The Psychological Side Effects of Male Infertility

The Psychological Side Effects of Male Infertility

by Alex Hirsch (SU)

Infertility is often credited as a women’s only issue. It isn’t. Men can also experience infertility. In fact, nearly one in ten men have experienced infertility during their lifetime. The medical aspect of infertility is naturally devastating, but there is also a psychological aspect connected. The stress that is associated with infertility in men has been connected to psychological issues that include depression, anger, feelings of inadequacy and embarrassment. These concerns may not only affect the male partner, but also the relationship.  Here are some of the psychological side effects of male infertility and what to do about it.

Stigma

There is a stigma attached to male infertility. Men often feel inadequate as partners and question their contribution to the relationship. Often, should depression set in, so do does guilt and possible erectile dysfunction, which further aggravates the situation. The stigma and associated psychological aspects worsen, as men tend to keep their situation private, rather than sharing their concerns or symptoms with their health provider. Infertility can cause a man to question his masculinity which can cause feelings of inferiority – not only in the bedroom but in social circles and at work. Unless help is sought, the cycle continues, with men often turning to substance and alcohol abuse, or becoming isolated in their relationships.

Professional Help

Infertility treatment can increase a couple’s probability of becoming pregnant. However, the psychological aspects of infertility must be dealt with first. In many cases in the relationship between a man and a woman, the man is less likely to examine and share his feelings, or to seek professional help for personal issues. When the psychological side effects of male infertility are ignored, they may spill over into the medical side of the issue, as noted above. It is unfortunate that a couple will sometimes discontinue infertility treatments because the psychological and emotional effects appear to be overwhelming. While sometimes the fix can start with a consult to a urologist, by the time medical attention is sought, the couple nay no longer have the connection or motivation to start a family. The sooner help is engaged, the greater the likelihood a family can be started, self-esteem can be saved and a relationship can be salvaged.

The Goal of Counseling

Acknowledging there may be problem is the first step for men – and couples – who are having a difficult time dealing with infertility. A counselor can assist with talking about and dealing with the anxiety and feelings of insecurity, anger and even shame that may result from infertility. Professional counseling may be a good first step to intervene on the man’s behalf by restoring his confidence through positive enforcement, teaching coping mechanisms and providing education regarding the medical reasons behind the infertility.

Seeking Medical Treatment

While therapeutic help will beneficial, if the key to infertility lies with a medical condition, vs. the inability to perform due to self-esteem, stress or mental blocks, then your best route is to see a urologist to determine if your infertility can be treated via medical intervention.

In Phoenix, Dr. Desiderio Avila, Jr.can provide comprehensive treatment regarding infertility and any other urological issues. Counseling for infertility is an important step to restore self-esteem and confidence. But if the condition is medically related, a urologist can help. Call Dr. Avila at Ironwood Urology today at 480-961-2323. Don’t allow another day to pass. Call today or request an appointment online to get to the root of your problem.