying the patient for her office visits and procedures.  Many partners pride themselves with their new found skill in mixing hormonal medications and administering injections for their partners.  It helps those especially who are used to caring for their partners to be in control by administering the medication for them.  Whether it is the feeling of “playing doctor” or the knowledge that they are contributing significantly to the process, most people relate to me that giving their partners the injections was a positive experience for them and their relationship. 

The feeling can be euphoric when partners accompany the IVF patient to the embryo transfer.  Many women feel that at this moment… when the embryo is transferred into their womb… that they are pregnant.  Life may be starting here and it is a wonderful opportunity to share with your partner.  

I strongly recommend that you don those scrubs, hat and booties and join your partner as the physician transfers your embryo/s loaded from the laboratory dish by the embryologist. Watch on the ultrasound screen as he carefully releases the drop containing your embryo/s into her womb.  Inside that drop may be your baby in nine months. 

* * * * * * **  * * * *

Was this helpful in answering your questions about the partner’s role in IVF? Do you have an experience you’d like to share about going through IVF as a couple?

 Please share your thoughts about this podcast here. And ask any questions.

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The Man’s Role in IVF

By Tracey Minella and David Kreiner MD

February 10th, 2012 at 1:33 pm


What are the man’s responsibilities in IVF? Well, guys can be as involved or detached as they choose. So please choose involved. Yes, it’s scary and overwhelming at first. But everyone’s here to help you and your partner get through this. You really CAN learn to do the injections. I promise. So, be a player, not a spectator.  Not just because it’s the right thing, but because if you choke at the big moment, you may just be forgiven. (Read on for a great tip on taking the stress off of the big moment):

Dr. Kreiner has seen it all. Read on for his perspective:

Many husbands complain that they feel left out of the whole IVF

process as all the attention and care is apparently directed towards

the woman. If anything they may feel that at best they can show up

for the retrieval at which time they are expected to donate their sperm

on demand. If you should fail at this then all the money, time, hope

and efforts were wasted all because you choked when you could not

even perform this one “simple” step. I have not witnessed the terror

and horrors of war but I have seen the devastation resulting from an

IVF cycle failed as a result of a husband’s inability to collect a specimen.

Relationships often do not survive in the wake of such a disappointment.

Talk about performing under pressure, there is more at stake in

the collection room than pitching in the World Series. Husbands and male partners

view IVF from a different perspective than their wives. They are not the ones

being injected with hormones; commuting to the physician’s office

frequently over a two week span for blood tests and vaginal ultrasounds

and undergoing a transvaginal needle aspiration procedure. At least women are

involved in the entire process, speak with and see the IVF staff regularly

and understand what they are doing and are deeply invested emotionally

and physically in this experience. So what is a husband to do?

 

Get Involved

 

Those couples that appear to deal best with the stress of IVF are ones

that do it together. Many husbands learn to give their wives the injections.

It helps involve them in the efforts and give them some degree of

control over the process. They can relate better to what their wives are

doing and take pride that they are contributing towards the common

goal of achieving the baby. When possible, husbands should accompany

their wives to the doctor visits. They can interact with the staff, get questions

answered and obtain a better understanding of what is going on.

This not only makes women feel like their husbands are supportive but

is helpful in getting accurate information and directions. Both of these

things are so important that in a husband’s absence I would recommend

that a surrogate such as a friend, sister, or mother  be there if he cannot be.

Support from him and others help diminish the level of stress and especially

if it comes from the husband helps to solidify their relationship.

Husbands should accompany their wives to the embryo transfer.

This can be a highly emotional procedure. Your embryo/s is being placed

in the womb and at least in that moment many women feel as if they

are pregnant. Life may be starting here and it is wonderful for a husband

to share this moment with his wife. Perhaps he may keep the Petri dish

as a keepsake as the “baby’s first crib”.  It is an experience a couple is not

likely to forget as their first time together as a family.

 

With regards to the pressure of performing to provide the specimen

at the time of the retrieval, I would recommend that a husband freeze a

specimen collected on a previous day when he does not have the intense

pressure of having to produce at that moment or else. Having the insurance

of a back up frozen specimen takes much of the pressure off at the

time of retrieval making it that much easier to produce a fresh specimen.

There are strategies that can be planned for special circumstances

including arranging for assistance from your wife and using collection

condoms so that the specimen can be collected during intercourse.

Depending on the program these alternatives may be available.

 * * * * * * * * * * *  * * * * * * * *

If you did IVF, was your partner involved? How did it go? Any funny or sweet stories to share?

