Update: This was written for the American National Infertility Week. Canadian Infertility Awareness Week is May 19 – May 28.
This week, April 19 – April 25, 2015, is National Infertility Week in the US. While I am not American, I wanted to participate in this initiative to get people talking about infertility.
I had always thought that our journey to infertility would be a result of my body not cooperating. I had been on birth control pills for 12 years. I’ve read, and been told by friends, over and over that it will take months for my body to get back into “shape”. I’ve had someone tell me that their friend got pregnant while she was switching birth control pills. I shouldn’t have anything to worry about. I’ve been told by the same someone to relax, it will just happen. I knew in my gut that something wasn’t right after trying for four months.
I went to our family doctor explaining my concern. Since it had only been about six months, he told me not to worry, but he gave me a requisition to for pre-natal blood work. While I was there, I also asked for a requisition for DH. Luckily for us, our doctor had no problem sending DH for a semen analysis.
We are the 1 in 3 couples facing male factor infertility. DH also has a chromosome abnormality on chromosome 1. We are not sure if this is contributing to his low sperm count, and quality, because his father also has the same abnormality. We have gone through one failed IVF cycle, and are waiting to do our first frozen embryo transfer.
While women are becoming more open in talking about their infertility challenges, it’s time to bring more awareness to male infertility. A lot of men attribute their manliness to their sperm, which is ridiculous. A man’s sperm does not make him a better man. There needs to be a conversation between men that disassociates manliness and their “equipment”. A lot of men are not able to find the support they need during their infertility journey because they are afraid to talk about the cause of their problem.
Men need as much support as their female counterparts. Let’s bring more awareness to to male factor infertility, and show men the support they deserve.
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