Published on December 28th, 2013 | by Andrew Garcia0
I Got 99 Problems and Fertility is One
No one wants to talk about it. Male infertility is not a topic that is in vogue among the guys, because frankly who wants to think about the unthinkable? Us men were put here on Earth to procreate, and there is something very off putting about not having the ability to do so. Yet it is a lot more common than any of would like to think.
Infertility is defined as when a couple cannot get pregnant successful after one year of trying. According to the National Institute of Health 15% of couples have this issue at some point. When couples are suffering fertility issues, third of the time the problem lies in the male’s biology. That means only 5% of the male population experience this issue.
Let me tell you, you are not alone in your struggle in fertility. Even though no one talks about it, there are plenty of males out there struggling through the same issues. What us guys have to put up with through this whole infertility business is a nightmare.
I wanted to share some of my general experiences through struggling fertility with my wife due to my low sperm count. It is still painful admit that somehow my body measured up short to making babies, but what are you going to do? The following are just some off the issues you can expect to come up when dealing with fertility.
Infertility is Stupidly Expensive
Nothing is more infuriating than the actual cost of infertility. Insurance does not cover the cost of any of the treatments or tests, so if there is a problem you better have your credit cards ready. It seems extremely wrong that insurance doesn’t cover fertility treatments since reproduction is one of the essential biological functions of all human beings.
So why not adopt? Guess what, that is unbelievable expensive too. You would think that there would be a surplus of free babies and children out there in need of a good home, but I was surprised to find out how much competition is involved in adoption. If you want to adopt a baby, you can expect to spend anywhere from 10,000 to 15,000 dollars. Not to mention there is the uncertainty of waiting on lists, applying with agencies and sorts of headaches I would not wish on anyone. You also have to be careful about being scammed by people out there, which happens with no little frequency in the world of adoption.
The Appointments are Embarrassing
They always tell you there is nothing to be embarrassed about at these types of appointments. Having fertility issues doesn’t make you less of a man blah, blah, blah. You know the deal. I still can’t get down with the idea of another man (or woman) considering my capability to procreate even if they are in the business of helping people with that exact issue.
The appointments are filled with many unpleasantries besides sharing with complete strangers you are a biological failure. There are many tests for fertility at there are uncomfortable to say the least. The least of my favourite was masturbating into a cup in a doctor’s office. There is nothing sexy about a doctor’s office. Another test is the infamous transrectal ultrasound, and yes that is actually as bad as it sounds. If you want to read more about the different torture, I mean tests, the doctor’s office put you through you can have a look see at Mayo Clinic. And to add insult to injury almost none of these tests are covered by insurance!
There is always the small chance that treatments, time or luck will throw a bone your way. Sometimes it doesn’t work out that way. There are lots of couples out there that have to give up on the idea of conceiving, because it isn’t in the cards for them whatever reason. I can say my story ended happily with our little boy, Ethan, who is now three years old.
There were many times that we thought about throwing in the towel when going through all the fertility business. It is an emotional journey that is tough on all parties involved. In the end I’m glad we stuck it out. We did actually draw a time limit on when we would start looking into adoption, but luckily my wife got pregnant before that. It is important to establish understanding of timelines and budgets when going through a fertility journey with your partner. In the end I think my communication and relationship with my wife has increased a lot from going through this struggle together.
Managing the Stress
Stress should be listed as an automatic side effect for couples with infertility issues. Even if you are not easily phased by things, between the doctors, tests, costs, disappointment and worry there is no way to avoid stress when going through this process. What is worse is that stress is scientifically proven to hinder fertility! Once you can accept that there is stress, you can actually think of ways that you and your partner can manage it. Do yourself a favor, skip the denial part of this fiasco and get yourself into some form of therapy.
There are a lot of different therapies out there to help couples who are experiencing infertility. Couples counselling and group therapy both have counsellors that specialize just in this particular area. It can be a relief to seek out therapy, because it gives you and your partner a medium to vent. Also the therapy will help arm you both with communication tools needed to get through a difficult subject like fertility.
If you aren’t into the idea of therapy, there are many other options. Massages, yoga and acupuncture are all great ways to alleviate stress without being analysed by an outsider. These alternative options actually also happen to be proven to help people trying to cope with stress.
If you don’t have the time or the money for any of these options you can work through your stress independently. There is a lot of literature out there available online and offline. My one piece advice would be to make sure you and your partner take time to do things other than talk about fertility. Remember you have to maintain a healthy relationship, especially if you want to bring another individual into it.