Trying IVF Again?
Many IVF couples do not conceive on their first treatment cycle. In fact, it's so common for first time IVF to fail that couples are generally recommended to prepare themselves for the prospect of going through three cycles in order to succeed. Having said that, there simply are no guarantees that cycle 2 or 3 will result in pregnancy. For some, deciding to go straight into another IVF cycle is automatic and done without question; however, there are people, both men and women, who have doubts. Sometimes this results in conflict in the relationship, as one partner perceives that the other is less committed to their endeavor to become parents.
When Men Have Doubts
It's not possible to describe how a man may feel about the prospect of second or third time IVF without generalizing to some extent. Obviously each individual reacts in a different way. But some reasons why your may man seem reluctant to pursue IVF are described below.
He may be trying to weigh things up logically, basically a benefits versus disadvantages equation. This treatment has not worked for you once already. He has doubts about it working if you try again. He is worried about the emotional impact of failing a second time, on you and probably on himself too. Do you really need to go through this again for a treatment that has already failed?
He may be worried about your physical health. If you struggled through IVF and reacted badly to IVF drugs, for example, he may see it as his duty to protect you from such dangers in the future.
He may be worried about your relationship. The stress of IVF often brings conflict into couples' lives. Perhaps he's hoping that there's a better way to go about having a family, such as adoption, which wouldn't cause quite as much discord.
He may, and this is not to be underestimated, have just found the IVF process intolerably humiliating. The open discussions with third parties about your sex life, the producing a semen sample in a clinic - it's understandable that he doesn't want to do it again, especially if you are affected by a male factor fertility problem.
Reacting To His Worries
The important thing is to make sure he knows that you hear him. If he feels that you're simply brushing his concerns aside he's likely to become even more determined to hold on to his position. The fact is, even if you stick to your desire to continue IVF, it could actually do you a lot of good to consider the possibility that he might be right.
If IVF is taxing your emotions, your relationship, and your physical health too much, it may in fact be better to consider other options. Don't react to his doubts with feelings of betrayal. Show him that you're prepared to consider his points and make a rational decision.
You partner may be working on the assumption that the second or third round of IVF will be carried out in exactly the same way as the first. This is not necessarily true. Your IVF doctors learn a lot from a round of failed IVF treatment. If the ovulation-inducing drugs didn't work, they can be changed. If you had a bad reaction to the drugs, the dosages may be altered.
There are also other methods of improving the chances of IVF success such as ICSI, which increases the possibility of fertilization. You may also want to consider freezing embryos in your second cycle for possible use in a third, if this is necessary.
You and your partner should discuss all these options with your IVF doctors. It may also help to avail yourself of counseling either at the clinic or from an independent therapist.