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redheadtherapist

Hi 👋🏻 my husband has azoo as well. We have to use donor sperm given hIS TESE was unsuccessful. He’s been very supportive throughout this process. I recommend getting the auto injector for injections, it is a game changer. My husband is responsible for administering my shots, so it feels like we’re in this together. Tell her repeatedly how much you love her, and how much you know she is sacrificing for the ability to have a family together. Tell her she’s beautiful when she feels bloated and disgusting from all the hormones. Also, ask her what she needs. She may not know, and that’s okay. Just let her know she’s not alone. This process is a hard one. Good luck to you both.


DoubleLet2405

As someone currently on day #8 of stims, I second the "tell her she's beautiful when she feels bloated and disgusting" lol!!


LoKoChi

Azoo wife here as well. Just went through IVF and a synced mTESE with donor backup (sperm was found, but was dead/not useable) - just did a fresh transfer with our best embryo yesterday! Everything in this comment is so helpful, having my husband do all the shots makes me and him feel more the process is something we are doing together, the autoinjector is a game changer for PIO, and just being emotionally supportive as mentioned above!


Pessa19

First, it’s not your fault. It’s not “because of you.” I know it feels like that, especially as I’m the partner with the likely infertility reason, but it’s a challenge that you as a couple are faced with. It takes two to tango, and this is just the specific wrench your joint fertility has been thrown. If you focus on your own guilt, it may prevent you from being able to be there for each other in a meaningful way. She may not feel like she can complain to you or tell you when she’s scared for fear of making you feel guilty. Your feelings are valid but the blame and finger pointing is not 💜 good luck to you both!


winnie105

Second all of this! My husband has azoo as well and right after the diagnosis we had an extensive talk about not placing blame on anyone. Turns out I have DOR as well, so we both are the culprit 😂 as far as shots go, talk to her about what she needs. Would it be helpful for you to administer them? Or maybe she just needs you to sit with her for support when she’s giving them. I personally like the control of giving them to myself when I’m ready, but like for my husband to sit with me so we are doing it “together”. Also, I always recommend couples counseling and/or individual, depending on what you think would be most helpful. Your fertility clinic can probably give you a recommendation for someone that specializes in infertility. Good luck to you in the process!


Puzzleheaded_Cry2554

I want to repeat what a lot of people have already said - it is not your fault. Y'all are a team, with the same goal, overcoming obstacles together. Honestly, the most important thing my husband did to support me through our most recent cycle was to remember that and act/speak like he believed it to be true. Lots of good advice on here for how to physically support. Massages are great for PIO shots when y'all get there. Ice packs help a lot for the stim meds. Emotionally, make sure you are both prepared to have different emotions at different times. It's okay for one of you to feel hopeful while the other feels sad and frustrated. Try your best to make space for every emotion. Validate each other often. Ask for permission to have deep conversations, and take time to just have fun and not talk about IVF. Find safe people outside of each other to confide in if you can. Journaling was incredibly helpful for me, also. Sending good vibes y'all's way - you've got this!


Robyn1210

I second the ice pack comment! It really helped me.


mrpharmacist12

Thank you for all your replies! It means so much.


Proud_Reporter1547

First, it is not your fault. Do not take the blame. Things happens and we need to make the best of the situation. From my perspective as a wife, I love it when my husband pays attention to the process involved along with me. He would go through the IVF videos, take appointments seriously, think through the process with me regarding financials, health, and emotions. I used to work out a lot, then I slowed it down because of all the mental stress I have to deal with IVF. He encouraged me get back to working out at least 30 mins a day and that somehow already improved my mood. We take evening walks together around the neighborhood as a stress reliever. We cook together during the weekdays (good for both health and wallet) and go out to see friends on the weekends. He does his own laundry and clean around the house every now and then. So by him being responsible for his own shit + encouraging me to take care of my body + taking the time to do small things together already lessen my mental load. Paying attention to little things here and there, give her a big hug from time to time, do things she would normally do around the house for her from time to time, etc. Also, don't forget about yourself. You, too, also need to be healthy emotionally. We all need our alone time, together time, family time, friends time, boys time, and girls time. Balancing all of this is important. Having an open communication with your partner on expectations will help with misunderstanding down the road.


pressing_o

Please don’t blame yourself. It is out of your control. Between me and my husband, he is completely fertile while I had to get my tubes removed. It is no use blaming. My husband is always with me. He supports me when I am low. I support him when he is low. I am yet to go through the injections so no inputs there. What helps us is having plans outside having a baby and IVF process. That gives us motivation. May be planning little mini dates for the injection days can take your mind off of the stress. We have plans to go for a brunch, watching movies, eating our favourite meals etc for those days.


