Navigating the Journey: 10 Tips for Men Struggling with Infertility
Infertility is an extremely challenging issue that can affect both men and women. If you're a man struggling with infertility, it's essential to approach the situation with patience, understanding, and a proactive mindset.
Here are 10 Tips to consider:
1. Seek Professional Help - the sooner the better
The first step when facing infertility, particularly if you have been trying unsuccessfully to conceive for over 1 year, is to consult with a fertility specialist or urologist who specialises in male reproductive health.
These experts can conduct tests, identify potential causes of infertility and recommend appropriate treatments or lifestyle changes. Seeking professional guidance as early as possible is a crucial initial step in understanding and addressing the issue.
2. Understanding the Causes & Educating Yourself
Male infertility is attributed to approximately 40% of all fertility struggles so be aware that the problem may not be with your partner. It could be, it could be you or it could be both of you. They say knowledge is power so understanding the causes of infertility is essential.
Male infertility can result from various factors, such as low sperm count, poor sperm motility, or hormonal, physiological and genetic issues. Gaining knowledge about the specific cause of your male infertility can help guide your fertility consultant to the best treatment options and help you make informed decisions.
3. Make Lifestyle Changes
Several lifestyle factors can impact male fertility.
Smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, drug use, obesity, and high-stress levels can all have adverse effects on your reproductive capabilities, so it goes without saying that making positive changes in these areas can improve your chances of conception.
Focus on a balanced diet, cut out the bad habits, take regular exercise, and trying stress reduction techniques will enhance your overall health and well-being and get you on the right track for success.
4. Maintain a Healthy Diet and Exercise Regimen
A well-balanced diet and regular physical activity can contribute, not only to overall health improvements, but may positively affect your sperm quality too. Think of it as you leading them by example. Speak to a healthcare professional, a fertility consultant or one of our IVF Matters nutritionists for guidance. Depending on your diagnosis; the simplest, healthier choices can make such a huge impact in just 3 months! You really would be surprised how much can change in a relatively short amount of time.
5. Manage Your Stress
High stress levels can significantly affect fertility. Finding effective stress management techniques, such as meditation, yoga, or counselling, can be an absolute game-changer. Getting enough good quality sleep is important to manage stress too.
Managing stress not only improves your mental health on a day-to-day basis, but can also positively influence your reproductive health.
6. Avoid Exposure to Environmental Toxins
It's long been known that toxins and free radicals are impacting male sperm health globally and recent research has now linked certain pesticides to sperm demise. For decades, scientists have been trying to untangle puzzling questions over male fertility. Sperm concentrations are one of several factors that are a useful indicator. A report last year found that sperm counts were falling in every region of the globe and the pace of that decline was accelerating.
It's important to limit your exposure to environmental factors that may harm sperm production and health. Be aware of potential hazards in your workplace and in daily life, such as pesticides, radiation, or certain chemicals that can be detrimental to your health. Take appropriate precautions to protect your reproductive health, using relevant PPE or taking a different route home if necessary.
7. Be Open Minded for Medication and Treatment Options
Depending on the cause of your infertility, your Fertility Consultant may recommend medications or medical procedures to address any problems. These may include hormone therapy, surgical interventions, or assisted reproductive technologies like intrauterine insemination (IUI) or in vitro fertilization (IVF). It's important you keep an open mind about any proposed treatment plan and ask as many questions as necessary to understand what is involved in your personal pathway to parenthood.
8. Support and Communication
There are no two ways about it, infertility is emotionally challenging and it's generally harder for men to come to terms with because it's always been considered such a taboo topic of conversation among male peer groups.
That's why it is essential to communicate openly with your partner about your feelings and concerns. Seek support from friends, family, or a Fertility Counsellor who specialises in fertility-related issues, and remember - don't be so hard on yourself. More men go through infertility problems than they care to admit and it's time we all started speaking up more to share the burden.
9. Be A Patient Patient
We get it. It's frustrating going through such a continuous passage of uncertainty. Treatment can be a long, arduous and emotional journey, and unfortunately, success cannot be guaranteed.
Try to stay patient and work with your Fertility Consultant and their team to explore the different available options. Our team are here to support you throughout your entire journey.
Be kind to yourself.
Remember stress doesn't help when you're TTC and that's a Catch 22 we know but trust the process.
10. Remember You Are Not Alone
Remember that you are not alone in this struggle, many couples face infertility issues when trying to start a family - 1 in 6 globally in fact. Seeking support from a fertility consultant and specialist clinic such as IVF Matters can help get you on the right track and accepting emotional support from your partner, friends, or support groups can make a significant difference in your journey to parenthood.