Fertility issues are often thought of as women’s business.

How the male is effected is often not discussed.  Even if there is an issue with the semen or sperm there are far less investigations done into why there is an issue with the male compared to the female.

Literally this week I received 82 pages of test reports from a couple who have been dealing with fertility issues for the past 6 years. Four pages of the 82 were tests done on the male, even though he had a significant issue with his sperm.

There are even some medical professionals out there that have said to patients, “if it’s a problem with the embryo, its always the female’s problem”. Not only is this completely inaccurate and goes against published research, statements like these anger me.  It’s not only not true, but it is extremely upsetting to the female.

But back to how fertility effects the men involved; The gentleman I talked to this past week opened up to me about how frustrated he was feeling. He didn’t have a significant issue with his sperm but there were a few areas that needed improvement. His wife was also seeing us but on this day, she couldn’t make it. As we got to talking I asked him how he was coping and he said his libido was really low and he made a few jokes about it. He laughed uncomfortably but I thought something was still bothering him.

After some umming and ahhing and minimal eye contact he admitted he was frustrated and even angry at times. He reported that he felt like a sperm donor rather than a person in a supportive relationship. When I asked him what he meant he said, “I used to look forward to sex with my wife. It was kind of the way I was able to show her how much I enjoyed being with her. How much I loved her. Now it’s sex on demand and I feel like all I am doing is providing sperm for the cause.” He said he was really starting to resent this and her. He brought up a good point that I had never considered before. For some men, having intercourse in a committed relationship can be the way they express their emotional connection to their partner.

With fertility issues and women rightly so, wanting sex today ‘because its time’ puts the man on the spot as I have discussed in previous tips, but can create a detachment from the emotional expression that intercourse can represent for some.

‘Not only am I being told I have perform now, each month when it doesn’t work, I feel like it’s my fault. My wife tells me not to be stupid, but I can’t help it, that’s the way I think.’

Well I have heard that one before, ‘I can’t help it, that’s the way I think’ and I told him, ‘that’s is not true, you can help it and you can change it.’

Whether he has taken my suggestions to read the tips on the site to help him change his thinking,I don’t know. But he was kind enough to give me permission to share this story to help other couples dealing with similar issues in case men are experiencing similar thoughts and haven’t said anything about it.

So what can you do to address this problem?

When I asked my patient what he thought, his response was, ‘If she could initiate intercourse at other times than just when ‘its time’ that would be a start and if she would be more receptive to intercourse when I initiate it when its not ‘the right time’, that will probably help also.’

My next question was, ‘okay, that is what she can do, what can you do?’  He had a bit of a smirk on his face and said, ‘well, I guess I could talk to her about it.’

And I said, ‘that would probably help!’

I have written before about couples having difficulty with their relationship and what you can do about it, (see tips, the blame game, low libido or fear of disappointment, and others) but it’s important to see what works for your relationship. Everyone’s relationship is different and nothing should be assumed. You or your partner may not be experiencing the same feelings this gentleman was but I hope you use this to remind you about the importance of communication.

Women can stop thinking, ‘if he really loved me he would understand’ and men can stop thinking ‘she is really over reacting to this.’

These types of thoughts and comments drive you further apart.

Respect the fact that each person is likely to react very differently to the situation and you can’t expect your partner to react in the same way that you do. The only way to help each other through this is to let each other know what’s bugging you and think of ways to work through it.

I have always said, when dealing with fertility issues a couple can either grow apart or get closer together. Which way it will go for you depends on what you both decide to do from here. If you have had a similar situation that you and your partner have worked through and you would like to share what has worked for you please send it through. Your story may reach out and help another couple improve their situation.

Copyright Positive Image Publishing and Stacey Roberts