Tfacekillaaa

The best advice I can give is be there for her - be present for the process. Even if she's giving herself the shots (until you get to the big needle in the booty), stand with her and support her. You may not be able to go into morning monitoring but make the ride with her sometimes (my drive was over an hour each way and although my husband couldn't make a good chunk of them, he still came with me when he could and sat in the car). The IVF process is emotional - not only because you're both coming to grips with infertility - but there are a LOT of hormones involved. Hang out with her after her egg retrieval and bring her snacks and snuggles because it's legit surgery. If she's a flower girl, buy her flowers for her recovery. When it comes time for the PIO shot, make sure you're listening to her and communicating - my husband and I have been together almost 17 years (we were 17) and the PIO shots have been the BIGGEST communication exercise we've ever been through. We talk about where it's going, he counts down so I can be prepared. If I need a moment to pause during the injection, he can now tell from the sounds I make. Being active and present will make it feel like you're in this together - it's too easy to feel alone and isolated without a partner that's not fully invested. And last but not least - if she reddits, tell her to join this community. We've got lots of answers and support 😄


FearlessNinja007

Firstly, totally agree that it’s not your fault, and though the physical toll will be mostly on your wife, there’s a lot you can do. My favorite things my husband has started doing, and continued… are actually picking up more household chores without asking. It can be as simple as taking out the trash, starting and unloading the dishwasher, starting the roomba…. Honestly it took the mental load off me of things I had to do, so I could just be tired if I needed to be. If you notice she or you are feeling down, go for walks outside if possible. Therapy is a possible good idea. It’s a tough journey but it can make you stronger. Injections are more intimidating at first, but get easier pretty quickly. Search on here for tips injection for menopur. Basically mix the solution into the powder and let it sit for 20 minutes before injecting. Always dart the needle in fast and inject slow. Don’t worry about air, totally fine in subcutaneous injections. The shots get easier pretty fast, there are very few side effects except she’ll be uncomfortable the last few days before retrieval. The most important injection to do on time is the trigger. When it started out my husband had low morphology, but I turned out not to respond too well either. Never helps to blame eachother. Take time away from Ivf when you need it. Distractions will help, take a weekend getaway when you can. It will likely take longer than you think. This community is amazing, encourage her to use it too. There are going to be some tough moments, try not to react if one of you says something not in character, save it for discussion later if necessary. Find things to be grateful and try to find humor in situations. Good luck! 🍀


CatPhDs

While I'm the cause of our infertility (rather than my husband) he's been incredibly supportive. He goes to almost every appointment with me, even though they're an hour away. He's understanding when I get emotional because of all the hormones they put me on - which also sometimes make me irritable. And I guess the biggest thing is that he doesn't judge me when I'm having a bad day over it all, the stress of the shots and money and everything. He's also taking care of himself by going to counseling, which makes me feel so much more secure. It means a lot to know he has someone to talk to in a safe space about all of this stress and blargh, and I can't always be that while on the meds. For your wife, one of the challenges will definitely be needles because many fertility drugs are injections, and blood will need to be drawn a LOT. Its... hard. Something you could do would be to do the injections for her - I mean, inject her. Its so hard to inject yourself!


vedavica

Hey, in my own way I can somewhat understand how you feel with me being the culprit of infertility in my own relationship. It takes some time to work with these feelings. Regarding things to help, I'm sure there will be many great answers here, and I'd recommend being there for her during shots if you can since you mention she's afraid, perhaps even helping to administer them. They're not as bad as the mind thinks they are but she won't know that until she begins. Also, I'm not sure how you already show up for her and support her, but personally I found it difficult to balance night tasks (cook dinner, take shots, feed my animals, fold the laundry, etc etc etc). Pull up YouTube videos of the particular shots she's taking and watch them step by step if you help her administer. If there's any room to maybe take over some responsibilities she takes care of at night around the time she injects, it could be helpful -- helping cook, prep ingredients, etc. Wishing you both a very easygoing process, mentally, emotionally, and physically.


