“I’ve got plenty of really close mates, but it feels almost like a taboo to talk about it down the pub. Because blokes aren’t naturally caring… the default way is to laugh it off with a bit of banter and a bit of humour. That’s great, because it alleviates that glumness, but sometimes you just need to talk to someone.”
In our on-demand webinar about male infertility, Matt O’Malley talks about his experiences and how he found it helped him to open up about the issue. He is be joined by Mr Oliver Wiseman, urologist and male infertility specialist at Bourn Hall, who explains what a semen analysis reveals, how to improve poor sperm quality, and the treatment options that are available.
Mr Wiseman says: “A semen test is just the starting point of a fertility journey. Many issues with poor sperm quality or quantity can be resolved naturally or by surgery and/or medication, increasing your chances of becoming a dad.”
Matt’s story: “I was like ‘no, I’m absolutely fine’, when I knew I wasn’t…”
At the age of 31, Matt O’Malley and his partner Laura found themselves in the middle of a baby boom. All around them, friends of a similar age were all starting to have children. But after 18 months of trying, the couple had still not been able to conceive.
“Laura’s cycle is irregular and we thought it was that,” says Matt. “It came as a complete shock that the issue was with my sperm. I think as a man you just automatically assume you can have children – it’s a given.
“We mentioned to friends and family ‘we were going for treatment’ but didn’t go into details.
“I’m very much a happy-go-lucky person, but after Laura suffered two miscarriages I changed… I really struggled,” he says.
“Friends had noticed I’d changed. It was only when I started talking more openly about male infertility and what I’d experienced that it made me realise that I should’ve been doing it a long time ago. There’s nothing to be ashamed of, there’s nothing to hide, it’s part of who you are.”
Male infertility specialist: overcoming poor sperm quality and quantity
Mr Oliver Wiseman says: “In 50% of cases, there is a male factor contributing to fertility problems, so early assessment of the male side is important, and that can be done with a semen analysis.
“Sperm is produced in the testicles. The testis have only two jobs: to produce the male hormone testosterone and to make sperm. Unlike the female, where all her eggs are present at birth, sperm is produced continuously and even a short period of illness can impact production.
“This is why, if there are abnormalities in a semen analysis, it is important that these patients are seen by a male infertility specialist, because there may be things we can diagnose or advise that will improve sperm count.
“If we can improve sperm quality then the couple may be able to conceive naturally, or if they do need IVF treatment, it will make it more successful.”
Our on-demand webinar will help you understand the options available to you to create your family.