Coping With Male Infertility

Very few men think that they will have a problem with infertility. Finding this out can lead to anger, shock and frustration. More focus needs to be given to the impact of male infertility.


Unless the cause of infertility is known, both men and women will need to be tested. The testing process can be physically demanding and very overwhelming. It's important for men to understand the purpose of the tests and what the procedures will entail. In the Unites States over six million couples are suffering from infertility. From this number, 40% of cases will be caused by male infertility.

Choices For Infertile Couples

Donor sperm is one option for men who do not produce any sperm or who have not been successful with ICSI treatment. Some couples consider donor insemination using donated sperm. Donor insemination allows the couple the opportunity to share the experience of pregnancy and childbirth.

Not all men choose to undergo medical treatment and for some couples the various methods of assisted reproduction techniques have not been successful for them. At this stage, some infertile couples consider adoption or providing foster care to children. These are often options that couples did not initially consider. It can be a very daunting and overwhelming task for couples to face up to the reality of their fertility problems and make choices for the future.

The Emotional Journey Of Male Infertility

For both men and women, infertility can cause feelings of anger, depression and frustration. For men in particular, the following issues are common.

Guilt - it is a notion from 'traditional' societal roles, that men will provide their partners with babies and many men feel guilty if they cannot do this. This problem is particularly dominant if the female in the relationship doesn't have any fertility issues.

Inadequacy - male infertility can lead to feelings of sexual inadequacy. Society places a lot of pressure on men to be masculine and virile and infertility can threaten this perception. It can lead to tension in a relationship and some men have admitted to problems with impotency as a result.

Failure - men who want to have children will often feel a sense of failure if they are infertile. This problem relates to women as well; however there is a lot of pressure on men to 'carry on the family name'.

Coping Suggestions

There is a lack of resources aimed specifically at men coping with infertility; however it's important that men seek help from counselors, family or friends. It can be difficult to talk about this topic but keeping emotions inside is not a healthy way of dealing with them. Bottling up feelings can lead to outbursts of anger and put extra strain on relationships. Some men find that receiving psychological support or contacting a support group aimed at men can help them to come to terms with this emotional and stressful experience.

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