Many people who are not in the midst of infertility are surprised to learn that male factor infertility accounts for about 35% of all cases. Many people equate infertility with being a women’s issue. Even though it is the woman who has to undergo the medical procedures, it’s not always the woman who has the fertility problem.
In general, men expect their equipment to work properly, but sperm production is very sensitive. Usually there is a physical condition associated with male factor infertility; therefore, it is properly categorized as a disease.
With a medical crisis, such as infertility, even a good marriage can be tested. The key is communication and honoring the other partner’s feelings. Here are a few tips you can take away to cope with this rough time:
Give Him Confidence
‘Not having swimmers’ or ‘shooting blanks’ isn’t a reflection on a man’s masculinity – although it can feel that way for some men. But, not every man lets male infertility get him down. Be sure that your husband is not connecting his manhood with his ability to produce fertile sperm. Be sure to talk it out and give him an extra boost of confidence as much as possible.
Don’t Look At Him Differently
Men are used to being the providers, the support for their partner and will usually ‘suffer in silence’ without asking for the proper help and support they need. Instead of judging or blaming him, change your perception towards the purpose of intimacy. Focus less on what to say to him and be sure to ask him what he needs at this time. It’s important to not judge his feelings, assume or blow him off, be there for him just as you would want him to be there for you.
Still Get Intimate
A lot of women tend to think ‘why bother’ during this stage; since they believe there’s no way that they can even get pregnant. It’s ok to lose interest in sex for a moment, but remember, your husband needs you now more than ever at this stage in his life. Just as you would want him to support you, support him.
Keep Your Options Open
Yes, your husband may not understand why you have to ‘pay’ to have a child, but In-Vitro could be the best option for you as a couple at this moment. Fear of fertility treatments not working is very real, I wrote this blog post here about coping if an IVF treatment doesn’t go through. However, there are always options at the end of the tunnel. Whether it be a surrogate mother, IVF or adoption, there is a way to create the family of your own, just maybe not the conventional route you dreamed of. And that is OKAY.
Don’t Resent Him
During this time, it could be easier for couples to contemplate divorce if you can’t find a middle ground. Yes, you may slip up and say the wrong things at times, but be sure to not make a habit out of it and speak down upon him. Acknowledge that his feelings may be hurt at this time and apologize when you say things you don’t mean. This is a very sensitive time for him, whether he says so or not.
Most importantly, stay optimistic during this time in your lives! Although frustrating, infertility teaches you a lot of life lessons about how to deal with changes and the unexpected. If a marriage can survive infertility, it will be even stronger once your journey ends.
If you are interested in setting up a consultation with myself or my husband, Dr. Adam, visit the “services” section. We will be more than happy to be a resource as we understand how difficult this can be for couples trying to conceive.
As always, if you have any questions, please contact me.