The emotional impact of infertility on men

Although infertility affects both members of a couple, we typically hear about how distressing it is for women and often don’t hear about how men are impacted by the experience. However, a recent article by Gary Ellenbolt on gives us a glimpse into a man’s experience of infertility.

Gary shared how helpless he felt after he and his partner had a particularly discouraging appointment with a fertility consultant:

“[My wife] cried for most of the day upstairs in our bedroom, and as “Anything But Love” came on the TV with its somber, sweet theme song, I never felt so sad, frustrated and helpless. One of the greatest blessings in my life had received devastating news, and I couldn’t help, couldn’t fix it and couldn’t tell her it was okay…The woman feels like a failure and damaged goods because she’s unable to do one of the main things she’s put on earth to do. The man feels like a failure because something is broken that he can’t fix.”

After trying to conceive via IVF, Gary and his wife went on to adopt two sons. He talked about the lessons he’d learned from that difficult period in his life:

“Keep this in mind: infertility affects a family. It’s natural to feel bad for the woman who longs for a pregnancy and finds out it will never happen. But beside that woman, there’s also a man who wants to be a birth father and who will never get that experience. He’s hurting too.”

Read more about male infertility here.

Read more here.

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