Male Infertility: The Stigma, Causes, Treatments & Emotional Impact on Wellbeing
Male infertility: Men are often the neglected and forgotten part of infertility. Whether it be a medical issue affecting their ability to conceive, or whether it’s the burden of anger and frustration they have to bear seeing their partner struggle to conceive, the emotions engendered are many and complex, yet often endured in silence.
There still continues to be a stigma around male infertility, which is nowhere near as widely discussed as the female problem, and this stigma is even seen in the medical profession where the term “andrological ignorance” has been coined to describe the paucity of male fertility treatments and male contraception, compared to the female, where there are more options.
What is the emotional impact?
A survey done in 2017, 93% of men said that infertility had a negative impact on their lives, their wellbeing and self esteem. Men claimed to feel depressed, anxious, lonely and even suicidal. The incidence of male mental health problems is increasing, yet we continue to treat male infertility as a taboo subject and creating even more of a barrier for men to talk. Men are being left in the dark about the importance of sperm health to pregnancy and the health of the future child, which means a delay in recognising abnormalities and presenting to the doctor.
I believe that a good deal of the problem lies in the fact that there is very little education about the incidence of male infertility…