My Experience with Male Factor Infertility
Men, at least the men I know, don’t talk about infertility. Male factor infertility is the cause of 30% of infertility issues. In honor of NIAW, and in light of the beautiful @dlandre451 sharing her side of our story, let’s talk about it.
With my first wife, we conceived in the first month of trying. We had a wonderful beautiful daughter. When my second wife, Danielle, and I married and started trying to have children, the notion of me having an infertility issue was an impossibility, I already had a child! I exercised! I had all my hair! I was a man! I was forty!
My father was one of 11 kids, who then had 28 children. Out of us 28, no sons had passed on the family name. I’d go to family events and have uncles in my face: “When are you having more kids? We need a boy!” I’d have loved another child regardless of sex. But a part of me agreed with them - I wanted a son to pass on the Hall name.
We tried for a year, with three gut wrenching miscarriages. Danielle took all the blame for our struggle upon herself.
Testing revealed that I had a balanced translocation, which caused miscarriage 70% of the time, I was floored. I was the cause of all my wife’s trauma. We decided to do IVF to have better odds - but after two stressful failed rounds and burning through money, we called it off, accepting that it might mean no more children for me, and none for Danielle.
And then Danielle got pregnant. We had a week-long trip to Europe booked. I spent that entire vacation in various states of intoxication. Numbing myself from the dread I felt of an impending miscarriage.
But it didn’t happen. All ultrasounds and genetic tests were wonderful. And so was Leo! We had our son.
I’m not a sharer but my wife inspired me to tell my story so that other men don’t do what I did: struggle in silence. I didn’t even look for voices to help me through the darkness - I just got more broody, moody, and introverted. Google “male infertility support” - you’ll find a bunch of people trying to sell you supplements. By sharing our stories, we can add more male perspectives to this growing conversation.