We live in a society that is very conscious of taboos. It is amazing that with all our claims to civilization and modernization, very anachronistic beliefs still pervade our culture. The thought of a couple not being able to have children is generally not welcome. The issue becomes more problematic when suggestions are made to the effect that maybe the man, (the husband), is the one with issue(s) that make the couple infertile.
The common train of thought and of course the most comfortable, is to conclude that infertility in any marital union is the problem of the woman in that union. The male ego must not be compromised in any way in an African society.
This cultural leaning creates tension and subjects the woman to undue pressures which have psychological and/or emotional effects. These pressures cause more complications in the journey of most couples to conception.
The solution to the problem lies majorly in education which the men must acquire to set them properly on the journey to conception and parenthood. The days of sending just the woman to the hospital while the man hides away comfortably are far behind us. The realization that marriage and parenthood are both based on a partnership involving the man and his woman must become so strong that it compels the man to readily play his role.
This persuasion is based on the personal experience of the writer of this piece. I could not, even in my wildest dreams, picture myself as having any issue that could be causing or contributing to the delay my wife and i were experiencing several years into our marriage. i grew up as a healthy and strong boy with no medical history save the periodical bouts with Malaria which is like a staple food in these parts.
Therefore, though I was in support of my wife’s work with our doctor, I never saw why I should become a ‘patient’ too. Thus I never subjected myself for any tests for a long time. We knew my wife had fibroids so we basically concentrated on that.
I remember our doctor asking me on occasions if I ever contracted Mumps as a child and my firm answer each time was NO.
However, in time and with the doctors persistence I started a series of tests that eventually led to the discovery in India, that I needed surgery to correct a simple yet vital issue for conception – Varicocele. Therefore, it was not just the fibroids and the consequence of a badly managed surgery performed on my wife that we were faced with, I needed help too.
I got the needed surgery done and with the aid of IVF treatment and God’s grace, my wife and I now have our beautiful set of three year old twins, a girl and a boy.
In concluding this piece, I will really like to buttress the fact that victory is achieved faster and with less trauma and complications in the journey to conception when both partners recognise their roles and make quality decisions to commit to fulfilling the identified roles while working with the right medical professionals as their situation may require.
I pray for your joy and victory.
Let me hear from you.
A contribution from ‘Lolu Ogunmade
* * *
My name is ‘Toyin Lolu-Ogunmade and I am an infertility survivor. I have just shared with you my husband’s side of our true life story.
During my waiting years and my time in India, I went through training as a Fertility counsellor and now run a Family Building Consultancy. I work with couples who are trying to conceive. Part of my giving back includes scheduled Support group meetings where people get to share experiences and learn new things in the area of conception.
Having challenges with conception? You can reach me on firstname.lastname@example.org
© Ty Lolu-Ogunmade 2015