I was going to write a lengthy and super informative post on male fertility and sterility but quite frankly it would miss the point of this article, which is to start a conversation about male fertility and sterility because it is as equally important as female fertility.
This is a journey I am on at the moment. As a child I had 2 surgeries for undescended testicles, one as a baby and one aged 11. Both surgeries can cause issues with fertility and increase my risk of getting testicular cancer before I turn 40. They also left some rather unglamorous scars, which thanks to pubic hair are mostly hidden. As a teen and in my early 20’s I was majorly self-conscious about them.
To add to this joyous combo I also had mumps in my mid-20’s, which is known to affect fertility in men and sometimes cause sterility.
Why should we care about male fertility?
Simply put, male fertility is just as important as female fertility especially if you are wanting to father children. Today’s society sees some of the lowest sperm counts and increasing levels of sterility amongst men. There are physical causes like mine, but also environmental causes like consuming overly processed foods, more sedentary lifestyles, wearing tighter fitting underwear and a whole host of other things that can affect it.
I bring my own journey up because it’s something affecting my life right now. My wife and I have been trying to conceive for the last 8 months but not getting anywhere fast. We recently got referred to a fertility clinic, which is when I had my fertility test done and it came back as ‘no sperm seen’. There are more tests to do but this first analysis is not a major shock given my medical history.
In fact it was something I have been so aware could be a problem for me, that on our second date I discussed with my now wife about her thoughts on children and adoption. She is in her late 30’s and while pregnancy is still possible into her 40’s potentially, it takes viable eggs AND healthy sperm to make a baby, which means both of our fertility are important. Fortunately, when I brought the topic up we both aligned that yes we would love to have a biological child, however, we would equally love to adopt and the two didn’t need to be exclusive meaning that if we can have a biological child we would also like to adopt as well. As it stands unless there are some pretty drastic changes in the coming months it looks increasingly likely we will be adopting, which is exciting. That’s a pretty lengthy process with no doubt ups and downs to come but I want to open up a dialogue with other couples or single people going through their own journeys with fertility and adoption.
If you know other men going through this journey who could do with some moral support or just someone to talk to, let me know. I am a pretty open book about these things and there is no need for anyone to go through this alone.
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