The agony of male infertility

Here four brave men reveal the agony of male infertility

  • Understanding the agony of male infertility
  • Craig Franklin, 42, from Essex, gave his wife Katie, 41, permission to leave him 
  • He had been told he was infertile, which caused his compulsive spending habit
  • Rhod Gilbert discusses his poor sperm motility in BBC doc Stand Up To Infertility

In an article today in the Daily Mail, four men describe the agony of male infertility, living with the diagnosis and how it impacts their lives.

Over dinner one evening six years ago, Craig Franklin gave his wife Katie permission to leave him.

'He looked me in the eye and said, "I'm not good enough. I can't give you what you want. Go and find someone who can",' recalls Katie who, through tears, rebuffed her husband's suggestion, but admits: 'I couldn't cope with how he was behaving. A few times, I wanted to run away.'

Weeks earlier, Craig had been told he was infertile, a revelation that not only almost destroyed the couple's marriage but would cost Craig his job and cause a financially crippling compulsive spending habit. 

Although he and Katie have since rebuilt their relationship, he is still coming to terms with the fact they can't have children.

We so often hear words like these from our patients, that when they are told that they have a low sperm count, no sperm or unhealthy, immotile sperm it brings their world crashing down around them. One of the most important aspects of what we do at Fertility Solutions is to explain exactly what a diagnosis like this means, what can be done to improve it and that, crucially, this doesn't mean you cannot become a father.

For example, the treatment options for no sperm in the ejaculate - also called azoospermia - really depend on the cause. A microsurgical reconstruction to locate and repair a blockage to restore normal flow of sperm to the ejaculate is often a good option for obstructive azoospermia. Although complex, this procedure has high success rates when performed by a skilled urologist. Azoospermia may also be treated by a micro TESE (sperm retrieval) – direct harvesting of sperm from the testicle for reproductive treatment such as IVF or ICSI. Non-obstructive azoospermia often responds well to medical treatment to encourage and boost sperm production. We work closely with Mr Jonathan Ramsay, leading male fertility urologist.

It is vital for men, and women, who have been diagnosed with or are concerned about infertility to seek help from expert, qualified professionals who will take the time to investigate both the man and the woman to assess fertility of the couple as a whole and enhance both the male and female partner's fertility to increase the chance of natural or assisted reproduction.

Read the full Daily Mail article here.

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