Husbands' participation in fertility treatment: they also serve who only stand and wait



The paper examines the participation of men in outpatient consultations at three fertility clinics, and draws comparisons with participation in pregnancy and childbirth, in which there are also diffuse statements about support, but little concrete activity. It is argued that the medical consultation has difficulty accommodating a triad, and assumes a commonality of aims which may not exist. The alternative, which would involve addressing the dynamics of the couple's relationship, may not be achievable within the confines of the outpatient setting.