When we think of infertility, we think that the problem lies with the women. Fertility affects 12% of couples and it is 50% men and 50% women. Infertility never crossed my mind until I received the dreaded diagnosis. Finding out that I infertile was one of the hardest moments of my life. An infertility diagnosis is very tough for men to cope with. In this post you will learn “how to men deal with infertility and IVF treatment”
The 3 Ways That Men Feel After Infertility Diagnosis – How do Men deal With Infertility?
a feeling of self-consciousness, shame, or awkwardness.
When I found out that the reason Olivia could not get pregnant was my infertility I was embarrassed. I was put here on this planet to continue my families bloodline. I had failed at procreating and receiving the bad news was a tough blow.
After the diagnosis, I felt terrible and I was too embarrassed to share it with anybody. Instead, I spent several weeks internalising everything and feeling depressed. It was horrible. Showing feelings or emotions is something that I was trained not to do growing up in Ireland.
“Bottling up our feelings leads to depression and mental health issues.”
Bottling up our feelings leads to depression and mental health issues. This is a big problem for men, not just in Ireland, but Worldwide. Fear of judgement causes us to internalise our problems which can lead to suicide.
It was not until I had children through IVF that I could talk openly about my infertility. Even then, it took a lot of bravery to show such weakness. In hindsight, I had nothing to be embarrassed about. Infertility is a reproductive disease that had chosen me.
the state or quality of being inadequate; lack of the quantity or quality required.“the inadequacy of available resources”
A feeling of inadequacy came next. Olivia wanted a family more than anything and I could not provide that for her. That made me feel useless. Olivia wanted to be a mother much more than I wanted to be a father. Being a mother was her calling in life and because of me, she could not achieve it.
Women have a broodiness that is biological. Women’s longing for children is accentuated by added societal pressure. Everywhere a woman looks there are ads for families and children. Magazines, TV and social media are saturated with happy families. This makes the yearning for children even greater.
“When I found out that it was my fault that we couldn’t have a family there was a tremendous feeling of guilt.”
When I found out that it was my fault that we couldn’t have a family there was a tremendous feeling of guilt. At the time I told her to leave me if she wants to have a family. We were, and still are, madly in love. I loved her so much that I was willing to let her go to fulfil her dreams of having a family.
a painful feeling of humiliation or distress caused by the consciousness of wrong or foolish behaviour.
Infertility is something that men do not talk about openly. We are too ashamed to discuss our weakness. It was painful for me to talk to anyone about my disease. Olivia and a handful of family and friends were my only outlets. This was not enough. If you are going through infertility then you need to talk to as many people as possible.
This feeling of shame is normal. Fertility is indirectly talking about your sex life. Not many men have the balls to talk about sexual problems in public. This has to change. Infertility is nobody’s fault and there is no reason to feel shame.
“Not many men have the balls to talk about sexual problems in public.”
As the dictionary says shame is “a painful feeling of humiliation or distress caused by the consciousness of wrong or foolish behaviour.” There is no reason to be humiliated, you have done nothing wrong.
Men deal with infertility in different ways. They either go into their shell and suffer from depression or they take ownership of the situation and take action. I went through both of these stages.
How Do Men Deal With Infertility Diagnosis
I went through both of the ways that men cope with infertility. Initially, I fell into a depression that was really horrible. Shame, embarrassment and inadequacy consumed me for a short time. This was short lived and the only way back up from the bottom was to take action.
feelings of severe despondency and dejection.
When I found out that I was infertile I was completely despondent and dejected. I went into my shell and spent a week at home talking to nobody. It was not until I found out that I could not have a family that I realised how much I wanted one.
“It was not until I found out that I could not have a family that I realised how much I wanted one.”
Pictures of future Christmas’s without children entered my mind. I imagined growing old and lonely without a family. I grew up in Ireland with a big extended family and I did not appreciate how important family is until I was diagnosed as infertile.
These dark thoughts led me to drink and feeling sorry for myself. It was a dark couple of weeks that I will never forget. That time was the lowest of my life. In hindsight, I learned so much about myself from the struggle. It is always darkest before the sunrise.
do something official or concerted to achieve an aim or deal with a problem.
After falling into a dark depression for a couple of weeks, it was time to take action. I was at rock bottom and something had to change. We decided to try IVF and that is when the hard work really started. Reaching my lowest point was the catalyst that sparked a wave of personal development.
“Reaching my lowest point was the catalyst that sparked a wave of personal development”
I took action in every area of my life. I changed my job, I stopped smoking, I got fitter and started eating healthier. My partying days came to an abrupt end and my whole life focused on having a family. The no.1 goal that I wrote down and read every day was to have a family. Everything revolved around having children. This for me is the only way to get through infertility treatment. 100% all in every area of my life
How Do Men Deal With Infertility – The 3 Steps To Having A Family
the fact of continuing in an opinion or course of action in spite of difficulty or opposition.
If you are infertile and are going to go through IVF treatment then I would say do not give up. One of the biggest barriers to successful IVF treatment is couples that give up to early. You need to be persistent and be willing to try everything in your power to have a family.
Sticking with the treatment when you keep on getting bad news is really difficult. When we went through our three treatments there were so many occasions when I felt like throwing in the towel. It would have been easier to just give up.
Looking back, I am so happy that my wife and I continued to work hard and not give up. I If we had not been persistent, in spite of the difficulties, then we would not have our beautiful family. It is hard to see it when you are in the depths of despair but growth comes from the struggle.
“It is hard to see it when you are in the depths of despair but growth comes from the struggle”
When you persist and don’t give up in the face of adversity that is when the magic happens. You will look back on the pain and realise that it made you change for the better. During IVF treatment life is teaching you valuable lessons that will make you a stronger person.
As a result of our acceptance, hard work and persistence we have a family. This would have never happened had we given up an accepted our faith. If you are going through fertility treatment then you need to make some massive changes to your life and never give up.