Coping with the Heartbreak of Male Infertility
Most couples take it for granted that they’ll have children one day. They never stop to think that one or both of them might have problems with their fertility.
The reality is that from 10 to 15 percent of couples will be infertile. One-third of infertility problems are female related while another third is male related with the remaining third being unexplained infertility.
Unfortunately, much of the support and acknowledgment of infertility is directed towards women while male infertility is overlooked. It’s important to understand that infertile men are also facing the same emotional issues and concerns that women are going through.
Coping with the heartbreak of infertility is just as crucial for men as it is for women. Struggling to conceive can take a lot of you and your relationship.
Finding ways to cope with your emotions is important so that you don’t let the devastation of infertility get you down to the point where you can’t get up again.
Talking about Male Infertility
If you’ve been diagnosed with male infertility you’re most likely going through a lot of emotions. Perhaps you feel as though you’re a failure and that you can’t give your partner that baby she really wants.
Or maybe you feel as though you’re strong enough to go through this hard time on your own. Finding out that you’re infertile is a tragic loss.
Many men try to work through their emotions on their own, and this can lead to even more emotional difficulty and problems in the relationship with your partner.
Talking about your feelings can help you mourn the loss of your ability to have a child. Talking can also help you deal with the issues of infertility treatments if you and your partner have decided to pursue that option.
Consider joining an infertility therapy group to talk about what you’re going through. If talking with a group of people isn’t something you feel comfortable with, consider talking to your partner, a good friend, your doctor, or a personal therapist.
Troublesome Signs When Coping with Male Infertility
Both men and women deal with infertility in their own way. The emotions that you’re going through are not uncommon and perfectly normal at this difficult time.
There are some worrisome signs that you should watch for that include:
- Letting anger and irritability consume you to the point that you’re acting out.
- Abusing drugs or alcohol.
- Having suicidal thoughts.
- Feeling too sad and depressed to enjoy the things that you used to enjoy doing.
- Wanting to sleep all the time or not being able to sleep at all.
If you’re experiencing any of the above for more than a few days it’s important that you talk to your doctor or to a counselor.
While it’s okay to be feeling grief and sadness in moderation, it’s not okay to these let these feelings consume you to the point that your infertility is all that you can think about.
Setting Limits Will Help you Cope with Infertility
It’s important that you and your partner set limits in advance of what kind of procedures and how many of them you’re emotionally and financially able to undergo.
Infertility treatments can be very expensive and often won’t be covered by your insurance. If you’re having difficulty conceiving you may need to undergo more than one attempt before pregnancy is confirmed.
Don’t allow yourself to become so focused on getting pregnant that you continue with fertility treatments until you’re both financially and emotionally drained.
Think about other options that you may have to consider such as adoption or using a donor egg or sperm. Knowing that you have options can reduce some of the stress and anxiety you may feel during treatment.
Having options and limits can relieve some of the hopelessness that many couples feel at this time in their lives.
Coping Skills to Cope with Male Infertility
Some men are more resilient to the stress and frustration that infertility can bring about. Others will let this stress and tension build up until it threatens to explode.
When the difficulty of infertility starts to get to you try to develop some coping skills to help you manage your emotions:
- Write about what you’re feeling.
- Focus on your own health by eating right and exercising.
- Take some time to relax and do something for yourself.
- Take a vacation with your partner to get away from everything for just a while.
While dealing with infertility can be distressing, you and your partner can’t allow it to take over your lives.
Whether you’re going through infertility testing or have moved on to fertility treatments it’s crucial that you don’t ignore other things in your life.
Even though most couples go on to conceive, you need to be prepared to accept that you may never father your own child.
Talk to both your partner and your doctor about the steps that you’re willing to take and how far you’re prepared to go to have your own child.