MayaPapaya1990

My husband has obstructive azoospermia and retrieved 4 vials of sperm for IVF in February. We just had our egg retrieval a few days ago and got 18 fertilized eggs so far. Still need to go through pgt a testing and what not but we are holding on to hope. I often feel that he blames himself that we’re in this situation but I remind him that we are in this together and we’re a team. I think his feelings are normal and valid. I remind him that we just never know what life is gonna throw at us and in the end it’s us against the obstacles that come our way. I agree with the other post to be helpful and involved/present during injections, rub her tummy when it hurts(constipation is no joke with stims) and ask her what she needs. Also remember to do fun things like watch a movie together, cook together, etc. remember that your relationship does not revolve completely around infertility! We did a John wick movie marathon during our stims and it led up to us going to the movies to watch the newest John wick movie. It was so fun and got a chance to eat some extra salty popcorn throughout which helps during stims too!


DoubleLet2405

Hi! It's not your fault at all! I've found a lot of comfort in having my husband do my injections and we were actually joking last night that it has been a nice "bonding" moment for us. I was afraid of the needles myself, but honestly after day 5 or 6 (I'm on day 8 today) it's not so bad. As much as it sucks, you get used to it. My husband will say really sweet things to me while doing injections like "you're so strong" or he'll say "I love you" right before my shots. Honestly, just the support and showing he cares is enough for me to get through this. My husband has a much more demanding job than I do, so naturally a lot of the admin work has fallen on me. If you're in a position where you can help out with the admin, I think that would be a huge stress relief for your wife. So, things like speaking with the IVF clinic, financial, etc. If this won't work, I'd suggest trying to plan little distractions for your wife, so things like picking up dinner on your way home from work, or setting up a date night at her favorite restaurant on the weekend. This was suggested to me from a mental health counselor and it's worked out great for us given our situation! Best of luck!!


DoggieLover5

Hi! We are going through IVF due to my husband's motility and morphology, and I also hate and am afraid of needles. While your feelings might be all over the place (my husband felt like it was his fault that we had to go through IVF, was hating that he had to pinch me and frustrated with him while not knowing how he could help/support me), remember hers are too as well, and try not to take at heart anything she says while panicking (I mentioned that my mom also knew how to put stims injections in case we ever needed someone else's help and my husband took it as a dig at him, I was simply panicking and it took my parents telling him stories of me being dragged for vaccines, blood draws and even me biting my dad for him to understand my fear was worst than his on pinching me), complement her during her stims, keep electrolyte drinks on hand starting day 7-8 of stims, they really helped me recover before and after retrieval and finally, ice for about 5 mins before the injection and if you get menopur as part of your protocol, prepare it about 10 minutes before the injection so that it'll be less painful. Hope TESE and IVF work great for both of you!


dogsRgr8too

I have PCOS and assumed that was the reason for our infertility. My husband never blamed me. We found out later he also has some male factor infertility. Neither thing is due to something we did or didn't do. Infertility is a medical diagnosis. I don't blame someone for having type 1 diabetes, autoimmune disease, thyroid disease or any of those. It's not our fault. It's pretty common to self-blame, but it's not something we can control. I would search on here for tips for shots. The stims injections weren't that bad for me. I hated giving them to myself, but most weren't bad. Except the menopur. Menopur is the devil. It burns a lot. Inject very slowly with pauses. When you prepare it, mix it then let it sit for about 15 minutes before injecting. For some reason that seems to help a little. Have a piece of chocolate or some other nice reward for her to enjoy after each shot. Have miralax on hand for constipation and recommend she start it early in the process (if the doctor is okay with it). If your job is flexible enough, try to come to the appointments with her. Stims usually last around 10-14 days and she may have 5-7 appointments in that time if I remember mine correctly. Have a heating pad for after retrieval. Plus whatever pain relievers the office recommends. I was fortunate to not have much pain after and never had to take additional medicine, but some have a few days of pain. Look up ohss, and advocate to lower her risk if she has a high follicle count. Lupron only trigger is supposed to be lower risk for this than a combination trigger. My husband had varicocele repair to try to help our chances. It meant a lot to me that he didn't even question whether or not to do it. ( You hear stories about guys that are done having children that are too afraid to have vasectomies and want the wife to have the more invasive sterilization procedure, so it was really refreshing that he wasn't like that at all for our fertility journey). Take charge of getting the medicine ordered, knowing which medication she needs and when she needs it. Have a pill organizer and fill it with the meds she is supposed to take. Set a daily alarm at the pill or shot time. Have her tell you when cycle day 1 is, and you call the clinic to let them know. Be really involved in the mental labor of the process since she has to do a lot of the physical part. Ask about a natural transfer cycle so she would have less needles to deal with. The transfer shots are usually worse than stims for most people (look up posts about pain with PIO). Good luck and thank you for being a supportive partner. Also, the stims meds made me anxious and irritated. I picked arguments with my partner waaay more than normal. Try not to take that personally if it happens. Hormones are wild on these meds. I also had a hormone crash after retrieval. Anxiety and depression that was the worst for several days but lasted a couple weeks. If you have infertility insurance, see if there is a lifetime max. We needed several retrievals to get enough embryos for the possibility of having two children (this is called embryo banking and not many insurances allow it). We paid out of pocket for meds to preserve the fertility benefits (it would have been 13k for insurance to pay for the meds, it was 3k out of pocket at a different pharmacy).


