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Undertanding the Emotional Aspects of Male Infertility
Understanding the Emotional Aspects of Male Infertility
“Male infertility alone accounts for approximately 1/3 of all infertility cases.” For as little as we hear about this, we do know that women are more vocal than men. Infertility is personal. But why else might men remain quiet about it? In a 2002 Nat. Survey of Family Growth, male factor infertility accounts for almost 40- 50% of infertility cases. Understanding the emotional roller coaster of infertility and male diagnoses can help us to interact and help the men in our lives that may be going through this difficult time.
Stress due to male infertility can cause negative effects in a relationship, effects that can be remedied simply by both parties. These relationship issues often show through different coping methods. Women tend to communicate issues while men try to research and find the solution quickly with minimal communication. Ways to manage relationship stress include: Respecting each other’s differences, deal with infertility as a unit by going to appointments, sharing news with family members, and exercising together. Click here to see our blog about Relationship Support. Click here to see what fertility expert, Dr. Goldfarb says about stress and fertility.
Emasculation and embarrassment
Many people feel like they know they will meet a man or a woman and have children in the future. Men, also have an engrained sense of what it means to “be-a-man” going through the process of reproducing. Infertility can take that away, leaving men feeling emasculated. Feeling as though your manhood has been taken can be embarrassing too. A study concluded “Male partners in couples who perceive isolated male factor infertility have a lower sexual and personal quality of life compared with male partners of couples without perceived male factor infertility.” In some of these cases it may be beneficial to take part in a support group for men. Click here to find additional support.
It’s important to understand the psychological impact infertility has on men even if they aren’t vocal about it as women may be. Trying to understand what’s going through their minds, what they feel and how they cope is the first step to helping and supporting them.