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5 Tips for Living With Male Fertility Problems

Infertility may be the worst thing a man faces, especially if fertility is manhood to him. These tips for living with male fertility problems are from The Fertility Sourcebook and my husband’s experience with azoospermia.

“…the number-one problem most men faced was admitting their infertility to another male, particularly close family members and friends,” writes Sara Rosenthal in The Fertility Sourcebook. “Admitting infertility to even one other male will help you find a ‘place’ for your feelings.”

The more men talk about infertility, the easier it gets. When my husband and I first realized we were dealing with male fertility problems, we had a hard time talking about. But now – three and a half years later – it’s much easier to talk about.

Here are five tips for coping with male infertility…

5 Tips for Living With Male Fertility Problems

Figure out your worst fears. If you talk about your sperm problems, will you be ostracized by your friends, family, or coworkers? Will you be laughed at by people you respect? Will people make fun of you? Try to figure out if your worst fears are legitimate. Often, we have preconceived notions of how people will respond if they find out about certain health problems – and those fears are rarely justified.

Get educated about male fertility problems. When a couple can’t get pregnant, it’s a male infertility issue about 33% of the time, a female fertility issue 33% of the time, and unexplained infertility 33% of the time. You’re not alone – there are many men who are living with men’s infertility! The more you learn about male infertility (such as how to increase sperm count or how to make sperm healthier) and your specific fertility problem, the less isolated and more normal you’ll feel.

Talk to your partner about how you feel. I know how hard this is for me – my husband says talking about his feelings is physically exhausting! But, what you suppress and keep inside you will eat away at you, making you weak and powerless. Talk to your partner. “The more your partner feels included in your pain, the mores she can support you rather than just ‘guess’ at how you must be feeling,” writes Rosenthal in The Fertility Sourcebook.

Find a good male friend. If you can’t talk to your brother, father, uncle, or other male friends or family members, then you may need to rethink your relationships. After all, if you can’t talk about personal issues – like living with men’s infertility – with the people you’re closest to, then what’s the point? Your closest friends and family members want to support and help you. You’ll feel better if you reach out to them.

I rounded up a list of fertility blogs and websites for men coping with infertility – they may help.

Learn about the possible infertility treatments. My husband and I tried intrauterine insemination (IUI) and asking friends to donate sperm. Those options didn’t work. We researched in vitro fertilization (IVF) and even had a training session at our fertility clinic, but I couldn’t proceed with the treatment. We also considered adoption and fostering. Even though we haven’t gotten pregnant and haven’t solved our fertility problems, it felt good to take an active role in figuring out how to cope with infertility! If you can take action towards solving your fertility problems – even if it’s just talking to a male counselor or joining an infertility support group – you’ll feel a bit better about living with men’s infertility.

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4 thoughts on “5 Tips for Living With Male Fertility Problems”

  1. I am kind of surprised at how angry you guys sound. My husband has infertility and the way I see it this could have easily been me with the infertility. I just hope my husband would be understanding as I have been. We will look to adoption or other means but I love him dearly and would never trade him for any other fertile guy in the world.

  2. Kat. I totally understand your frustration. My husband and I married when we were thirty. Two years later he was diagnosed with severe male factor infertility. At the age of thirty five I am still struggling with his inability to father a child. I guess he has come to terms with but I haven’t. He just doesn’t get it. Nieither of us have children. I often wonder if our marriage will survive this.

  3. Dear Kat,

    Wow – what a blow! I’m surprised you’re not more angry, hurt, betrayed, or upset. I’m not telling you how you should react to your husband’s male-related infertility or his lying to you…I’m just surprised that you’re not furious.

    But, we all deal with stuff differently! Your response is more hurt and shock, than anger or fury. And that’s cool. We’re all different.

    I wrote this article for you:

    When Your Husband Had a Vasectomy Without Your Knowledge

    I listed the tips I could think of for coping with your husband’s male fertility problems…I hope it helps, and welcome you to let me know what you think, either there or here.


  4. What about women suffering from male-related infertility and how to live with it? I’m 35, married to my 52 yr. old husband who had a vasectomy after having 3 children in a previous marriage. I didn’t know about his vasectomy and was on contraception for 3 years when we were living together untill his eldest daughter told me by accident when we were engaged, nearly married. I nearly fainted I was so shocked and hurt by the news. I am commited to my husband but am left feeling so empty and gelous of why my husband’s a father to his 3 (teenage)children and as IVF is far too expensive for us to even start why I can’t live my dream of ever being a parent? Although I respect his time with his kids, it’s so hard to constantly watch him with them at birthdays and christmas, etc. I’m so scared that i’m going to feel worse as I get older and as his kids have kids of thier own! Any tips on how to servive this? and I’d be interested to hear of anyone else’s similar circumstances.