How can women support men through IVF? When we think of IVF, we automatically think about how that affects the woman in the relationship. Just because men do not need to take injections, hormones and transfers does not mean the treatment will not affect us. In IVF treatment, men often feel alone and helpless. It is as important for women to support their husbands as it is for men to support their wives during IVF treatment.
Women deal with their emotions much better than men. They talk openly about their problems with their friends, colleagues and their family. On the other hand, men usually catch their feelings and struggle to talk about their feelings. This is especially true when the matter is as private and embarrassing as infertility.
When it comes to infertility, our feelings and emotions are often overlooked. We think we should focus on being strong and our women – we have to be their rock and their shoulders to cry on. This emotional baggage can become overbearing. As difficult as it may be, it is important for women to focus on their partner during the infertility journey.
5 ways women can support men through IVF
1. Do something he loves everyday
This is such a simple idea that can do wonders for your relationship during IVF treatment. Does he love coffee? Have a coffee every morning. Does he love it when you rub your back? Take 5 minutes each evening to rub your back. Does he love it when you cook his favorite food? They say the way leads to the heart of a man through his stomach. As you go through the toughest times of your life, it's a wonder for your relationship to do something small every day.
2. Take your time together
For our last round of IVF, we did a trip before and after the treatment. The first was a week in Spain. The second, during the dreaded two-week wait, was a weekend in the Lake District near Berlin. We decided that in these breaks, we would focus only on being positive and successful in the treatment. This time-out strengthened our bond and helped us to undress before and after the IVF treatment.
3. Do things every week that you love together
Every couple has something they like to do together. For some couples it's the cinema, for others it's sports, for us it was dinner. During the IVF treatment, we went to a new restaurant once a week. As we sat down to eat, we decided not to talk about IVF treatment. These little breaks worked wonders for our mental health and relationship.
4. Talk to someone
After our first two unsuccessful rounds of IVF treatment, we decided to visit a fertility consultant. It's expensive, but I would definitely recommend it. Seeing a consultant is not for everyone. You have to be open to talk about your most intimate problems. Be open to trying together as a team. The worst thing that can happen is that you try it once and not return.
5. Give him space
Men need space. This is either time for yourself or for other men. Encourage him to take time each day to do something for himself and once a week with his friends. My wife gave me time every day to go to the gym and meet with the boys on weekends. This should be a time that is used positively, such as doing sports or doing something healthy, not just drinking.
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