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  1. #1
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    Default Male perspective of IVF drugs

    Hello everyone,

    I'm Wally (not my real name), 37M, and going through the process of assisted conception, it will either be through IVF or ICSI (given my current motility and count, it's likely to be the latter than the former.)

    My wife, Linda (not her real name either) has just begun her course of Synarel, which I believe assists with follicle stimulation(?, please correct me if I'm wrong here!) I've been warned by the nurse that briefed us before providing us with the Synarel and other drugs that Linda will be taking to help with egg retrieval, implantation and pregnancy over these next six or so weeks before the big test, about all the side effects, including the mood swings...

    Now, this could be seen as the one thing most men in a relationship should be able to deal with... The thing is I come with some emotional baggage from my previous marriage, namely flashbacks of my ex-wife who underwent the same treatment (unsuccessful, which subsequently resulted in the previous marriage going to pot in the long run) and how she reacted to the minutiae of every day life (e.g. making the bed a little later in the day, cooking rice through the use of a rice cooker instead of the absorption method, running out of bread for a piece of toast in the morning... etc. )

    Linda (my current wife) is a little... Geez, how do I describe this without being seen as judgmental... okay she's a little OCD, perhaps a lot... I'm a little "non-sequential". My real concern is having to deal with her nature ramped up by a factor of x100 or so with what drugs she'll be taking...

    I'm not necessarily one to take abuse (I took it in marriage #1 and ended the marriage after she left me for someone else...) but I guess I really don't know how to go through this again? It's been five years or so since I went through this, and I was kinda left a little emotionally scarred (the ex blamed me for us not getting pregnant...), and I do so want kids, but am worried about how I'm going to get through this part of the process whilst she's got hormones running through her blood****** that'd make the boldest of men take cover.

    I love my wife very much, and I know that the general advice is to just do what I can, take the heat (which I'm kinda dreading given last time), and help out wherever possible...

    ...But I'd like to know what I can do for myself as well to help keep me sane throughout all this... I admire you women for going through all this and I applaud you, but what can we IVF guys do for ourselves... what can I do for myself, which will keep me level headed and not wanting to resent the hormones or the woman I love that they're wreaking havoc on... despite what may be hurled my way?

    This is a genuine plea for advice... and I really don't want to be feeling like I have no options...?

    Regards,

    Wally

    PS: I have changed our names as my wife would rather not let anyone know where she works that she's undergoing all this...

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  3. #2
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    Please keep an open mind. IVF drugs effect each woman differently so just because your ex experienced things one way doesnt mean it will happen the same with your current wife iykwim. Keep the lines of communication open as well. You have been through this before but she hasnt so take each day as it comes. As an aside, accupuncture can be really benificial not only in reducing stress but also improving chances of implantation. I wish you all the luck and a very short journey!

  4. #3
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    Hi Wally,

    Firstly, what a step it is to come on a female dominated forum!

    I've never taken syranel (spray), but have taken lucrin injections. Both of these suppress the ovaries so the eggs are not released until they are ready. My FS warned my DH that this was going to put me into a menopausal state and that I'd be super cranky. Now, I'm a little obsessive about some things (dishes on the bench instead of the dishwasher, lots of small things that annoy me etc) and I was super worried that I was going to fly off the handle all the time. I didn't, I had a few teary moments, was super tired (especially once you start the injections to grow the eggs), but on the whole was pretty good. I think because we're expecting to do it, we're a little more aware of our mood swings and suppress it.

    The best thing my DH did for me was to help out more around the house so I didn't feel like the burden was on me to 'do everything'.

    Good luck, I hope this cycle is it for you and your DP.

  5. #4
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    Wally, I guess my advice to you, is as much as possible, just go with whatever comes. I know you've been scarred by your previous experierence but you don't know yet how your wife will react to the drugs. Some cycles syneral really bothered me and other times it didn't. It did give me bad headaches but I don't know about moodiness. It's the anxiety about the whole process that is hard, not just the drugs.

    My husband used to complain I was moody but seemed to accept it was for a short time and he just had to get through it. I never (I don't think!) took it out on him. If anything, the fact we were dealing with mfi made me more conscious of not upsetting him.

    I'm not sure what you can do for yourself but keep busy, ask your wife what she needs from you, comfort her if she's upset and try not to react if she takes it out on you - which honestly, she just might not. Maybe consider going to the counsellor (all IVF clinics seem to offer this) if you think she or you or oth of you need it. IVF, as you know, puts a lot of pressure on relationships and I know ours was lucky to survive it. Try and do nice things together and don't let it rule your life. God luck! I hope your journey here is short.

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    Hi Wally, thank you for this thread. I think you articulated what the majority of men feel are about IVF and how to cope with their crazy wives. In my experience (everyone is different) there is no easy solution. Expect times ahead to be tough, but hope for the best. Be there for your wife, listen to eachother and spoil her with the little things. Her body is about to go through many changes and she may not be able to control her emotions. Be patient and understanding. Do things that are good for you both to help reduce stress. Stress was the worst for us. Never assign blame or feel guilty for things that are out of your control. My hubby and I went through 5 years of IVF and it tested us beyond words. We learnt a lot about eachother and feel it bonded out relationship even more. Wishing you both the very best!

