Infertility and its impact on relationships

My colleague and I have had a new paper on men’s experiences of infertility published yesterday in the Journal of Reproductive and Infant Psychology . The paper explores how men talk online about the impact of infertility on their relationships. Key findings from the research included, men using online spaces to discuss how to handle infertility, and particularly around things they felt they couldn’t discuss with their partners for fear of upsetting them. Men often felt that infertility treatments prioritised women’s feelings, and thus wasn’t equal to both parties in the relationship. Men gave each other advice about remaining close with their partners and not allowing the challenges of infertility to come between them and their partners, showing how stressful infertility can be for relationships. The paper lets us know a bit more about how men may feel about the impact of infertility. Infertility can create testing conditions for couples and being supportive, patient and loving of one another was viewed by men as key to ‘weathering the storm’ that infertility brought. It’s important that we know how men feel about infertility so that they can be supported in ways that are meaningful to them, such as ensuring counselling is available for couples, and that men and women have good information and advice about how best to manage the experiences they may be going through.

The full paper is available here

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