Male Infertility: Guys Deny It; Wives Carry the Burden

“I didn’t want to tell anyone,” he said. “Like most guys, I was skeptical that it was true. I came from a family of three and she of four, so I so no reason why we would a problem conceiving.”

Ceizyk said it was true men “don’t understand their own biology,” and many of the doctors “looked at it like it was a non-issue and something to just overcome.”

“My sperm count was a million -- I thought that was plenty,” he said. “Why did I need a $1,000 process? It was ignorance. Forty million [sperm count] is the bare minimum and I was way under.”

Ceizyk wrote a memoir about the couple’s $70,000 ordeal, "Almost a Father," and writes a blog with the same name.

In six years, they had 11 embryo transfers, five IVFs, six infertility doctors, three miscarriages and two cross-country trips to a specialty hospital in New Jersey. They finally conceived their now-11-year-old daughter in an intracytoplasmic sperm injection procedure, extracting sperm that was injected into one of his wife’s eggs.

Attending support groups early on, there were no other men and “in some cases they weren’t allowed,” he said.

The couple started their own Resolve support group in Tucson.

“It saved me,” he said. “It was normalizing and to have the commonality of experience with other men.

“It ended up being a team effort and, by starting to actually learn the [medical] terminology and participate in conversations, we got much closer," he added. "It ended up being a team effort.

“My wife is my true hero," he said. "She was the one who gave me the courage to evolve into a team player in our parenthood pursuit, and we have run a couples support group helping other couples find a way to develop a new form of intimacy in their baby-making pursuits, even when they include a staff of doctors and medical protocols."

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