Preparing for fertility treatment seems impossible. Everyone’s journey is different, so how do you know what you need to do? I didn’t work this out until we were half way through our treatment… So, I wanted to use this blog to talk about a few of the things that I found helpful.
Male fertility communities
Firstly, I found some great communities out there that support the partners of those undergoing fertility treatment. These groups helped me feel that I am not alone, that other people are going through the same thing. The one I found most helpful was a Facebook group called ‘Men’s Fertility Support’. This page focuses on men's fertility issues, getting an insight on and hearing about some of the challenges men specifically face, either physically or emotionally. It’s a powerful community that supports its members. It’s great; sharing and providing a different perspective, there are some tough stories in there and also rays of hope. There are 2k+ members but I’m positive that there are thousands of other guys out there, wondering where to go, so send them that way - lots of stories from across the pond too!
Egg fertilisation and collecting…hopefully
It’s funny thinking back to Episode 6, our first Egg Transfer day. Full of excitement, fear and naivety. There is a nervous wait as the female goes under anesthetic, the man normally gets the call to do his bit and you anxiously wait. We were excited to leave the hospital that first time. You think ‘how many eggs, if any, will they collect? Will they fertilise? Will they survive and reach the blastocyst stage? Will we go through to the next stage?’ It's like X Factor but even worse. And as a male it can all seem very overwhelming and not relevant to you, but it is.
So, how did I prepare for the big day? Honestly, with a lot of nerves! What I would say is to go into it with an open mind, anything can happen. Prepare some questions, that way you won’t feel like you’ve come out of the appointment not having a clue what happened or what the next stages are.
The IVFDad Insight - How I prepared for IVF
So, in my experience, your first transfer day can feel a little like your first day at school. Excited, hopeful and nervous all at the same time. You’re excited at what’s to come.You’re hopeful. But it can also be super scary - what if it doesn’t work? We are invested, emotionally and financially at this point, we are praying for it to work.
I’d definitely recommend checking out some of the male fertility communities, it really helped me to hear other people’s stories.
All I can say is try your best to be calm. If you’re lucky enough, there will be another round, you can try again. This is your first attempt.
The first one is an old article but super relevant and Gareth featured in it, set up the facebook group above.