Steve - Interview 34

Age at interview: 48
Age at diagnosis: 37
Brief Outline: Steve and his wife had unsuccessful ICSI treatment and decided to adopt two boys.
Background: Steve is a lecturer, married to Janine (Interview 33). They have two adopted sons. Ethnic background' White British.

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When Steve and his wife Janine (Interview 33) had difficulties conceiving their GP referred them to specialists who started his wife on Clomid. But their tests came back and showed that Steve had problems with his sperm, and his wife was not ovulating properly. So doctors recommended that they try IVF with ICSI. They were referred to the Assisted Conception Unit at their local hospital. Steve and Janine had a couple of unsuccessful treatment cycles of IVF with ICSI and were then told that the quality of his wife’s eggs was so poor that they advised using donor eggs. They did get matched and have a cycle of ICSI with donor eggs, but his wife miscarried early. They had a try with frozen eggs but that did not work, and at that point they felt it was time to get off the treatment escalator and look at other options. They went through the adoption process and adopted two boys, who were 17 months and 3 and a half years old when they came to live with them.


Steve said it was important to keep trying and find the right counselor, who can provide the kind...

And was there not any counselling offered through the conception unit?
I think there probably, yes there was somewhere in the literature, oh you can see a counsellor, but based on our experience of the counselling, we had a kind of session we went through before embarking on the process we felt it was very unlikely that was going to be of any use to us whatsoever. So we didn’t make any use of that.
It’s almost as if you have to sort of shop around to find the right support?
Yes, yes, I think that’s a good point. I think it is probably another thing to consider as well, is the fact that you might see somebody for counselling and emotional support and that doesn’t work out for you, it doesn’t necessarily mean that there isn’t somebody else. So you may need to try somebody else, and oh you’re meant to survive that, you’re managing kind of help, but not to be put off by one bad experience of a counsellor who doesn’t do it for you for whatever reason.
And was the miscarriage counselling helpful?
Yes. Yes. We only went together once for that that was helpful. Just being able to talk to somebody else about what actually happened and how awful it was. In a way we probably wouldn’t talk to the family or colleagues about that, because it was such an emotionally distressing experience.

Steve talked about how men have to prepare for their partners to want to know more about how they...


I think you have to. Be able to communicate about it. And probably men have to be prepared for their partners to want to know more about how their feeling and their partners need to know that. We’re blokes, we don’t do feelings so it’s not a lack of engagement with the process or anything if its [not] one of reticence, it’s just that we don’t think about these things in the same way. 

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