Fathers Look PRetty Good in Scrubs
By David Kreiner, MD
The experience men feel when going through an IVF cycle varies depending in large part on how involved they get. Not only will it help relieve much of the stress for your partner and the relationship, the more involved you are the more invested in it you will feel and more in control over the outcome. Many men pride themselves in their newfound skill with mixing hormonal medications and administering injections for their partners. Many men feel as though they are able to have a role in caring for their partner by administering the medication for them so that they can go through the process together. Men that are using a gestational carrier may spend time with their partners selecting the egg donor and attending the appointments as a couple to build that parenting bond strongly from the beginning of the process.
Successful IVF becomes something they can play a very active role in and relate better to the experience, their partner and the resulting baby. Despite your 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 you are contributing significantly in the process and providing support, most men relate that giving their partners the injections was a positive experience for them and for their relationship.
Along the same line of thinking, accompanying your partner at the time of embryo transfer can be most rewarding. This can be a highly emotional procedure. Your embryo 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 partner. Perhaps you may keep the Petri dish as a keepsake as the “baby’s first crib.” It is an experience the two of you are not likely to forget as your first time together as a family. I strongly recommend that you don those scrubs, hat, and booties and join your partner 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.