At fertility clinics and seminars, females are taking notes, asking questions, sharing stories, and laughing and crying at will. Men are often more quiet. Females are the vast majority, if not all, of the members on popular infertility support websites, bulletin boards, and Facebook pages.
One might ask: where are the guys? Many would rather disappear into the furniture than discuss male infertility. Why are men so silent when it comes to coping with infertility?
Male infertility and his manhood
Females often find it helpful to discuss health changes like infertility throughout their lifespan. Men, on the other hand, seem to get by just fine without talking about these things. Here are 5 reasons why:
- Men are encouraged to be strong. He can suppress his feelings about infertility because pain and weakness are not socially acceptable.
- Men are encouraged to provide for their families. He might feel like a failure for not providing you with a child.
- Men must be in control at all times. By not fathering a child he feels like he has let you, and others, down.
- A man often wants to have descendants to carry on his genes and the family name. He is disappointed that he is not fulfilling his end of this bargain.
- Men are encouraged to be highly sexual, with virile sex organs. Infertility affects his manhood and he may worry that he is less of a man because he is infertile.
- As he struggles with these beliefs, wanting to stay strong, your partner may just be less likely to talk about his feelings and seek infertility support.
Men need infertility support too
Close to 10 percent of all couples experience infertility at some point, with male infertility contributing to half of all couple’s fertility problems. While men may be less likely to openly seek infertility support, they are coping with infertility too. As you continue on your fertility journey, encourage your male partner to open up, take care of his physical and emotional health, and find helpful outlets for coping with infertility.