Emotions are an Important Aspect of Infertility
Emotions. The “touchy-feely” is a touchy subject for a lot of men, but we all have feelings that we must address. This need to cope with unexpected emotions is especially prominent when a couple is facing the prospect of infertility. Men, in particular, may struggle with the emotions that they and their partner feel during months – or years – of treatment. While our primary focus in patient care is to evaluate the physical components of infertility, such as low sperm count or poor motility, it is not beyond us to open the door for men to get out of their way so they may be there for themselves and their partner.
Fertility issues typically affect men and women in different ways, though neither is insignificant. Women are often raised to assume that they will one day become a mother, naturally, without the need for assistance. Everything from conception to raising children is a vital aspect of a woman’s self-image, even for those who are rather indifferent to their desire to be a mother. When a woman struggles with conception, she is very likely to feel betrayed by her body, or as if she has done something “wrong.” These feelings are natural and need to have a container for expression. Otherwise, the love relationship may suffer.
Men may experience the same general sense that their body has turned against them by denying them the ability to “do their part” in the conception process. A man’s self-image can suffer greatly when infertility evaluation demonstrates issues within his anatomy. The difference between men and women is not the feelings they have, necessarily, but in the way, they cope with them.
Women are brought up to talk about their feelings. Men, on the other hand, are taught to repress theirs. The problem is, infertility is a crisis. It may be the biggest challenge that a couple faces. The first step in making positive strides toward a happy future is to acknowledge the gravity of the current situation. From here, strategies for coping can be implemented to maintain a sense of connection through the process to conception.
Taking Baby Steps
Experts encourage couples struggling with infertility to remember:
- No one is to blame for infertility. Blame will inhibit the teamwork that is needed to conceive.
- Feelings are not to be feared; they are to be felt and discussed. The only way to work through feelings is to be open to them and about them. This may require the help of a therapist familiar with infertility.
- There is value in self-care. This may mean turning down invitations to baby-centered activities and events with friends and family. It also means maintaining a sense of identity by pursuing personal interests.
There are multiple issues to address when infertility occurs. We are here to assist men with their physical diagnostics and treatment and do so with a strong sense of compassion. Learn more about the infertility workup in our Chattanooga office. Call 423-778-4636.