Men struggle with involuntary childlessness just like women, but may find it harder to express their feelings. Here are some avenues to explore.
Facing fertility struggles and childlessness can be a very different experience for men than for women. Discovering male factor fertility problems may be totally unexpected; however, it is no-one’s fault. Fertility does not equate to manhood (or womanhood), but all too often, a person’s sense of self, be it masculine or feminine can be damaged in this way.
For men, fertility issues can be so sensitive that the topic becomes a taboo subject. Men may find it difficult to discuss the subject outside their close family circle. Often it is found that they can’t share their feelings and emotions with their friends. This means that the male partner can then carry an unnecessarily heavy burden.
Although it can be challenging, finding the right outlet for discussing how you feel can be very helpful: for some, this may be with family and friends, for others talking to a counsellor may help. One suggestion, which some men have found helpful is to join an online support group, some of which are male only; here feelings and problems can be shared in a more anonymous setting.
Men also may feel that they are letting their partner and family down, although the issue is a medical one and out of their control. However, some still have a residual embarrassment and a sense that they do not want to reveal this to other males. It can be a big psychological hurdle. It is important to remember that it is not anyone’s ‘fault’ and to recognise that there is information and support available.
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