Howdy, MFIF crowd! Time for another visit with Uncle Ike, your Male Factor Infertility friend and confidant on Bloggers for Hope. While enjoying the regular posts from the ladies, sometimes, a shot of male whimsy and testosterone is necessary.
Let's get serious for this visit. Do you remember when you learned of your Male Factor diagnosis? That usually comes as a major blow to your manhood, personhood, and personal worth. Let me tell you, I know. I went through it multiple times.
My condition, cryptorchidism, is congenital, most likely a result of premature birth. But, for most of my first 7 years, I was happily unaware of this problem. When Tonka trucks and Matchbox cars are your main concern in life, you are not really worried about your future wife and making babies.
Then, the strange doctor's visits. A scary new doctor who poked around my private parts, and my mom said it was ok. WEIRD! Then, a storybook about going to the hospital, and warning that I needed to have a operation to fix a a problem. Nine tries to draw blood, did good until the seventh or eighth. My fear of needles started from that. The surgery and the funny feeling stitches near my private parts. Then the talk about how the surgery did not work. I just wanted to get the stitches out and get on with life, as a seven year old. Screwed up my perfect attendance, too, so I was a little miffed at my parents.
Then, at twelve, a conversation with my parents that I had undescended testicles, and that this had some health complications. If this was not fixed, I would not mature like other kids, I would could have medical issues, and would not be able to father children. This treatment would not be surgery this time, so I was ecstatic! Then... the bad news. It involved shots. Inter-muscular injections with a three inch long needle into the buttocks that would take about 20 minutes each, for a series of four to six of them. I had to stand up with my pants down and suffer this humiliation and pain. "Don't tense up or clench your butt, or you will break the needle off!" was the most frequent comment from the nurses. And the result... Good news! you will have a normal puberty and much lowered risk of long term issues. But.. Bad news! you will not be able to father children.
I don't remember, but my mother said I took it hard and cried. "Why can't I be like normal boys?"
Fast forward to post marriage check up from the urologist, and the semen analysis has come back twice. Count is ZERO. The doctor's advise is you can't be a father, you are at a high risk of testicular cancer and you need to have your undescended testes removed. My wife was not with me. I went to the car and cried for 10 -15 minutes before I could regain my composure to go home.
How many times can a man face his infertility? Every time a friend, relative, or coworker makes a statement about shooting blanks, needing to step in and help, or even innocently asking if you want to have children.
But intentional or not, remember that no one can live your life for you. You probably did not cause your infertility, but even if you did, you live here now. Chose hope and make choices that will get you to healthy results for you and your partner.
More information on undescended testes.