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Fertility Network UK
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Husband is panicking

Hi all,

With our second fresh round of treatment just a week away, my husband have started to panic. Last time around he really struggled to “get it up” and to “do the deeds” he was in a flood of tears, he managed eventually and we had really good embryos created. Unfortunately they didn’t take.

He have now started to worry about this time around, he is really worried if he can actually “do the deeds”. He’s on antidepressants as he sunk in to this big, black hole after our last failed treatment and saying it takes much longer to ejaculate when on these pills. I don’t know what to do as I will be sedated for egg collection. I am now starting to worry as he is so worried.

Any advice anyone? What can we do? How have your husbands/ partners been coping?

6 Replies

Hi, I’m sorry your first cycle wasn’t a success and to hear that you and your husband have been having a difficult time. Your poor husband, I can understand why he feels under so much pressure to perform on the day. It is such a clinical and unnatural scenario, it would make it difficult to produce a semen sample. Probably the more anxious he becomes and the more he fixates on it, the more difficult it will be for him. Are there any relaxation techniques he could try maybe? I went to the fertility counsellor from our clinic for anxiety / depression and she gave me lots of practical breathing exercises and visualisations to help me relax. Would you and your husband be open to the idea of having counselling? Particularly since you say he is taking antidepressants. Have you spoken to your clinic about his medication? It would be worth mentioning if you haven’t already. Are your clinic aware of your husband’s anxiety about producing his sample? They may be able to help in some way.

Hoping you get something sorted and wishing you so much luck for your cycle 😘 xx


Hi tomekan I'm sorry for your first cycle and that your husband is feeling this way. I have to be honest, I really think the men get forgotten about both with emotions and the physical process on the day, and I think we should be fairer to them. If the shoe was on the other foot and I had to 'do the deed' on the day, I think I would struggle. I know it's only a week away but is there any possibility of him doing something like reflexology? I find it has really improved my outlook, and helped me calm down. My practitioner says she helps lots of men for ivf (yet to get my husband to go though!). I agree with Dunla's suggestion of counselling or relaxation techniques, it might help him to get his emotions out about the whole process. Like us ladies, I am sure men also have that feeling of failure of not being able to do the one thing that everyone else seems to do so easily (how many of us have those inconsiderate friends who always say, 'my husband just looked at me and I got pregnant!' Grrrr!). Other than that perhaps he would like to join a group like this to get his questions out. I'm sure I saw a couple of months ago a guy posting about a private group on Facebook similar to this one but for guys only. Worth a try? Please tell him he is not alone! ❤️


My dh always found this difficult. Our clinic were happy for him to do his sample at home and bring it in as we could get to the clinic within an hour, and he found this much easier than performing at the clinic! I always had to leave this house as well to take the pressure off. The other option is he does a sample before collection day and have it frozen by the clinic. It's not quite as good for quality as a fresh sample but him having a back up might help the stress levels on the day? We found a great ivf book which was written from both the man and woman perspective and the man in there told his stories of struggles performing and I think this helped my dh know how normal his feelings were and stopped him feeling like he was failing in some way. The guy in the book had a frozen sample as back up for his 2nd cycle but then had no problems on the day that time and he put this down to knowing there was the back up available. Think it's so important to make it as unpressurised as possible especially if he has convinced himself the medication will make it more difficult. I think it's a shame the guys don't talk about these things on forums so much as us girls as am sure this is such a common issue and they could do with some support too! Xx


You can always do a sample early and get it frozen. Also depending on how far you live from the clinic you can do it at home and take it straight there. That's what we did. All the best x


Hey just a thought have you asked if you can do a sample and freeze it for a back up? Might not be so much pressure on the day if he knows that it's not all over if he doesn't manage. Obviously still a bit of pressure to produce a sample to freeze but maybe not so much?! My hubby has some on ice although tires for a fresh one on the day and he's almost gotten used it now that s done it a few times. Best of luck!xx


My husband wants to know what the room is like, so he’s not shocked going in there x


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