Infertility is often believed to be a woman's problem. However, studies indicate that 30% of infertility is related to male factor problems such as structural abnormalities, sperm production disorders, ejaculatory disturbances and immunologic disorders. Infertility is a couples' problem and one that must be faced as a team. This concept is incredibly important as the feelings of the man often get overlooked.
When a male is forced to contend with male factor infertility, he is facing an emotional journey. A man often associates his sense of masculinity with the ability to conceive a child. Some men find that low sperm count or poor sperm quality makes them somehow "less of a man" or not as virile. Men may experience profound feelings of guilt, anger, and low self-esteem, which can affect all aspects of their lives. It is essential to recognize that the male partner may be experiencing pain that is not dissimilar from the female whose self-worth and femininity is wrapped up in motherhood. A couple facing infertility, be it male factor, female factor, a combination or unexplained, need to communicate about what is happening to them.
Understanding the way the male reproductive system functions is key in taking charge of your family building journey.
We've listed some common male factor conditions. RESOLVE urges you to seek the care of your doctor or urologist for a specific diagnosis.
Of course, the impact of an infertility diagnosis on men can be great, especially if they have long held ideas about becoming a parent. The same issues that confront women are present for men, and both sexes cope with having taken parenthood for granted. The failure of their procreative body functions is often devastating for men, especially since they are so closely linked with sexuality. Men may consider it an assault on their masculinity if they are the cause for the failure to conceive.
Learn why it is important for men to get tested for infertility issues.
To talk to a RESOLVE volunteer whose partner has male factor infertility, please call the RESOLVE HelpLine at 866.NOT.ALONE (866.668.2566) and press extension 5.