coping male fertility

An infertility diagnosis from your fertility specialist is never good news when you are trying to conceive. Coping with infertility is always tough, no matter the cause and the member of the couple with the fertility issue. When it comes to male fertility, however, there are things you can do to help him cope with his diagnosis of male fertility.

  1. Understand first that this likely makes him feel bad about himself and damages his self-image. For anyone with a fertility diagnosis, hearing the news can be a shock. For men, sometimes more so because despite the fact we have long known that fertility problems are both a male and female issue, many people still believe it is largely a female issue. Most men suffer a lower self-esteem and self-image after the diagnosis.
  2. Attempt to get him to open up about his feelings. Some men may have no problem talking about how the diagnosis makes him feel, so this might not be as difficult for some couples. However, others believe that “being a man” means keeping these kinds of disappointments to themselves. It depends on their communication style, but if you can, try to find ways to make it easy for them to talk about their feelings.
  3. Frame it as a change of plans, not a failure. It’s normal for either the man (or the woman for that matter) to think they have failed their partner when they get the diagnosis. If that comes up in the discussion, acknowledge that you heard what he said and then reframe it, as in, “Yes, it’s disappointing that we aren’t going to get pregnant the way we planned. I’m sad about that, too, but I think of this diagnosis more like a change in plans on how we are going to get pregnant than a failure.”
  4. Acknowledge this is a difficult subject with complex emotional consequences. Infertility has many emotions associated with it. Men feel guilty when their wives are disappointed they aren’t pregnant. Women feel disappointed and angry about it, too, and then feel guilty because they know it isn’t their partner’s fault. Be honest with yourself about your feelings so you can avoid distancing yourself emotionally from your partner in a challenging time.

Male infertility is a difficult diagnosis for him to hear, and it’s not easy for their partners either. Coping with an infertility diagnosis is always challenging for couples that are trying to conceive. In the cases where the diagnosis is his, try seeing it from his perspective and try to get him to talk about his feelings. The good news is that many cases of male fertility have treatable options. Working together and with the help of your fertility specialist, his fertility issue has the potential to bring your closer rather than driving you apart.

Sources:

Burns, Ami. “Dealing with Infertility When He Has the Issue.” www.paretns.com. Web. 16 November 2015. .

Attain Fertility Help Desk. “Coping with Male Infertility: A Guide for Men.” Attainfertility.com. Web. 16 November 2015. http://attainfertility.com/article/coping-male-infertility.