Father’s Day is celebrated once a year with a flurry of cards and presents given to men across the country to show gratitude and love. However, for the 1 in 6 couples in the UK struggling to conceive, the day can be a source of pain. Whilst the emotional toll women face when finding it difficult to fall pregnant and carry a healthy baby is discussed widely, men are regularly overlooked.
The main causes for male infertility are normally due to poor sperm quality or ejaculation problems with men counting for around 30 percent of male infertility issues. This can lead to deep shame, guilt, and a feeling of emasculation. Yet, it’s important to remember male infertility is not something to be ashamed of or ignore. There are a number of revolutionary treatments, such as intracytoplasmic sperm injections (ICSI) for men with a low sperm count, Erectile Dysfunction Shockwave Therapy (EDSWT) to help those suffering from erectile dysfunction or surgical sperm retrievals (PESA/TESA or microdissection TESE) for men with little or no sperm in their ejaculate, all of which are helping couples achieve their dream of having a baby.
With Father’s Day on the horizon, acknowledging your feelings and preparing yourself for the Day will make it that little bit easier.
Dr Geetha Venkat, Director of Harley Street Fertility Clinic suggests:
Focus on the positives
Fertility treatments are advancing all the time, so it’s important not to lose hope. There are lots of options open to both men and women who are suffering from fertility issues – but timing and early diagnosis is key. The sooner a person is diagnosed, the more chance their have of exploring options to fulfil their dream of starting a family.
Focus on your family
Some men find solace in focusing on celebrating their own fathers or grandfathers that day, even in the absence of children of their own. If a family gathering is planned and it will be pleasant for you, go and enjoy. But, if lots of children or pregnant relatives will be present, and you know this will be upsetting, consider other possibilities. You might plan to see relatives at another time during the weekend.
Join a support group
Joining a support group can often be a good idea where you can share your emotions amongst caring, like-minded individuals. At HSFC we know the fertility journey can be very stressful and we believe that reducing this stress will contribute significantly to your overall health and well-being.
We host free fertility support group sessions every month. These are open to Harley Street Fertility Clinic patients as well as non-patients who are seeking advice on their fertility journey – no matter what your circumstances or stage of treatment.
Maintain a good relationship with your partner
Keeping your relationship with your partner ‘alive’ and strong is very important, as you both need each other’s support. No one will understand better than your partner what you are going through, so keeping them in the loop in terms of your feelings is crucial – it’s also highly likely that they’re feeling the same way too. Communication is key!
Find a Distraction
Engage in activities that make you laugh and distract you from the feelings you are both experiencing. Being treated for fertility can sometimes feel like a full-time job, so it’s important to make sure you’re still taking time out to do the other activities that you love and perhaps even brought you together in the first place.