When conception difficulties are in the way, many folks immediately jump to the wrong conclusion -- that the man is "shooting blanks." Such words strike humiliation in the hearts of most men. This is not only insensitive, it also results in many men side-stepping the crucial diagnostic phase. The fact is that, of those cases of infertility which will have a diagnosed cause, virtually half are resulting from male-factor issues.
Participating in a semen analysis should be one of the very first steps taken by couples who are having trouble conceiving. This simple (albeit embarassing) test can disclose information that is essential to proper treatment.
In order to be a fully supportive partner in the diagnostic/treatment journey, a semen analysis is just the beginning of a man's to-do list.
If a man's analysis turns out to be within "normal" parameters, the couple's resulting sense of relief will most likely be tempered by concerns about other possible causes of their infertility. Unfortunately, many men may take their relief at being "normal" as license to sit back and let the woman become the only infertility patient. The woman partner may have already been through a few diagnostic procedures, or she may have waited to learn the results of the man's analysis. Either way, it will be easy from here on in their journey for the woman to feel like a human guinea pig while her partner looks idly on.
Since infertility can prove to be the biggest test for many marriages, men are better served by continuing their level of participation (or increasing their level if they weren't already very involved) even after a normal semen analysis.
Some ways to get or stay involved in the process are:
In short, practice the "art of being there," a skill which will be priceless during your parenting days.
The old days of men feeling like they've done their "duty" by simply fertilizing an egg are gone. Decades of child development research tell us that an active father's presence is more important than ever before realized, and fortunately, most men are up to the call. To assure that your relationship is well prepared for eventual parenthood, follow through the infertilityjourney with your partner, all the way.
You'll be a better father for it.
© Tracy Morris