Callum grew up in a large family and had always wanted to have lots of children of his own – but faced the prospect of not having any at all.
He married wife Suzannah in 2008 and was delighted that she shared his dreams. “We both wanted a big family,” he says. “But there was a real worry about how we were going to make it happen.”
Male infertility issues are common
It was after several years without success that the couple went to their GP for fertility advice. They were referred for tests, which revealed that although Callum’s sperm count was perfectly normal there was an issue with his sperm motility, which was affecting the rate and ability of the sperm to move forward. The couple were advised that their only chance of conception was by IVF with a process called ICSI (intracyto-plasmic sperm injection), which involves injecting a sperm directly into an egg.
Around 3.5 million people in the UK have some difficulty conceiving and half of these will involve a male factor issue. Dr Babbur Vijayalakshmi, Consultant at Bourn Hall Clinic, the world’s first IVF clinic, says: “The majority of healthy couples having regular intercourse will conceive within two years. There are many causes for infertility and often these are treatable by the GP or local hospital; IVF is only required for a very small minority of people.”
Being a dad
The couple now have three boys following IVF treatment, with Boyd arriving in August last year.
“I am so proud to have my three boys,” Callum smiles. “I just love the time I spend with them and doing all the weekend stuff, football, golf, swimming. Before we realised about the fertility problem we had thought long and hard about how many children we wanted. We are so lucky that we ended up with the size of family that we dreamt of.”
Men encouraged to talk fertility concerns
Dr Babbur encourages people (especially men) to talk more about infertility. She says: “For me the saddest situation is when someone has put off talking to a health professional about their fertility concerns only to find out when they do that they have left it too late.”