lightmyfire2016

Echoing everyone here, it’s not your fault!!! Between now and June can you plan a surprise weekend away for her or even a little staycation in a hotel nearby? I absolutely love baths, so my husband surprised me with a room with a big soaking tub and the hotel provided bath bombs! As for the needles, if you have the money, get a buzzy bee! She could use it for all of her blood draws as well as injections! Finally, picking up some extra chores and being really engaged in the process are great additions!


Pristine_Ad8731

So, for the needle phobia, I have read here that many used an autoinjector that helped them with the anxiety. Do look it up here. My best wishes to you two.


Onlyyouwouldsaythat

Definitely don’t feel the blame. There is no blame in infertility! I enjoy the little things my husband does. He’ll bring me a cup of tea in the morning when it’s time to wake up and we’ll have a ‘team meeting’. He always asks me how I am doing etc especially during treatment and medication etc. it’s just a nice way to connect and feel like we’re in the same team. Actually that’s a good one, being a team! Be involved because the majority of it falls on the woman to take meds, do this, do that, go without this, miss that. I’m sure you’ll do a fantastic job because just wanting to be there for her is something she’ll really appreciate 💞


mrpharmacist12

I intend to be there all the way. Not miss an appointment or anything. I’d love to be a father. Even if it had happened naturally, I wouldn’t have missed a thing. With all the emotional and physical battering we’re going through, I utterly don’t want to miss anything. I was joking last night actually. Before all of this, I always wanted to be a stern father, like keep a firm hand with the children, not to spoil them etc. I was joking with my wife that there’s no way I’m NOT gonna spoil them after all this. They’re probably going to get away with murder where I’m concerned! It’s sad. I have friends who have got children and they couldn’t care less. They spend time with them like they’re doing them such a favour, then they ring me to say “oh gosh i’m out with the kids. So boring. Bla bla bla”. Then there’s me. I love spending time with mh nephew. Would love my own but I’m stuck in this situation. Sorry for the rant.


LuckyintheKnow

My husband was initially diagnosed with azoospermia, that later became severe ogliozoospermia because he always had single digits in his sperm analysis, and then after MONTHS (7 months) of consistent working out , eating healthy, no drinking/smoking , and taking so many vitamins a day. Losing 25lbs . Going to THERAPY for infertility (I go too). His sperm analysis the week before his (successful) mTESE was 90k , from 6 immotile sperm. Your question was “how to be there for your wife”. Well my husband was there for me by doing his absolute best. Seeing him try so hard , gave me comfort and confidence that we can do this. That determination and tenacity gave me strength and courage. He made me believe and gave me hope. Our marriage is in sickness and in health and I can’t express my love for him truly in words. We are awaiting pgt testing after not so great blasts results. We aren’t a success story just yet but I know he and I will be parents. It’s only a few of us that are in this club and I truly wish you the best. Please take care of you first to take care of your wife. Physical health & mental health. Therapy saves lives. Please look into it for both of you.


mrpharmacist12

By working out. What do you mean? Could you take me through his routine please?