You did it. You found the person that you want to spend your life with.
And not only did you find them, you convinced them to be with you. You’ve committed and you’re looking forward to the future. You and your partner have made a wonderful life, you’re ready for the next step, and you want to expand your family.
So you start trying to get pregnant.
And it’s really exciting! There’s hope and sex and passion and planning. The two of you start picking out names and your partner creates unbelievably intricate Pinterest boards.
You buy sheets for the crib, spend hours looking at paint swatches, and argue over which cute animal theme you’ll use. You start picking out books and dreaming of bedtime stories. You might even dare enough to buy some toys and get your child’s first stuffed animal.
But the months go by and the hope starts to falter. Eventually the hope takes the sex and passion with it. You keep trying and timing cycles but sex feels less like going to bed and more like going to work. You play your part and perform but the hope keeps dwindling.
You finally go to the doctor and you get the news. Infertility.
You hear about all the options and the costs and the acronyms. You’re devastated. You begin exploring your choices and trying things, but no matter how much time, money, and energy you spend, none of those things seem to work.
Your partner is crushed and you want to be strong for them. You want to be the man that they fell in love with: strong, capable, dependable. You’ve spent your entire life working hard to achieve your goals. But no amount of effort can change what you face. There’s nothing you can do because biology is working against you. And you’re starting to feel like you can’t even help your partner.
You feel worse than helpless, you feel useless. Things begin to spiral and you lose even more hope: you can’t make a baby, you can’t make your partner feel better, and you can’t make yourself feel better.
Infertility affects approximately 15% of couples trying to conceive, but people rarely talk about it.
It feels isolating and lonely. You might even feel alone within your relationship. But you don’t have to be. You’re clearly committed to yourself and your partner and it’s not that you can’t do anything, just that you may not know what to do. Instead of getting stuck in the uncertainty of not knowing what to do, take a first step to help yourself and your partner by learning what resources you have available to you.
Here are a few helpful resources for men dealing with infertility:
- Fertility Lifelines offers information about male infertility and fertility treatments. They also have resources to help you find a fertility specialist, prepare for how to work with your doctor, and find support groups.
- Resolve is the National Infertility Association. Their site has additional information, resources, and support for men and women experiencing infertility.
- The Society for the Study of Male Reproduction also has plenty of information to help you learn about male infertility treatments, as well as additional resources to guide you through your journey.
And if you’re ready to take a more defined step and have knowledgeable support, consider beginning therapy today. Whether for yourself or for you and your partner together, therapy can help you work through the complicated experience of infertility, and take actionable steps to move forward with your goals.
You can learn more HERE about counseling for infertility in Greenville, Simpsonville, and surrounding areas of South Carolina.
This post about male infertility was written by Ross Hill, MMFT, LMFT-A, CAC-P.
Ross is a Marriage and Family Therapist and addictions counselor. He enjoys working with couples & individuals and looks for opportunities to spread awareness about mental health. He believes that everyone has the strength to overcome the obstacles they face, with the proper tools. Ross sees clients at his private practice in Spartanburg, SC. His information can be found HERE.