When it comes to infertility, most people tend to think that women are the only ones impacted when the reality of it is that men are affected too. Yes, women probably feel the most impacted by infertility thinking that their bodies are specifically designed for childbirth and not being able to produce a child can make them feel like less of a woman but studies have shown that men play a role in infertility as well.
In fact, Newsweek states that 40 percent of infertility cases are due to complications with men and as a man, not being able to give your significant other a baby is very emasculating.
On top of that, society hasn’t made things better. Men are told as young boys not to cry so they grow up bottling their emotions which cause emotional issues into adulthood.
Bottling up emotions that come with infertility can be a very hard thing to do, especially if you’re a highly sensitive man.
Experiencing infertility sometimes means miscarriages too so can you imagine the pain men and women experience going through something like that?
It’s almost like an unspoken rule where women are supposed to express their emotions during the process whereas men are just supposed to “take it like a man” and deal with it. Instead of sweeping it under the rug, let’s talk about the emotions men experience with infertility.
Male Infertility Emotion 1: Emasculated and Embarrassed
As mentioned earlier, men are taught as young boys to “suck it up” or to “be a man” when they get older as a way to deal with certain situations to keep from showing any type of emotion.
One of the life-changing events meant to prove a man as being “manly” is to get his partner pregnant.
When a man isn’t able to do that, it can make him feel like he’s failed as a man, which is understandable.
This idea of not being able to produce the way a man is supposed to have put a lot of men at risk for depression too. On top of that, because he feels like he’s failed as a man, he doesn’t want to talk about it to anyone because he’s too embarrassed.
When it comes to infertility, the emotions associated are not male or female specific.
Just as women struggle with feelings of inadequacy to fulfill their natural, biological responsibility as a woman, men face the same emotions of inadequacy to fulfill their role as a man but no one cares to talk about it.
Depending on how hard the struggle, you may want to seek out professional help in the form of a Psychotherapist or from the right online therapist.
Male Infertility Emotion 2: Stress
The fact that you can’t get your partner pregnant is already one big ball of stress to deal with but finding out the root cause of why you’re infertile can be a totally different world of stress because that usually means that you have an underlying health issue that’s causing your infertility.
Obviously, the main sign of infertility is the inability to get pregnant but if a man is unable to get his partner pregnant it can be due to other stressful health issues that you would need to see a doctor about.
Some of these issues include:
- Sexually Transmitted Infections: Chlamydia, HIV, and gonorrhea have all been linked to infertility. That’s not to say that if you have these infections that you can’t have children but they do play a role in conception.
- Erectile Dysfunction: Not being able to maintain an erection can take a toll on you mentally but it can also take a toll on you emotionally too. The fact that you and your partner are trying to conceive but your body isn’t allowing you to do what it needs to do can put a strain on the relationship as well. This underlying health issue can really make a man feel like he’s inadequate.
- Changes in Testicles: If you happen o notice any changes in your testicles, you want to go see a health care professional immediately because that too can be a sign of an underlying health issue. Tightness, swelling, and tenderness are all signs that you need to go to the doctor.
All of those health issues are stressful but the silver lining is knowing that you’re not alone in this and there are treatment options to help you and your significant other get through it all.
Going through the process of IVF is a great way to improve your chances of pregnancy.
Fertility clinics educate you on the process and some even show you pictures of actual embryos from the laboratory so that you and your partner know how the process will work.
The main thing to understand is that infertility is not the end of the world.
You and your partner have options and opportunities to become parents. Although it may be easier said than done, try not to let the embarrassment and stress get you down about infertility.
Talk about how you’re feeling with your partner and know that there are alternative methods to give you the family you’ve always wanted.