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Fertility is not only a “women’s issue”—the impact of infertility on men can be enormous, yet regularly goes unnoticed. This article looks at improving support for men who are experiencing fertility issues.
When it comes to infertility, research and support predominantly centers around the perspectives of women. However, this fails to properly recognize that men make up half of the fertility equation. As a result, it is crucial that the experiences of men are not overlooked when it comes to supporting employees with fertility-related challenges.
A recent, rare study into the impacts of male infertility found that 93 percent of respondents felt that their well-being had been severely affected by fertility issues, with most expressing feelings of embarrassment, anxiety and low self-esteem. In many cases, this is exacerbated by the fact that support is scarce for men throughout the fertility treatment cycle—with men reporting that health care professionals often ignore their needs, instead directing any care and focus toward their female partner.
It is unclear why this is the case given that men also suffer damaging consequences to their relationships, finances, career and overall mental health when faced with either their own infertility, or the emotional toll that can come with supporting a partner who has received a diagnosis of infertility.
Arguably, there is also a greater stigma surrounding male infertility due to the traditional, harmful expectation that men should…
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