How does it feel as a male in fertility treatments?

Fertility treatments are mentally tough for men. Concrete knowledge and mental support are perceived as relevant during treatments. Almost without exception, the giving of a semen sample is perceived as distressing and unnatural and not enough information is available for it. Men’s greatest desire during treatments is to have their own, biological, child.

Fertility treatments can be used if, for one reason or another, the couple is unable by natural means to have a child. Many men experience depression, anxiety, and/or stress during fertility treatments. The background factors have a lot of influence on these, e.g. level of education, economic situation and place of residence.

It is often difficult for men to share their feelings with others, and as a result, ongoing fertility treatments are often talked about only to one’s spouse. Your own spouse is often seen as the most important supporter during treatments. However, men can also get support from a fertility treatment clinic, for example.

Men hope to receive concrete information about their fertility and treatments and their progression. Perhaps the profession of many men makes it easier for them to deal with concrete figures and tables.

Before giving a semen sample, men would need more information and guidance. Giving the sample is considered unnatural and might affect on a man’s sexual identity. Men are under a lot of pressure to succeed in giving the sample. If the instruction of the time of sending the sample comes home by mail, it will often come in the woman’s name. It further increases the externality experienced by men during treatments. Many men hope that they will be treated equally with their spouse so that a sense of alienation does not arise.

It is common for men to be more concerned about their spouse than about themselves during fertility treatments. However, it is important to remember that treatments are heavy for men as well, and not all attention can be focused on the woman alone. Sometimes fertility treatments can also affect negatively to the relationship. Others find fertility treatments even strengthening the relationship. A man’s infertility can also cause dissatisfaction with his sexuality.

If a man is found to be infertile during treatments, many describe it as the hardest blow in his life and it affects the man’s identity as well as masculinity. If no sperm are found, the use of donated gametes may be considered. It often causes conflicting feelings and men increasingly feel threatened by their masculine identity.

Unintentional childlessness has been found to have negative effects on male self-esteem. Therefore man, don’t hesitate or be ashamed to ask for information and support from your fertility clinic staff or your own loved ones, many other men will certainly be wrestling with similar thoughts.


Rita, Jenna, Midwife

Saarela, Roosa, Midwife

Viheroksa, Raakel, Midwife, TtM, Lecturer, Tampere University of Applied Sciences

Tuomi, Jouni, PHN, PhD, Principal Lecturer, Tampere University of Applied Sciences

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