How Male Infertility Affects Both of You
Any couple going through fertility treatments knows that the process will take you on a rollercoaster of emotions. Although we tie the role of reproduction very much to women in our society, the biological facts are that it takes both a man and woman (or at least both sperm and eggs) to make a baby. Experiencing fertility issues can be enough to set anyone off into a spiral of sadness, shame, fear, anger, frustration (need I go on?), and so it is important for all parties involved to take some proactive steps in learning how to cope and stay positive.
Let’s take a wide-angle lens at the issue of fertility from a man’s perspective:
For men, the traditional notion that fertility has anything to do with virility is a misconception and needs demystifying. Being virile is simply an adjective associated with masculinity, strength, and a sex drive. Fertility is another thing entirely. When it comes to reproduction, the issue is the quality of a man’s sperm, that’s what makes the difference between a man who can procreate naturally and those who need medical intervention so they can potentially reproduce (potentially being the operative word, as infertility is not always treatable).
What is male infertility?
Male infertility is basically a low sperm production, abnormal sperm function or a blockage preventing the delivery of sperm.
What are the causes of infertility?
There are multiple causes of male infertility including, but not limited to genetic, health, hormonal imbalance, conditions that blocks the passage of sperm, inherited disease, and even dietary and lifestyle factors.
The following aspects of sexual function and semen quality can be associated with male infertility:
- Erectile dysfunction
- Sperm count and motility
- Testosterone levels
How can we cope with infertility?
Many emotions are tied to infertility. Most commonly reported is the feeling of inadequacy at not being able to hold up “his end of the bargain,” so to speak. Having said that, in order to encourage couples to stay positive, it is vital that the partners stay connected, create a safe space to communicate their feelings, and make it clear that it is not anyone’s fault, some things are simply out of our hands.
In this situation, not having control over your body can make you feel distraught, and so to gain some sense of control, choose to stay positive and present in the moment. Science is doing its best to help those who are trying to conceive a child, your only job is to take things one day at a time, stay healthy, and maintain a positive outlook.
If you’ve been having frequent, unprotected sex for a year or longer, then it might be time to see a doctor. It’s important to find out where the malfunction is so that the right person can assess you and begin a proper course of treatment. There are fertility specialists that can help with hormone injections, fertility medication, IVF treatments, and don’t forget to ask questions and Have the Balls to Talk About It.