Emotional Support For Men And The Stress Of Trying To Conceive.
The term “infertility” tends to make us think about women – but infertility doesn’t just affect women. It also affects men. And men facing infertility are as likely to struggle and stress with the experience as women are. Their internal struggles can even have a further impact on their ability to conceive. And yet, most support is focused on the woman, despite the fact that male infertility contributes to at least 40% of couples who have trouble getting pregnant.
Our team wants to provide the support and information that men need and deserve as they deal with the difficulties of conception. What can a man expect to experience when he faces his own infertility? How can those around him, including his family, friends, and partner, support him and help him get through such a difficult time? Here are some ideas and tips.
Emotional Effects Of Male Infertility: Stress, Deception, Disappointment… etc.
Most men are not taught to express or explore their own emotions. The feelings brought up by male infertility can threaten the traditional view of masculinity, tied up as it is with sexuality and virility. This view asks: if a man cannot conceive a child, is he really a man? This kind of thinking can actually lead to further sexual dysfunction, as the loss of confidence affects future performance.
Beyond the personal impact of infertility, a man also has to deal with the perception that he is unable to give his partner the child she wants and deserves. Again, this feeds into the feelings of diminished manhood, because the “traditional” man is a provider.
Emotional Support For Men Facing Infertility
Men facing infertility may find comfort in the experiences of their peers. While men are often uncomfortable discussing their emotions, they are more likely to do so in a place where they feel safe and understood. Support groups allow men experiencing fertility problems to come together and share their stories with each other, knowing that they are all going through the same things.
Some men are at risk of falling into self-destructive behavior like alcohol abuse or extreme risk-taking when they are unable to deal with difficult emotions. Healthy activities and habits can help them avoid these behaviors, as well as reduce the stress of male infertility.
Of course, with male infertility, the man isn’t the only one having trouble trying for a baby. His partner is going through similar difficulties, whether she has fertility issues of her own or not. By discussing their problems together, the couple can help each other deal with their emotions. They can also share information they’ve learned through personal research or consulting with doctors. More knowledge can help a man feel like he’s in the loop and more in control.
Men experience many of the same emotions women do when they face infertility, even if they tend to keep quiet about it. Understanding these emotions is the first step to dealing with them, but men 100% need as much support as women to get through such difficult times.