Infertility: A Male and Female Issue.

The first sign that something is wrong soon after a couple decides to have a baby, is when the woman fails to fall pregnant after a few months of trying. Some couples remain hopeful and think nothing about infertility.

I had never thought of the word infertility before I was faced with it. Our inability to become pregnant led to the first of many consultations and test.

The test were performed on both of us and we felt confident about our reproductive abilities. I guess no one wants to think their body is in capable of performing the role it was intended to.

We were relieved to know that neither of us had any reason to stop us from getting pregnant. The results of our test was no comfort when we to fall pregnant.

The thought that I am the reason for our demise never left me and as I spoke to other women facing similar trials I came to learn that women view themselves as the main Cause.

Many ethnicities view infertility as a woman’s sole responsibility and so many marriages have broken down from interference by the man’s family. “They just can’t understand why their son remains married to a infertile woman”.

I witness first hand as a friend struggled to convince her husband to undergo some test to determine the cause of their problems.

In the end, their marriage broke up because he strongly refused to undergo any form of test, claiming he had fathered a child before, so he can’t possibly be impotent.

There lies the perception, that infertility is a female issue and this stems from age old misconceptions that it is a woman’s duty to produce an heir for her husband/Partner. Therefore she’s ultimately to blame for failing to be pregnant.

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority in its 2014-2016 report finds that amongst other issues, male infertility is the most common reason why British couples seek IVF treatment.

No man wants to believe they are “shooting blank”. And it is a common male locker room banter to hear men claiming they might have secretly fathered a child unknown to him.

On the country, most women I know blame themselves even before any test results. Often excusing their partners as innocent party to this unfortunate event thrust upon them.

Women are their most fierce critics, blaming themselves for putting their career first, being too choosy, as a result their biologists clocked has timed out.

New research such as those conducted by

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School in Boston shows that sperm quality markedly decline with age. This make it harder for men to sire children well into old age as well as the possibilities of birth defect if they father kids later in life.

The solution:

I personally feel the solution or part of the way forward is for men to acknowledge that there is a possibility they might have the problem and be willing to undergo some test.

Men should not assume that because they fathered a child before, that rules them out from having any infertility problems in the future.

Women should also not automatically assume the blame without a clear diagnoses, even then the man should also get tested. They should stop denigrating and being self critical.

Given the heartbreak, invasion of one’s life and mental upheaval one faces, it is important for couples to be supportive of each other regardless of who has the issue. Infertility should not be seen as an arena dedicated solely to women, but rather a shared burden.

Society has a duty to educate everyone that It can be both a male and female issue. And dispel this wrong thinking when it comes to infertility.

Related Post:

A woman’s Dilemma? is 40 too old?Infertility: A lonely JourneyOthers View Point


How To Handle the Pressures of Mother’s Day

The hardest day in the calendar for any woman trying to conceive is Mother’s Day.

Shortly after Valentine’s Day shops are dressed up with Mother’s Day gifts and cards.

Everywhere you go there it is “Happy Mother’s Day card or some form of advertisement”.

My heart use to sink and do a double dive when I started TTC.

There were those who felt I should be positive and remain hopeful. Join the celebration and not shut myself out. It’s easy to say and a bad advice from well meaning people.

They don’t get it. I was positive and hopeful but I was not in a celebratory mood for a child I don’t have. How can I be?

I was not a mother.. instead I was faced with the reminder even more so on and around the period leading to Mother’s Day

If you are dreading this season here a some suggestions on how to deal with this day.

Speak with friends: Tell close friends and family how you feel and implore them to be sensitive. If you don’t want to receive a happy Mother’s Day card tell them so. You are entitled to how you feel. Don’t suffer or go angry in silence, speak up against unpleasant comments.

Celebrate others: do you have a mum, sister. Or a great friend you admire? Celebrate them in your own way.

Celebrate something about your life: yes you may not be a mother, but you are a good friend, wife, sister, employee etc Celebrate this..

Go on a pampering break. Take yourself out or arrange to go with your partner or friend. Buy yourself that dress, get your hair, nails and foot done. Appreciate yourself, you are beautiful in every single way. Yes you may not have a child yet, but you have a heart, a smile and a life worth living. Celebrate this

Avoid anything likely to upset you, yes I really do. Shopping mall, churches, friends with kids. It may seem strange, I know. if being around celebratory places during the period leading up to Mother’s Day will upset you, avoid those places.

Allow others to celebrate you: I know it is a painful reminder of what you don’t have. If your nieces, nephews, God or friends kids wants to celebrate you, allow them. Think of it as a good gesture, they mean you well.

Avoid Social Media: Many will be wishing their mums and posting pictures of their children wishing them a happy Mother’s Day on social media. Guard your heart or it will upset you. If seeing all the greetings makes you anxious and upset. Why bring yourself more misery? Avoid them.

Immense yourself in your work, business or any interest of your choice. Do whatever will make you feel happy on the day. Plan your activities well ahead of time to avoid feeling lost for what to do on the day.

Celebrate it if it makes you feel better, gives you hope and encourages you. What I do not encourage you to do is celebrate with a feeling of sadness, constantly be eating yourself for not being a mum. So if you must, do it with hopes and with a feeling that you are taking part in the celebration before you actually Wellcome your baby.

Do not feel sorry for yourself: yes you may not have a child yet, but that doesn’t make you any less of a woman. have you achieved so many great and wonderful things in your life? Celebrate this.

Do not let the expectations of others overwhelm you. You alone know the burden you carry. Be you and do whatever you feel comfortable with. If that means not being amongst others, please yourself.

Avoid any situations where you feel vulnerable to prying questions and never feel you have to justify yourself to anyone.

Your Partner in Hope


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Do You Call It Quits?

pexels-photo-541333I remember the day I came home with a book on accepting one’s fate as childless.

It was a book about accepting the inevitable and learning to let go of the desires to be a parent and live happily without kids.

My husband’s reaction was one of disbelief, the day he saw me with that book. why would you even think about that? Have you given up?

This made me reassess my desires. I knew I wanted a child, so reading this book was creating a conflict within me, which was to accept another outcome, one different from what I wanted. Needless to say I did not finish reading it.

Looking back now I can understand why I was reading the book.

Although I was not ready to stop trying I was intrigue by those who have and how they reached that decision. The difficulty, stress and pain that comes with trying was what led me to that book.

I wanted to know how to cope should I come to the point of making the decision to call it quit.

A month ago I celebrated the arrival of a miracle child as he is called, to a lady who is 56, this question has been asked by various groups. Should she have carried on trying? Is she selfish to have wanted a baby even after 50?

There are varied opinion on the subject.

But as a woman who tried and waited for a Child I cannot question ones desires to continue to want a baby well into their mid 50s or agree that she should have stopped trying and call it quit.

She was Unwilling to accept she will not be a parent hence she continued  on her quest to have a child and she was rewarded with one. I look back now and realise that I too may have carried on trying although not into 50s.

My encouragement to you today is not to give up that desire, while you are still of reproductive age. Do be mindful of the risk of conception past certain age. If that desire persists don’t quash it. Seek medical Counsel on all the possible ways of conception.

Do all that is medically and naturally possible to conceive. You will come to a point where you alone will make the decision on whether to continue or to stop.

My wish and hope for you is that you will not have to stop trying, but will welcome your own little bundle of joy this year.

Your partner in Hope


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