You decided to start a family, but it isn’t happening – how do you feel? Fertility treatment often focusses on the female partner but it is a shared journey. Getting the news that you are unable to conceive can be a shock, but on the male side there is much that can be done to overcome a low or zero sperm count, and ways that you can help yourself and support your partner.
Whatever stage of your fertility journey you are, there will be something for you in this webinar which looks at fertility from the male perspective and what you can do to improve your chances of becoming a dad and cope better with the journey.
Increase your chance of being a dad
There is a male factor in 50% of infertility cases and unlike eggs, sperm is made continuously so there is an opportunity to improve its quality and quantity.
Mr Oliver Wiseman, consultant urologist and specialist in male fertility, sees men every day who have been told they will never become a dad through natural conception. He says that the semen analysis is just the starting point.
“A semen analysis tests the volume of the sperm (sperm count), how well the sperm move (motility) and how normal they look (morphology).
“Many things can affect sperm quality, for example a brief period of illness can temporarily lower a sperm count, so it is important to repeat the test before diagnosing a problem. Many issues can be resolved naturally by lifestyle changes, by surgery and/or medication, all increasing your chances of becoming a dad.”
Sometimes there is no sperm but this too can be overcome in many cases; the important thing is to get good advice – don’t sit on the side-lines hoping that life will come to you.
Help for the journey
Infertility impacts both partners, but the coping mechanisms are often different. Jackie Stewart is an independent counsellor specialising in fertility and over the years and although there are of course many exceptions she has observed that men and women seem to cope differently with the challenge of infertility and fertility treatment.
“Often men cope by being positive, logical minded and pragmatic, focusing their energies very much in the present moment and on what they can solve. They may prefer not to talk about treatment because they feel helpless, powerless and don’t like to see their partner suffer when the topic comes up.
“This means that they may also not get the support or information they need and may try to be the rock for a partner, but it is better to accept that you are in this together and you don’t know what the outcome will be.”
Jackie will be talking about how to understand the coping mechanisms that you and your partner use and how to work out individually what you need. This includes discussing difficult decisions during fertility treatment.