You’re ready to start your family. You and your partner have been planning for a while now. You’re excited about the possibilities, but there’s a problem —- nothing’s happening. You’re wondering “what’s going on” and you’re looking at each other. You never thought you’d be here, confronted with the “I” word.
Infertility, often seen as a “woman’s problem” is an unbiased condition. In fact, about 40% of couples having difficulty getting pregnant have both a male and female factor. Thus, it’s imperative that couples that have had challenges conceiving, assess and evaluate the man in addition to the woman.
The reasons for infertility are varied. For women, it can be anything from egg quality issues, to hormonal or anatomical problems, to stress. Likewise, there are a number of reasons why a male could be infertile. The most common are abnormal sperm due to low sperm count or some form of sperm deformity. The list of causes is long and varied, stemming from medical, environmental and lifestyle causes.
Not being able to conceive may come as a surprise to many couples and can be particularly shocking for men. While it might initially be upsetting, frustrating and stressful, men should remember there are options and treatments available.
The first step for tackling infertility is to understand it, the symptoms, causes and risk factors. Couples should set aside time to talk to each other, discuss the implications and schedule an appointment with their physician.
The next step is for both parties to get thorough examinations to rule out and determine any underlying causes.
The final step is to discuss treatment options with your doctor. Fertility treatment can be a lengthy process with associated fees that can become costly. Work with your physician to determine the best course of action for your individual situation.