It's Alright to Cry - Men and Infertility

Infertility is a very difficult issue to deal with in a relationship. While many people feel sorry for the woman, and focus on her needs, the man usually needs just as much support and understanding. It is vitally important to remember, as an infertile man, or as a man with an infertile partner, that your needs are important. You need to take care of yourself during this difficult time, as you take care of your partner as well.

Inadequacy as a Man

Unfortunately, many people tie together fertility and sexual adequacy. When a man is infertile, he may see himself as not fully a "man" or as not adequate to live up to society's standards. Similarly, the process of discovering that you have fertility issues is often quite difficult for a man. It may feel humbling and humiliating to masturbate into a cup once or more than once, and to have your private life, and your body, poked.

Feelings of Guilt

Men may feel guilty that they aren't able to offer their partner the baby that they so dearly crave. This is, of course, more true if the issue is with your fertility and not with your partner's. It is easy to get into a situation where you start to blame yourself and feel guilty about everything that you are putting your partner through.

Loss of Control

Many of us like to feel in control of our lives, even as we recognize that there are always things beyond our control. When you are infertile, you certainly have a lack of control. You can't control your ability to get pregnant, and you are placed in the hands of fertility specialists who have more knowledge than do you. This can be very difficult for many men.

Failure for the Family Line

Finally, many men assume that they will, someday, have a male heir to carry on the family name. It can be very difficult to face the idea that you may not have a child, and that your name may not be carried on by you. This can make a man feel like a failure and like someone who has let down his family line.

Seeking Help

If you are feeling any of these emotions, it's certainly time to speak to someone. Make sure that you keep the communication open with your partner and that you don't keep your emotions bottled up inside. You may want to seek help from another source as well, including a therapist, a support group, or another avenue. Furthermore, try to channel some of your attention into productive activities such as yoga, running, or other sports that will release your tension and help you to relax.

Hopefully, with time, your fertility specialist will help you to have a child, or you will decide to adopt one. Making sure that your relationship and your ego stay strong through this process is vitally important. Do whatever you can for yourself to remain calm, to focus your attention on enjoyable and helpful pursuits and to keep the channels of communication open.


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