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Spotlight

Doctor: Fertility isn't just a female thing

Posted April 7, 2017 12:46 p.m. EDT
Updated May 31, 2017 3:06 p.m. EDT

It is important for both men and women to build a personal relationship with a specialist and be encouraged to ask questions and voice concerns in safe, private settings.

This article was written for our sponsor, Atlantic Reproductive Medicine Specialists.

Couples can struggle to communicate over large and small things, such as promises not to binge watch favorite shows on Netflix without both members present, or who is responsible for getting the rent paid this month.

Since communication and openness is so important to those aspects of trust and safety within relationships, it's no wonder why communication is such a valuable tool in the realm of fertility treatments.

Many clinics will recommend couples attend a preconception counseling session.

"Fertility isn't just a woman 'thing' -- it takes two to get pregnant, and we believe that male partners are just as important to the process," explained Dr. David Walmer, an assisted reproduction specialist at Atlantic Reproductive Medicine Specialists.

It is important for both men and women to build a personal relationship with a specialist and be encouraged to ask questions and voice concerns in safe, private settings.

"Men should feel just as welcome in conversations about fertility, about sexual health and about what it means to start preparing to grow a family," explained Dr. Susannah Copland, an infertility specialist at Atlantic Reproductive.

For the health of the family and likelihood of success of treatment, Walmer said is it imperative that all parties feel equally invested, valued and counseled throughout the entire process of planning to successfully having a pregnancy.

"We don't believe men should be left 'alone' in the world of fertility. This is happening to them, as well, and their issues, concerns and questions are relevant," Walmer said.

Who Should Seek Fertility Treatment or Specialists?

The following subcategories of individuals make up the highest percentage of patients at fertility clinics:

  • Couples in which either or both have a known fertility risk factor, such as a history of genital or pelvic infections, irregular periods or undescended testicles.
  • ​Couples that have suffered "unexplained infertility" (basic tests for both have come back normal, but they have been unable to conceive).
  • Couples considering assisted reproductive technologies, such as in vitro fertilization (IVF).
  • Women under or over 35 who have not been unable to get pregnant through regular, unprotected intercourse for 6 months or longer.
  • Women who have suffered two or more miscarriages.
  • Women who are in need of treatment due to a blockage or scarring of fallopian tubes or endometriosis.
  • Women who ovulate irregularly (or not at all) and whose bodies have not responded to previous drug treatment.
  • Men whose semen analysis shows low sperm count, poor motility movement, or poor structure.
  • Men or women preparing to undergo chemotherapy, radiation or any other condition that poses a risk to their fertility.

Whatever a couple's reasoning for exploring fertility treatment or a specialist, it is a decision that should never be taken lightly. If couples have any questions about fertility treatment, it helps to find a trusted fertility clinic in your region and start the conversation about the best and safest ways to you to grow your family.

This article was written for our sponsor, Atlantic Reproductive Medicine Specialists.