Why Men Should Attend Fertility Support Groups
Even with 30% of infertility cases in the United States occurring due to male factor infertility, there isn’t a wide range of information and support easily available for men. Men can experience the same emotional journeys and relationship difficulties as women when facing difficult conceiving. It’s only natural that men would seek the same kind of support for infertility issues, but a lack of resources and perceived social stigma can make this challenging.
The so-called “stigma” of male fertility issues can hinder a man’s sense of comfort while seeking support for a fertility condition. Many men put off or ignore the need to communicate the stress they feel during this time because they are under the impression that they should just “deal with it.” Unfortunately, this kind of attitude toward male fertility issues is common, and it is not healthy. Any fertility specialist can tell you that open, honest communication is important during testing and treatment because it can be a stressful time for many who find their hopes and dreams in the hands of a doctor.
Fertility support groups are an excellent resource for men who face an infertility diagnosis. Support groups come in many different forms – they can be online or in-person, all male or mixed gender, and can even include members going through a specific diagnosis such as low sperm count or varicocele. It’s up to you to decide which kind of support group is right for you, if you wish to attend on your own or with your partner, and how much you reveal during your group’s meetings. These groups offer a safe, friendly environment to discuss your progress as you undergo treatment or make decisions on future family-building options.
If you find that you feel isolated, if no one understands what you are going through, if you don’t have many people to reach out to, if you’ve lost control, or if you are having a hard time making decisions regarding future treatment – find a support group in your area. Support groups are filled with people who are experiencing the same difficulties and stress that you are feeling and can make a big difference in your outlook during fertility treatment.