Psychological Effects of Male Infertility

Often the diagnosis of infertility comes as a shock, and for most, this will be one of the greatest challenges they face together. Fertility treatment can affect a couple’s work, family, relationship, social life and self-esteem.

For many couples the realization of infertility will cause further hardships that can leave them unprepared and extend the difficulties of coming to terms with the diagnosis.

Examples of the difficulties can include:

  • How will you keep your relationship strong?
  • How will you deal with your friends who are falling pregnant and having babies?
  • Who will you tell and what will you tell them?
  • How will you fend off unwanted questions and/or comments?
  • How will you relieve the stress?
  • How will you deal with your workplace and frequent absences?
  • How will you find strength and strategies to keep going, cycle after cycle?
  • When to give up trying and what happens next?

There are some practical things you can do to cope better with the experience of infertility. This involves focusing on thoughts, feelings and behaviours that may be of concern, enabling you, as an individual or a couple, to gain a new perspective and understanding. You may learn to challenge old patterns of thinking, explore a wide range of alternatives and practice different ways of behaving.

Research indicates more and more that stress and anxiety can impact on fertility, so it is therefore vital to address concerns at an early stage to maintain a balanced outlook and relationship despite treatment. The resulting stress of treatment impacts on different people in different ways and can greatly affect your mood, daily functioning and coping ability. Counselling provides an ongoing source of non-judgmental support at a time when you may feel highly vulnerable.

The journey through fertility treatments can take their toll both physical and emotional. Forming realistic expectations of outcomes, and how to prepare for and manage the roller coaster of emotions can be a challenge. It is common to fear that being counselled means there is something wrong with you or that it confirms a weakness and inability to handle treatment. However, nothing could be further from the truth! It takes strength to reach out for help. Dave Wells can help to equip you with the skills needed to manage emotions, cope better with day-to-day stresses, whether these are related to treatment or not, and ultimately prevent long-term problems such as depression or anxiety.