IT’S NEVER TO EARLY TO TALK ABOUT MALE FERTILITY

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Over the last few years the term “metrosexual male” has become more and more commonplace. Apparently, it refers to city loving men who enjoy shopping, culture and fashion as much as some women; men are displaying their softer side, being more attentive to their partners’ needs and slowly throwing off some of their macho shackles. They talk more openly about their mental health, sexual preferences and some are happy to tell their good mates down the pub that they love them. The UK has active male focussed charities to raise awareness and hopefully prevent heart disease, prostate cancer, diabetes and getting men to cut down on their smoking and drinking.

So, with all these barriers coming down why are we not talking enough about the issue of male fertility? It is it the final male taboo? Well there are lots of reasons and the first one I am going to throw into the net is most men don’t give much thought to what their “swimmers” are up to until it is almost too late. If your sperm is knackered by bad diet, bad habits and bad behaviour by the time they need to fertilize an egg your fathering days may be over before they have even started. It is sobering fact (deliberate use of that word) that of the one in six couples experiencing fertility problems in the UK it is the male’s problem. And that is taken from global fertility report done 3 years ago. And I should know because when myself and partner started trying for a baby, I was informed by the doctors that my sperm were basically lazy and unmotivated. Ouch that hurt; more of that later.

I am also going to single out a few famous people and tell them they are not helping raise the issue of male fertility; they are Rupert Murdoch, Hugh Grant, Ronnie Wood, Billy Joel and Kelsey Grammer.  What have they done wrong? Doesn’t seem what age they are they are still fathering kids. Of course, we don’t know what expensive medical treatments they are undergoing to assist nature but if Murdoch can father a child at 72 surely all the thirty and forty somethings will do just fine. Well that is what I thought. So to all those rock stars, film icons and media moguls out there please stop it, you are embarrassing us all. 😉

As an over 50 businessman and ex rugby player, who lived it up “back in the day” I didn’t even think about my level of fertility until I was 44! When I discovered that my sperm was not up to the task and that we would have to undergo fertility treatment I made the decision that If my wife were to get pregnant, I would have to step up my game and help in every way I could. Let’s be honest here guys, women do all the heavy lifting when it comes to having a baby. My wife stopped drinking, stopped eating certain foods, had acupuncture and reflexology and that was even before she started a really arduous IVF cycle. She carried our boy for nine months and in the last six weeks barely slept in what was an excruciatingly hot summer. I only reduced my drinking and curtailed my social life in the last couple of months in case I had to an emergency midnight run to the hospital. What I did do was to teach myself to cook (only partially successful) and tried to be more considerate to her needs. I did this because I felt guilty that my sperm couldn’t pass muster. So, if you are thinking about having a child at any time in the next 20 years (or 40 if you are related to Rupert Murdoch!) do some research about how your diet affects your fertility, get tested NOW and if you have a problem you can find a solution before it’s to late. You really owe that to your partner.

PS, I do tell my close male friends that I love them but straight after I punch them, drink beer and talk about rugby. I think metro sexuality might be wasted on me!

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Amy Green