When people think of someone who may have infertility, a picture of a man is not the typical poster child for this disease. It may be surprising to some to know that 30% of infertility cases are related to male factor issues. Yet, a recent study showed that only 41% of Ob/Gyn physicians even considered a urological evaluation of the male partner and only 24% would routinely refer men to the urologist before ordering a semen analysis. Infertility is often a couple’s problem, one that must be faced as a team.
Many men who are diagnosed with male factor infertility, face an emotionally complex journey. Some experience a gambit of emasculating feelings from guilt, anger, and low self-esteem. It is essential to recognize that the male partner may be experiencing a level of emotional pain that is not different from the female whose self-worth and femininity is wrapped up in motherhood. A couple facing infertility, be it male factor, female factor, a combination or unexplained, need to communicate about what is happening to them.