“Our fertility journey started seven years ago when I was given the option to freeze my sperm before intensive chemo and radiation therapies. After receiving the all clear, we had successful fertility treatment with the NHS, and at the beginning of this year we decided try and add to our family and continue our fertility treatment with Care Manchester. After a very successful harvest and ICSI we are awaiting further frozen embryo transfer.
All situations are different; I am very open about ours and how we came to be in the position that we are. We also have friends who have experienced various types of fertility issues, so it’s never really been a taboo subject for us.
One of the hardest parts of the fertility treatment for me is feeling helpless, like I’m watching my wife have all the pressure of medications and scans, pre egg collection, and the various procedures that can be involved with that. And then once embryos are transferred, it’s a waiting game and I know my wife will blame herself one way or another if the embryo transfers are unsuccessful. Talking to each other a lot through these times helps far more than you could ever imagine.
Sometimes, people blindly ask questions about having children, and subsequently when we would have more. Being open about my infertility often takes people by surprise, more so because there’s a silent assumption that it’s my wife with fertility problems. Talking about it has helped me to realise that I’m not alone, which in turn has helped me feel more at ease with the situation. Talking about it also removes any perceived stigmas attached to male infertility and I’m often met by genuine concern and curiosity. It’s nice to think that from our situation we can help to enlighten people and occasionally encourage people to reach out.
Something that I have found encouraging is that I have never been made to feel ridiculed or embarrassed about my infertility. I honestly think, I could feel differently if I had not been as accepting and open about my situation, so don’t be afraid to reach out. People are always more supportive and understanding than you expect them to be.”