"Am I still a man? Men can have kids": A reader shares his heartbreaking struggle with secondary infertility
A reader wrote in anonymously to share his infertility struggle with us saying that, although he tries to be strong for his family, he often questions his worth. "Am I still a man? Men can have kids," he says. "What am I otherwise?"
"This almost feels too personal to share," writes one reader, before telling us about his struggle with infertility. (Parent24)
Source

"This almost feels too personal to share, but here goes:

I’m 43, supposedly healthy, but let’s face it, the last few years have added some girth around the middle and I am not as active as I was before. 

My wife, she’s 31, looks far younger. Cute as a button at 1,58m in her socks. Maybe not as sleek and svelte as she was when we met, but still, in my view, my own little supermodel. She eats healthily, drinks her water, vitamins and looks after herself.

We have one daughter: H, born 2012. There were no issues having her, in fact, she was a bit of a surprise! Mom had some complications with high-blood pressure and baby was born at 36 weeks, spending a good 3 and a half weeks in NICU. H is now 6, healthy, happy, active and enjoying preschool and looking forward to “big school”.

In short, we are an average middle class couple, and we want to give H a little brother or sister, except, it seems, after 3 years... nothing.

We discussed it. I thought it may be me – I know male infertility is on the increase, and I’m not the young tiger I was 20 years ago. We agreed we would both go for tests. Hers was normal, save for low AMH levels (I think that’s what he said), which means she wasn’t ovulating. Medication was prescribed, which the lovely one will be taking with her next cycle. Good news is there was nothing else untoward.

Me... pfft... low count, bordering on infertile, low volume, low testosterone levels... although everything checks out normal otherwise, I was told to lose weight.

Yup, check, thanks for affirming that, doc.

He also prescribed medication to assist with increasing hormone levels and not merely suggested, but dictated a change in lifestyle.

So here we are, 2 months in to what may be a long process. Both of us are worried. The lovely one is stressed about what may follow: tests, needles, probes etc, etc. I try to ease her and tell her I am with her all the way through the process – both of us are needed if we are to have another child.

But silently, I die inside.

I want to have a son or another daughter if it so happens. 

But to hear you may be infertile – that stings on a personal level.

Am I still a man? Men can have kids. I may not be able to again. That’s my fear. What am I otherwise?

I smile, “Be strong, love”, I say, “it will be okay...”.

I hold her as close as I can to ease her mind. It will be okay. We’ll get through this just as we have gone through everything life has thrown at us.

But will it? Will it really?

It’s a long road ahead..."

Do you have an infertility story you'd like to share with us? Tell us by emailing chatback@parent24.com and we may publish it on the site. Do let us know if you'd like to remain anonymous. 

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