 If your partner wasn’t involved, are you happy about that decision, and if so, why was it the right decision for you?

Photo credit: http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=10553&picture=young-couple

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Guys and Infertility: Injection Experts

By Tracey Minella

March 31st, 2011 at 12:00 am


So it’s the last day of the month. What better day to honor the men of infertility, right? After all, almost all the blogs and forums on infertility are geared toward and written by women for women. So, in the spirit of “last but not least”, the last blog day of the month will be devoted to the guys…or at least deal with guy-related fertility issues.

Take injection teaching, for instance. Remember that moment? The one where the doctor or nurse told your guy that his second biggest role in IVF was to inject you with needles? Remember how he tried so hard not to faint or let his jaw drop? How he played it cool for your sake. How he was the rock.

He dutifully watched the instructional tape in silence. Then, he was handed an orange to practice his technique on. An orange. Really? I remember thinking that, while the dimpled exterior might look like my butt, there had to be a better way. As if reading my mind, the nurse said to him “It’ll go into her easier than it goes into the orange. Like butter.” Butter? Really?

Over and over again, that 2 ½ inch needle pierced the orange until it succumbed like a stabbing victim. I don’t remember whether I was more worried for me or for him.

Oh, now I remember…I was more worried for me!

The big night finally arrived. The needle was affixed to the syringe. The meds were readied, checked and rechecked, and then sucked up. Air bubbles of death were flicked away. The bulls-eye was drawn. Almost ready.

I assumed the position: standing with my weight on the opposite leg, bent over the bathroom counter like some kind of sick game of Twister. The area was swabbed with alcohol. Then, swabbed again, for good measure. Then again, because we were taking too long and surely must have contaminated the area. And finally, once again.

I repeat the warnings. Don’t go too slowly or it’ll hurt. Don’t go too low or it’ll hurt. Ready? 1-2-3 Go. Wait. Are we going on 3 or on Go? Try again. 1-2-3 Go!

We both gasp at the sight of the syringe sticking out of my rear hip, momentarily paralyzed. Where the hell did that giant dagger attached to the other end go?! Eww…it’s all the way in! He smiles broadly at the realization and pushes the plunger, then withdraws the mighty sword. Done. Like a champion. Or a knight in shining sweatpants. All he was missing was his mighty steed.

Who’d have thought that all those nights playing darts at the local college bar would pay off someday!

* * * * * *

So, how is your partner at injections? Any funny or sweet stories to share?

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Does Your Man Know His Place?

By David Kreiner MD, and Tracey Minella

February 24th, 2011 at 12:00 am

Even when babies are conceived the way nature intended, the man’s role is small in comparison to the woman’s share of the, well, labor. He has his moment of fun…and I’m not saying his contribution isn’t significant… but afterwards he’s basically a spectator for the rest of the nine month journey. The woman, simply because it is her womb, is in charge of the pregnancy.

Conceiving with IVF doesn’t level the playing field, but does offer the man more of role in this alternative pregnancy plan. True, his “moment of fun” loses something in the collection room alone. However, IVF gives the man a way to make more than that one obvious significant contribution.

Dr. David Kreiner of East Coast Fertility offers great suggestions on ways men can find their place in IVF and support their wives and partners in the process:

A husband’s experience when going through an IVF cycle varies depending in large part on how involved he gets. When a husband participates actively with the IVF process it helps to relieve much of the stress on the wife and on the relationship. The more involved he is, the more invested he will feel in the entire experience, and the more control he’ll feel over the outcome.

Many husbands pride themselves in their new found skills of mixing medications and administering injections for their wives. It helps many men who are used to caring for their wives to be in control of administering the medication for them. Successful IVF then becomes something he played a very active role in, and he’ll relate better to the experience, his wife and the resulting baby.

Despite a lack of prior experience, most people can learn to prepare and administer the medication. Whether it is the feeling of “playing doctor” or the knowledge that he is contributing significantly in the process and supporting his wife, most men relate that giving their wives the injections was a positive experience for them and for their relationship.

Along the same line of thinking, accompanying your wife at the time of embryo transfer can be most rewarding. This can be a highly emotional procedure. Your embryo/s is being placed in the womb and at least in that moment many women feel as if they are pregnant. Life may be starting here and it is wonderful to share this moment with your wife. Perhaps you may keep the Petri dish as a keepsake as the “baby’s first crib”. It is an experience a husband and wife are not likely to forget as their first time together as a family. I strongly recommend that men don those scrubs, hats and booties and join their wives and partners as the physician transfers the embryos from the dish into her womb. Nine months later, do the same at delivery for memories that last a lifetime.

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