June is Men's Health Month: Stay Healthy Guys!
I've been reading a few men's infertility heath articles recently since June is Men's Health Month. Being a man and dealing with infertility comes with its own unique issues. Infertility is tough enough for us gals to talk about, but it just doesn't seem to be something that many men want to discuss. As my husband shares his perspective when dealing with infertility more deeply in Chapter 8 of my Detours book, you will understand a few reasons why it is so difficult for men to discuss their infertility.
In addition to the exploring the impact that infertility has on men in Detours, RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association, of which I am a professional member, has published the following article during Men's Health month. I would like to share the article with my followers.
"What he may not say aloud…
Everyone handles complicated feelings differently. For some men, they may feel even more of a social stigma when it comes to the topic of infertility. Suffice it to say, you may not hear a lot of “half-time talk” about low sperm count or why someone decided on a childfree resolution. RESOLVE asked a few men their thoughts on some of the deep emotions they felt during their struggle with infertility. Although communication is key in all relationships, here were a few things they would rather their partners didn’t know:
“I hurt as bad, if not more than you. But I have to be the strong one and let you cry on my chest when the things go really bad.”
“I was diagnosed with Azoospermia, so I was essentially told in the beginning that there was no hope. That crushed me and to be involved in something that reminded me of that almost every second of every day was difficult for me to handle.”
“One thing I keep from her or didn’t talk about with her is my depression that followed the diagnosis and how I acted out since the diagnosis.”
MEN-tal Health is important.
Although suppressing those emotions may feel easier to deal with at the time, the toll of infertility can build up like a forgotten timer on a pressure cooker. RESOLVE was built on a foundation of support and we continue that important tradition 40 years later through free support programs in local communities. Many of these group encourage men/couples to attend.
George F. from Virginia reflects:
“I wasn’t sure what to expect when I went to the support group. But after meeting other couples going through what we were, it made me feel better about getting through all this. We didn’t hold hands and sing songs, but even when talking about general life stuff, there was a sense that we all knew what the other was dealing with and that was enough to help.”
Let him know he is not alone and support him through his infertility resolution through treatment, adoption, or transitioning to a childfree lifestyle. Many men will not extend a hand to seek support and instead will step into the shadowy sometimes under-appreciated corner of the supporting role. Men need self-care too. Therapy and support groups can be incredible paths to helping take on stress, anxiety and depression that accompany this disease."
I am starting a RESOLVE Peer Led Support Group on Monday, June 19th. I welcome all who are struggling with infertility to come. Men, women, partners, LGBT, loved ones of those who are struggling... anyone who is affected by infertility. My support groups will be on the third Monday of every month at the Brighton District Library, Brighton, MI from 7:00 - 8:30 PM. Please come and get the support you need. No one... not even the guys... can go through this alone.
In-Fertility & Friendship,