  7. #6
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    Hi TeaAndToast,

    Thanks for responding... I'm sure that keeping up the communication is necessary. She usually is not one for opening up, she can be quite closed. I have managed to have her agree that if she does get moody, that I take the brunt, excuse myself with something like "I'm going to go do some uni work, let me know if you need me" and lock myself away for 15-30 minutes and then go back to her asking how she's feeling and whether there's anything i can do... or ask if anything's wrong...

    Taking it one day at a time is going to be the real stressor. I usually am a very cautious and well-planned individual when I know what's ahead of me, then non-sequentiality goes out the window...

    Your thought on acupuncture is interesting... Though as far as we've found Linda's system is in order... But I'll see if i can recommend it as a de-stress treatment to her... Who knows? Maybe our implantation may be improved by it too!

    ~WW

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    Hi Chiefsgirl,

    Granted, it can be a little intimidating to a degree... after all, I don't want to step on any toes here... I don't claim to know the answers, nor can I begin to imagine what you go through with these cycles. The last time I went through this I lucked out (probably for the better given the circumstances with my ex), but I still had to feel the pain of not fathering a child by proxy through my ex-wife who was devastated...

    As far as I know, we're going to be nearing the point where Linda will be injecting herself with Gonal-F, which I have been told is the "super-cranky" drug...

    My DW is already a little obsessive with various things... I don't think that's the hormones TBH! She has been getting headaches and tiredness which I think are related to the Synarel... I've been helping where I can...

    The closest I can think of to get a time out when I can't handle it is to excuse myself and say that I have uni work to do and have her let me know when and if she needs anything... and go and lock myself in the study for 15-30 minutes; and then come out of the study and ask her if she needs anything or if anything is wrong...

    Hopefully this may be okay enough for the interim...

    Can anyone else recommend anything else we men can do as a timeout when the s[CENSORED]t hits the fan?

    Regards and thanks for your support,

    Wally

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    Hi OctoberBaby2010,

    For us men to "just go with whatever comes", is a bit of a feat... I know "it may just be the hormones talking", but for us to just stand there and take it... I don't know, it seems rather cruel punishment when you haven't done a thing to warrant such response...

    And it's all very well for others to say that you have got to "man up", or "take it like a man" or to "grow a pair". Do the dishes? Sure! Vacuum the carpets because she's not feeling well? Not a problem. Make dinner? Okay... Take the full brunt of a hurled ****** of insults from the person they love because of a piece of toast is a little too brown or anything just as trivial? I can't imagine any man (or woman for that matter) who would appreciate being in that situation...

    Granted, the anxiety would be cumulative on top of the hormonal effects; and true, I may not yet know the true effects of the Synarel or the Gonal-F on her system...
    I hope that I can take a page from your husband's book and be as patient and accepting through all this... I guess with previous experience I don't want Linda to reach the same sort of yardstick of behavior as the ex...

    "IVF, as you know, puts a lot of pressure on relationships and I know ours was lucky to survive it."

    I just hope that Linda and I have as much strength to get through this as you have. Thank you so much for being a sounding board... and being so patient with me... I will keep you all posted...

    Regards,

    Wally

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    Hi Olive Oil,

    Thanks for the kind words. In a female-dominated portal such as this, the male perspective can sometimes get a little lost... And while men are not the ones going through the injections, the probing, the collections, the implantations and so on, we do want to be involved.

    When my ex blamed me, and only me, for our cycle not taking, I had to contend with not only an overly emotional (hormones + anxiety + grief over failure of cycle) ex-wife who went off to live with her mother for two weeks, but I had to also deal on my own with my own tears about a) not becoming a father, b) the behavior I received during the cycle, c) the hurtful words I received when I was the one blamed for it not working... Let's just say that I was a mess...

    I guess at times, some people forget that us men who go through this have feelings too... I guess, I don't want a repeat of it... Who would?

    I hope that this part of my life is short, and that I can be as lucky as a number of you have been... I know that this is an emotional time for both partners (I don't deny this at all!)

    I'll be doing everything in my power that I can to help her out... As long as she can do the tiniest of things to help me.

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    Hi Wally,

    I can't believe your ex blamed you and only you. That is truly awful. In all honesty, the thought crossed my mind once but I would never have actually blamed my DH. It's something completely out of anyone's control and it's completely irrational to "assign the blame". As we later discovered, it was problems on my side too, but there was a period where I know DH felt enormous guilt and I did my best to support him. Luckily (or unluckily) we were on an even playing field. I hope your wife is aware of your pain and is there to support you too. You are being so considered about the whole thing, and I can only admire you for doing so... Well done. One thing I did not say before, try and have fun with it. This may sound like stupid advice but there were so many awkward moments that you wished the earth would swallow you up. We eventually learned to laugh about it, for us it made it slightly easier to cope, although still difficult. Again Wally, good luck to you both!!


 

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